If you have ever heard of the phrase “The internet of things” then you’ll probably have a better understanding of what we’ll be talking about today. Basically what “The Internet of things” means, is a concept of everything electronic, like appliances such as your clothes dryer, washing machine, or even your stove all being connected wirelessly to the internet. This concept is slowly becoming a reality, as we will be talking about today, Android Auto, which transforms your Automobile, into a functioning operator of the Android Operating system.
Now, there is controversy surrounding Android Auto, being there is an interactive, mesmerizing screen loaded with Google’s Latest Android Auto operating system right in front of you, you will be less encouraged to focus on the road, and instead of on the screen, which can cause A LOT of problems and accidents. You are of course encouraged to play around with Android Auto when the car is off, so there will be no threat of accidents. There are built in apps and other media content in it, so it’s very enticing to use it any time of the road trip.
Of course, with new technology being introduced to the market, there will bound to be a lot of vulnerabilities and security holes. (We’ve even heard of regular cars being hacked over the GSM network, and being controlled remotely by a computer and a person who knows what they’re doing, so be careful.) Hackers and the wrong people will try to exploit these security holes and vulnerabilities, either for good, like reporting such discovered vulnerabilities to the manufacturer so they will patch the error, or for bad, where people with evil intent try to do malicious things to your system.
Now, with the negative aspects aside, let’s talk about why this is truly innovative for future technology.
Google announced “Android Auto” at their Google I/O Event in mid-2014. Android Auto takes the concept of “Smart Cars” to a whole new level. The interface pretty much includes everything that smart cars have nowadays, like Bluetooth call handling, voice recognition and all that, and more. There will be no need to buy yourself an expensive GPS system whose batteries are running out, because Android Auto has everything built into the system.
The interface offers media content like user defined music and video, Of course radio, and a large selection of apps for on the go consumption. There are also notifications and “cards” for select apps you may be using. There are also Voice commands such as voice activated Calling/SMS/Web search. Android Auto itself will be based off of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and will have best compatibility with mobile devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later. Android Auto being based off of Google’s operating system, we will probably see multiple OTA Updates coming from Google consistently once this technology has officially hit the markets.
As expected, Google will probably integrate their already popular utilities/apps with Android Auto, but will also allow developers to develop apps specifically for this system.
As for availability of Android Auto, as advertised on the Android Auto Website, only Australia, the UK, and the United States currently have access to this new technology. A lot of well-known Automobile manufacturers such as Audi, Chevrolet, and Ford are implementing Android Auto into its rides in the upcoming (Months, Years?)
As for hardware, Nvidia is rumoured to be working with Google to supply mobile chipsets in developing the hardware aspect of the system. Full specifications of the Android Auto system are still being waited on. What we do know now though, are some of the basic sensors/automobile hardware Android Auto will take advantage of, such as the GPS Antennas, Audio system, Radio antennas, Compass, mobile antennas, and steering controls.
Development for Android auto is still being perfected and tweaked, but an SDK (Software Development Kit) will be released to developers to tweak and modify Android Auto to change user capabilities.
If you’d like to learn more about the full functionality of Android Auto, go watch the Google Developer’s Introduction to Android Auto Video.
Google’s investment in new technologies is what makes them stand out from other companies. First their Project Ara, Including the development of modular smartphones, and now an operating system that runs in unison with Automobiles. Google is pushing the limits of the capabilities of technology, and will possibly pave the way for future standards in the world of technology.
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