Users of Android Auto will soon get new features, said Google at its Google iO developers conference this week. It also said to expect more companies to announce support the newer Android Auto Wireless platform, requiring no cables to connect to the radio.
Google’s Patrick Brady told the audience, “Just last month JVC and Kenwood launched the first head units supporting Android Auto Wireless. We’re really excited about wireless and look forward to more partner launches in the months ahead,” he said.
Second, Google showed off new Android Auto features. Now you can simply ask Google Assistant to play a song and Android Auto will deliver it (or the closest match). It will also offer suggestions for similar songs. And there’s a new improved user interface with fewer steps to access other apps like Spotify and Pandora.
Google said the number of Android Auto users grew by 300 percent last year and the number of apps available through the platform grew by 200 percent. Waze, SiriusXM and PLEX were among the new apps joining the platform over the past year.
Additionally, Google announced car makers Volvo and Audi will offer the newest Android P, also known as Android 9.0 (just released to developers only) in their infotainment systems. Volvo Sensus vehicles will be able to access the Google Play store and Google Maps as well as Google Assistant directly through the dash.
OEM supplier Panasonic Automotive also announced a new infotainment system for car makers that will run on Android P.
JVC and Kenwood continue to be the only suppliers offering Android Auto Wireless. As we reported earlier, only Google phones will support Android Auto Wireless at present including the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Other phones are expected to work with the feature in the future.
Engadget reported Wednesday that “While Android 9.0 (or Android P) phones will be compatible with wireless Android Auto, Google is working with companies to to make 8.0 devices work as well.”
Google will maintain a compatibility list on its support page at https://support.google.com/androidauto
Kenwood radios that are compatible with Android Auto Wireless include the DNX995S and DDX9905S, DMX905S, DNX875S and DDX9705S. JVC compatible radios include the KW-V940BW at $699.95 and the mechless KW-M845BW at $599.95.