As a part of several google announcements this week out of CES 2024, we're learning about the future of android in cars and it is looking lovely. Both cars with Google built-in and Android Auto are seeing new features, but the folks with Android as the major operating system in their cars are getting the majority of it. I guess it's time to find a new ride.
Because the majority of the news is related to cars with Google built-in, let's run through those.
- Send Google Maps directions to your car: When using Google Maps on your phone (on Android and iOS), you can now send those directions directly to your car if it has Google built-in. Then, once you jump in to take that trip you were just looking up, the directions and navigation should be ready to go. This is rolling out as of today.
- Chrome, Weather Channel, PBS Kids, and Crunchyroll apps: All of these apps are ready for cars with Google built-in. Chrome is first releasing on select Polestar and Volvo cars in beta before hitting other cars later this year. PBS Kids, Crunchyroll, and The Weather Channel are also now available, although we don't have the specific list of cars. Feel free to check your car and let us know.
- New Nissan, Ford, Lincoln, and Porsche cars: Google says that Nissan, Ford, and Lincoln will all introduce new cars this year with Google built-in. Porsche is expected to further down the road.
Now, for Android Auto, Google is announcing deeper vehicle integration with Ford's Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning, both of which are electric. Android Auto with these two cars can access real-time battery info through Google Maps to help with things like route planning how long you'll be at a charger, and what your battery level should be when you reach your desitnation. Google says this is arriving in the “coming months.”
Finally, digital car keys on Android are expanding to select Volvo cars. Of course, you also need a supported phone with UWB. Google expects new phones to support this as well in the near future (probably the Galaxy S24 Ultra).
That's quite a bit of good stuff for Android in the auto world!