With artificial intelligence and autonomous features gaining in-roads in cars, Google is wondering what it wants to communicate next week at I/O 2019 – its annual developer conference in Mountain View, California.As a teaser, Google has announced that developers can start building apps for Android Automotive OS. In March 2017, Google introduced Android Automotive OS, an Android operating system designed specifically to run in an automobile. Google says the automotive specific app should not be confused with Android Auto, its mobile app that mirrors features from your Android device to your car’s in-dash entertainment head unit.
Google is starting with media app developers such as Spotify and other entertainment sites. However, the company plans to expand into other categories of apps as well such as navigation.
Google wants to make building embedded applications for cars at scale as “easy” as it is building Android apps at scale for the myriad of mobile devices.
Google built Android Automotive OS after it realized that cars are getting more technology and becoming more connected and Android Auto was getting limited. In February, Polestar, Volvo’s dedicated brand for electric performance cars, unveiled the Polestar 2, the first car to use built-in Android Auto. Since the market applications have begun, Google is planning a fast track approach with support from third-party media apps — music, podcasts and other specialists. Google says media app developers “will be able to start creating new entertainment experiences for Android Automotive OS” next week at I/O.
Google is opening its Android Automotive operating system up to third-party developers to bring music and other entertainment apps into vehicle infotainment systems, starting with the Polestar 2, an all-electric vehicle developed by Volvo’s standalone electric performance brand.
While media apps are a focus area for Google, the scope of jobs will be widened with plans to let developers build apps for navigation (mapping solutions), communication (calls, messages) and more. Android Automotive OS apps will be available via the Google Play Store, it has been confirmed. To make the mission possible, Google says it is building on the existing Android Auto framework. On its part it has developed a variety of screen sizes, input methods, OEM customizations, and regional driver safety guidelines with Android Auto. Among other business objectives, Google wants to make building embedded applications for cars at scale as “easy” as it is building Android apps at scale for the myriad of mobile devices.
This is good news for independent developers and at the Google I/O 2019 Automotive session next week it will walk through details on how to build media app using Android Studio with an Android Automotive OS emulator and templates. There is now an automotive-developers Google Groups community for developers who are free to discuss Android Automotive OS. Additionally, Google has set up an android-automotive tag on StackOverflow.