Economy, Auto

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay About to Get Real

Google recently released a raft of updates to Android Auto.Google recently released a raft of updates to Android Auto.

Smartphone integration in cars -- specifically Android Auto and Apple CarPlay -- is finally past the tipping point of revolutionizing the in-car experience.

This means that instead of squinting at your phone and tapping when you should have your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, more cars will be able to access the stuff inside your personal Android phone or iPhone from the dashboard. For example, you can easily navigate to an address in your contacts list, and play music with your voice. You won’t be able to text with your hands, or -- perish the thought -- play games while you drive, CNet reported.

This amounts to a more convenient, safer, distraction-free way for drivers to use their phones.

Study after study shows that using your phone while behind the wheel is at least as dangerous as drunk driving, and maybe even more so. Even reading a text message while you drive takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds, according to findings. That’s long enough to get into a crash.

So far, roughly 30 manufacturers have signed on to support Apple CarPlay and more than 50 are backing Android Auto on cars coming out this year. (Many manufacturers already support both, a boon for families with both Android and iPhone users.)

After more than a decade of the automotive industry working toward this moment, the swell of support finally puts us at a point where compatibility will become the norm. It will change expectations about how you access content when you drive, and help make driving safer for everyone.

More cars on the road running Android Auto and Apple CarPlay means inevitable improvement for both platforms as Apple and Google make updates for a larger base of users.

Google is starting to make some changes, too. It recently released a raft of updates to Android Auto, including tweaks that allow use of the service even if you don’t have a compatible car. Apple, for the moment, is staying mum about updates to CarPlay, but surely has some enhancements on the cards.


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