Google releases an updated Android Automotive emulator image with the Play Store built-in
Back in 2017, we learned that Google was working on an Android Automotive emulator for the Android SDK. The purpose of this new emulator was to provide a fully-functional operating system for your car. However, we didn’t hear much about it until Google I/O earlier this year. At the event, Google announced that developers of media applications could begin work on bringing their apps to the Android Automotive OS. And now, the company has released an updated Android Automotive emulator with the Play Store built-in.
In a recent blog post, the company revealed that it is now rolling out an updated Android Automotive OS emulator system image that includes the Play Store. Thanks to this, developers will now be able to design, develop, and run apps right within the emulator, without waiting to get their hands on a supported vehicle. Developers will also be able to test distribution via Play Console by requesting access, further streamlining the process.
It’s worth noting that Android Automotive isn’t the same as Android Auto. While Android Auto requires you to pair your phone to your car’s infotainment system, Android Automotive is a full-fledged operating system for the infotainment system. It doesn’t require a secondary device and it already comes built-in in a couple of cars, including the new Volvo XC40 Recharge and the Polestar 2.
If you’re an Android app developer and you wish to port your media app to Android Automotive, you’d be glad to know that the process doesn’t require extensive development resources. Several developers have already ported their apps over to the new platform and the company claims that more media apps, including Amazon Music, Audioburst and YouTube Music, will make their way over to the platform soon. Google plans to reveal more about creating apps for the platform at the Android Dev Summit 2019.
Featured image: Volvo XC40 Recharge infotainment unit