Two years ago, then Google Senior Vice President for Android, Chrome OS and Chromecast and current CEO Sundar Pichai, took the stage at the company’s annual developer conference, I/O, to announce Android Auto. Android Auto, is the company’s software projection for its mobile platform, Android, on cars. It has made little significant strides since then. This has been partly due to the slow uptake. The situation has been compounded by the slow release of vehicles with Android Auto units and also its overall availability in most markets.
Google is seeking to reverse that by opening up Android Auto to several countries. The company announced that 18 more countries will be getting Android Auto immediately. They join Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, countries where it has been available.
Full speed ahead. ? #AndroidAuto is now available in 18 new countries: ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? , plus ?? too!
— Android (@Android) April 4, 2016
In case you are not conversant with all those flags, these are the countries getting Android Auto:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
There’s still no African country included. However, with more developing nations joining the list, at least that should provide Google with enough data to consider a few African countries for the next phase of rollouts.
Big car makers like Volkswagen have committed to releasing cars with Android Auto and others who Google paraded on stage in June 2014 have also been doing the same and are expected to increase the number of models released with Android Auto units going forward.
Android Auto is competing with Apple’s CarPlay for the car market. Both allow users to use interfaces familiar to those on their smartphones and tablets for things like music playback, navigation and many more. Car makers like Ford provide vehicles with support for both with customer choice being front and centre. Others like Japanese giant Toyota have heavily invested in their own proprietary solutions.
Cars.com has a frequently updated list of the various car models with Android Auto. One can also get a unit from the likes of Pioneer and fit it into just about any half-decent budget car model.
Via Android Central