Google announced today that it is dramatically broadening the availability of Android Auto.
With the launch of Android Auto 2.0, all the functionality of the platform, including the ability to control various apps with voice commands, can be accessed with just an Android smartphone. That includes accessing turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps and playing music from supported streaming apps like Spotify and Google Play.
“This update allows anyone with an Android phone (running 5.0 or later) to use a driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road — directions, music, communications — without the distraction of things that aren’t essential while driving,” said Android Auto product manager Gerhard Schobbe says in an accompanying blog post. “Whether your phone is connected to a compatible car display, or placed in a car mount on the dashboard, Android Auto brings your favorite apps and services into one place, making them accessible in safer and seamless ways.”
Previously, taking advantage of Android Auto meant buying a car model that was compatible with the infotainment platform. While more and more car manufacturers are starting to support the platform (the full list can be found here), the number of cars that include Android Auto is still relatively minuscule.
The company says it’s rolling out the updated app in the more than 30 countries where Android Auto is already available, which is to say the Android Auto 2.0 should be available in Canada soon.