While the adoption of Android Auto is growing because more modern cars and new-generation head units support it, Google is looking into multiple ways to make sure you stick with Android behind the wheel.
And while carmakers themselves become interested in Android Automotive OS, Google is trying to improve the system, with new features already on their way.
For example, Google wants more media apps to be available on the system, so the company is now providing developers with very straightforward tools to port Android Auto music players to Android Automotive OS. Most of the work is already done thanks to code sharing between the two platforms, but some compatibility updates are still required.
However, the search giant is also offering additional developer tools to create new media players from scratch, which means that you don’t have to invest in Android Auto first before bringing apps to Automotive.
“For the past year, we have been on a journey to allow app developers to design, develop, test and publish media apps directly on Google Play in the car. We are happy to share that this is now possible,” Google says.
“We have made updates to the Android Automotive OS design guidelines and development documentation for you to add support for your media apps. We also launched updates to the emulator to include Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play, so you can develop and test your apps in an environment that more closely mirrors the software in the car.”
Developers are now provided with a Polestar 2 system image to test apps in a virtual environment, while the Play Console also accepts Android Automotive OS APKs for devs who want to send their tools for review and publishing.