Android Auto Launch Tanks

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car stereo

Correction added:

Android Auto is off to a slow start, slower than CarPlay’s launch in the aftermarket, said retailers, although many believe it will be a strong seller eventually.

Confusion has hurt sales as salesmen and consumers alike don’t know which Android phones can work with Android Auto. (See our chart here).

Also, only 9 percent of Android phones are now running Lollipop (up from 5 percent last month) and Lollipop is a baseline requirement for a phone to work with Android Auto, now offered solely by Pioneer in three models.

To make matters worse, some Verizon phones don’t work with Android Auto, even when they are updated to Lollipop.  The “mic” icon on the radio becomes non-responsive, so voice control is not available.

And Pioneer Electronics may not be able to offer a fix for this.  If the carriers make changes to basic Lollipop, there’s nothing Pioneer can do about it.

Pioneer’s Ted Cardenas said, “Although Google is working with these providers to ensure compatibility, this is a side effect of the Android OS’s open source specification….There is nothing we can do with our software that would change the current status.”

Another observation is that Android Auto requires a two step connection versus CarPlay’s single step. Android Auto users must both pair their phone over Bluetooth AND plug it in to the radio where CarPlay requires only that you plug in the phone. Correction:  The Bluetooth pairing is automatic when the user plugs in the phone for Android Auto so it is still really a one-step process.  Pioneer also told us, “Also worth noting, the initial Android Auto setup takes care of automatically registering the user’s phone with the Pioneer receiver.  This process is done over USB similar to how we have automatic pairing for iPhones on our DEH models. In this instance, this was made a basic feature requirement by Google.”

Few retailers said consumers are asking for Android Auto at this point, and few have performed installations. But of those that have, they said when the phone is compatible, it works as well as CarPlay and a couple said it works even better.

Source: CEoutlook

 

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3 Comments

  1. We have done a few installs so far that were specific to the customer being able to use Android Auto. The problem is the lack of real communication as to what phones will (or will in the future) be able to even use the software and the extremely slow roll out. For the ones that we have done the customers have been really pleased with AA interface and function — and in ways is nicer than Car Play (i’m an iPhone user.) The market is there for customers will to spend money on the nicer more expensive non-nav touchscreen systems. We are a small to mid-sized shop and sold 3 4100nex last week primarly because of CarPlay. If google can get the ball rolling on there end it will be a win win for everyone!

  2. Found this on the Android Auto website this morning. Not sure how long it’s been there but could be promising;

    Known issues
    Compatibility for certain phones
    LG G3

    Android Auto is not currently supported in the U.S. on the LG G3 for Verizon Wireless customers. Google is working with LG on compatibility and will announce an update when the issue is resolved.

    Samsung Galaxy S5

    Android Auto is not currently supported in the U.S. on the Samsung Galaxy S5 for Sprint and Verizon Wireless customers. Google is working with Samsung on compatibility and will announce an update when the issue is resolved.

    Samsung Galaxy S4

    Android Auto is not currently supported in the U.S. on the Samsung Galaxy S4 for AT&T customers. Google is working with Samsung on compatibility and will announce an update when the issue is resolved.

  3. I get that the Google maps are simplified for the Android Auto, I get that the suite of apps available are those that pass the Android’s “test for safety in mind” too. However, Apple recently listened to the CarPlay’s users initial criticisms about not being able to use in a wireless mode and so Apple did a firmware update and now offer a wireless mode to interface using WiFi instead of Bluetooth and unfortunately absolutely no manufacturer presently makes. So it is with Android’s very “conversational” voice control feature on Android Auto OS not being functional in those few Pioneer head units that offer Android Auto. These examples show how Apple, and Google consider the aftermarket segment of their Operating Systems interfacing into the vehicle to address consumer needs and wants.

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