If you want to experience the latest updates to Android Auto, drop by Ralph’s Radio in Vancouver or Victoria. We carry a selection of multimedia receivers that allow you to use the integrated voice recognition to access commonly used features like text messaging, navigation and music playback. Let’s have a look at how Google has improved its mobile interface.
What Is Android Auto?
Following on the heels of Apple, Google launched its smartphone interface in March 2015. The system is designed to allow you to use commonly accessed phone functions using voice recognition. The goal of these systems is to minimize distractions as you drive.
Perhaps the most commonly used function is sending text messages. You can ask Google to “send a text message to Mark” and it will ask you what you want to say. The system automatically converts what you say into a typed message and sends it. If and when Mark replies, it will read his message to you and ask if you want to respond.
Internet Connectivity Improves Efficiency
You can place phone calls to contacts in your address book or let Google search the internet for a company’s phone number. You can play music stored on your phone or access streaming music sources like Google Play Music, Tidal, Pandora, Amazon Music and even Apple Music. Unlike CarPlay, several messaging apps including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype and Telegram are supported.
Waze and Google Maps are the most popular navigation applications used in cars and trucks. Both include voice recognition support for the selection of destinations, and real-time access to traffic flow information helps create efficient routing to your destination. Unlike navigation solutions built into a car radio, having up-to-date information helps you make sure that the business you’re going to actually exists.
Upgrades to Android Auto in 2019
The biggest change for the 2019 update is the inclusion of an icon-based menu called the App Launcher. No longer do you have to scroll through a single-line list of available apps to get what you want. The top four icons are dynamic and represent your most recently used navigation and entertainment programs. Gone are the predictive cards that offer directions home or to a meeting. Instead, the Google Assistant icon has been added to the News, Calendar, Weather and Reminder apps.
A menu bar across the bottom of the screen includes a home button and playback controls for whatever you are listening to. A notification bell and voice recognition launch icon are also included. The bar updates depending on the application you’re using. If you are using navigation, the next maneuver will be shown. Not having to leave the navigation app to change tracks is a big deal and makes the entire system much easier to use.
Add Voice-Controlled Smartphone Integration to Your Vehicle
If you are interested in upgrading your vehicle with an Android Auto-equipped multimedia receiver, drop by Ralph’s Radio in Vancouver or Victoria and speak with a member of our team. Be sure to bring your Android-based smartphone with you so we can show you just how easy it is to stay connected and drive safely. If you can’t drop by during regular store hours, send our team an e-mail using our contact form and we’ll do what we can to help.