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Android Auto gets rid of that pesky car requirement

Jason Cross | Nov. 8, 2016
With the latest update, you can use the driver-optimised interface right on your phone or tablet, with no special car hardware necessary.

Strong app support

The list of apps that support Android Auto has grown quite strong. The real downside has been the difficulty of getting it in your car. Now that you get the driver-friendly interface right on your phone, the app really is worth picking up for nearly everyone who drives. There's no split in app support with this new version—all current Android Auto apps are supposed to work just fine, and developers don't need to do anything in particular to support the on-phone experience. 

Not everything is quite as perfect as we would like it to be, though. Using "OK Google" voice commands isn't yet enabled, and will come in another update over the next few weeks. There's an ever-present microphone in the top right; you'll have to tap that to give Android Auto a voice command. Once you do, all the voice commands that work on the in-dash experience appear to work here.

Now that you don't actually need a car, I can see Android Auto being useful for other types of users. Bicyclists who mount their phones to their handlebars, for instance. Pair it with a Bluetooth speaker and use it on your won't find nautical "traffic" reports but the rest of the features might prove useful.


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