The official Android account has informed us that Google’s Android Auto software has spread to 18 more countries.
Android Auto is currently available in 28 countries. Although not all the model vehicles are designed with the feature preinstalled, absolutely all consumers can purchase third-party after-market systems that are compatible with Google’s in-car software.
Google is developing Latin-American market, with new availability of Android Auto in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico.
Other countries now on the list include Austria, India, Russia and Switzerland, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, and the US. This is actually Android Auto’s biggest international move.
By the way, three countries in the list – Brazil, India, and Russia – are among the fastest growing auto markets in the world (however, not one hundred percent of cars purchased there will be compatible with Android Auto).
Android Auto software enables a smartphone and car’s touchscreen infotainment system to work together. Thus only using your smartphone, you can navigate, make calls, play music and perform other tasks your dashboard touchscreen hands-free. Android Auto is available on phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, a USB cable and a compatible car.
Tech companies facing strong competition on the smartphone market has focused recently on cars as a new spot to embed their products. Apple and Google both offer rival technologies to enable control over in-car systems. Apple came up with CarPlay and Google has developed Android Auto to help consumers always stay connected.
According to Apple, “CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. CarPlay takes the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts them right on your car’s built-in display. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road. Just plug in your iPhone and go.” As Apple says, all major vehicle manufacturers are partnering with CarPlay. The system is already available in 33 different countries.
Google now should focuse on promoting its Android Auto as making automakers sign up can pose a real challenge. Android Auto is supported by certain model cars manufactured by Audi, Cadillac, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen. In the whole this list, Ford turns out to be the only company that will support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with its 2017 Ford Escape.