Google is making it easier to develop apps for Android in Cars
Google has announced some new development features at I/O 2021 to enhance the Android experience on cars. Currently, one can have a customized Android experience while driving via three different solutions- Google Assistant Driving Mode, Android Auto, and Android Automotive OS. The first one offers navigation along with the assistant on a smartphone, while the other two make use of your car’s in-dash system to provide relevant information along with media experience.
Google Assistant Driving Mode has rolled out in the US with 100 more countries in the pipeline. Android Auto, which tethers your phone to the in-car system, is said to be available in over 100 million cars worldwide. Android Automotive OS, which has been deployed on the Volvo Polestar 2 EV, is expected to be available on 10 more car models by the end of 2021. Google also confirmed that it is adding Porsche to its list of car manufacturers supporting Android Auto, and will continue to add more car models to support wireless Android Auto. A new fast pair feature is also under testing, which allows users to quickly connect their Android smartphone to their car’s in-dash system.
When it comes to app development, the company says that one of the most common requests of customers continues to be support for more apps. Developing Android apps for cars is not a simple process as there are various screen form factors, and one needs to ensure all apps are built with safety in mind so that drivers can focus on the road. Google has announced that the Android for Cars App Library, which was announced last year, will no longer be in beta. The library provides developers with a set of templates designed to meet driver distraction standards. This library will also help in laying the groundwork for future app development for cars.
Using the Car App Library, developers will now be able to easily develop apps that can work on Android Auto and Android Automotive OS. Some of the new apps that one can expect to arrive on the two platforms will focus on better navigation, parking, and EV charging station apps. These libraries will allow developers to make a single app using templates and then launch them on both Android Auto and Android Automotive OS. The entire library has been made keeping driver distractions in mind, with a framework that has been designed to ensure that apps are optimized for driving and use voice wherever possible.
Developing apps for cars now involves the same steps as mobile- Design, Develop, Test, and Publish. Google also gave an insight into the kind of templates one can use while designing their app.