Tag Archives: Android for cars

Bringing richer navigation, charging, parking apps to more Android Auto users

Posted by Madan Ankapura, Product Manager

Illustration of car interior with map, parking and gas symbols

Today, we are releasing the beta of Android for Cars App Library version 1.1. Your Android Auto apps using features that require Car App API level 2+ like map interactivity, vehicle’s hardware data, multiple-length text, long message and sign-in templates, can now be used in cars with Android Auto 6.7+ (which were previously limited to Desktop Head Unit only).

Two Android Auto GIF examples. Left GIF is 2GIS and right GIF is TomTom

With this announcement, we are also completing the transition to Jetpack and will no longer be accepting submissions built with the closed source library (com.google.android.libraries.car.app). If you haven’t already, we encourage you to migrate to the AndroidX library now.

For the entire list of changes in beta01, please see the release notes. To start building your app for the car, check out our updated developer documentation, car quality guidelines and design guidelines.

If you’re interested in joining our Early Access Program to get access to new features early in the future, please fill out this interest form. You can get started with the Android for Cars App Library today, by visiting g.co/androidforcars.

Accessing car hardware APIs in your app for cars

Posted by Madan Ankapura, Product Manager

Building on our effort to enable developers to create app experiences across navigation, parking, and charging apps via Android for Cars App Library as part of Jetpack, today we’re announcing the availability of CarHardwareManager APIs as part of version 1.1 alpha02 to get developer feedback.

CarHardwareManager can be used to query the vehicle’s hardware data, such as model and make, fuel levels and other sensors. Currently, this feature is only available for Android Auto 6.7+ in the open-testing channel. Testing this in a desktop environment requires a new version of the Desktop Head Unit which will be released separately. Stay tuned here for details on when the new version becomes available.

For the entire list of changes in alpha02, please see the release notes. To start building your app for the car, check out our updated developer documentation, car quality guidelines and design guidelines. These library features are available for testing only with the Desktop Head Unit. We will announce when these features are available to run in cars in the future.

In addition, if you are a developer of a parking app, you can now integrate with Google Assistant to enable users to talk to Google to open their favorite parking app and find parking while driving.

If you’re interested in joining our Early Access Program in the future, please fill out this interest form. You can get started with the Android for Cars App Library today, by visiting g.co/androidforcars.

Improve your app mileage with Android for Cars App library

Posted by Madan Ankapura, Product Manager

In April, we announced our first version of the Android for Cars App Library as part of Jetpack, reaching a milestone to let developers publish their navigation, parking, charging apps on the Google Play Store.

Today, we’re announcing that version 1.1 is in alpha, which brings the following features to developers:

  • Sign-in template - Allows users to sign in to your app directly from the car screen while parked.
  • Long Message template - Allows you to show long messages like terms of service to users as part of the setup flow while parked.
  • Multiple-length text - Different car screen sizes may show different amounts of text. We added an API you can use to specify multiple variants of a text string in select templates to fit different screen sizes.
  • Map Interactivity - You can now add capabilities such as zooming and panning to your navigation template.
Android for Cars App library

For the entire list of changes, please see the release notes. To start building your app for the car, check out our updated developer documentation, car quality guidelines and design guidelines.

These library features are available for testing only with the Desktop Head Unit. We will announce when these features are available to run in cars in the future.

If you’re interested in joining our Early Access Program in the future, please fill out this interest form. You can get started with the Android for Cars App Library today, by visiting g.co/androidforcars.

What’s new with Android for Cars

Posted by Mickey Kataria, Director of Product Management

For over a decade, Google has been committed to automotive, with a vision of creating a safe and seamless connected experience in every car. Developers like all of you are a crucial part of helping people stay connected while on the go. We’re seeing strong momentum across our in-car experiences, Android Auto and Android Automotive OS, and today, we’re excited to share the latest updates and opportunities to reach users in the car.

Check out our I/O session: What's new with Android for Cars

Android Auto

Android Auto, which allows users to connect their phone to their car display, now has over 100 million compatible cars on the road and is supported by nearly every major car manufacturer. Porsche is our newest partner and they will begin shipping Android Auto on new cars, starting this summer with the Porsche 911.

We’ve been working closely with car manufacturers to build an even better Android Auto experience by enabling wireless projection in more vehicles, extending availability to more countries, and continuing to launch new features, like integration into the instrument cluster. To see some of the newest Android Auto technology in the BMW iX, check out the video below.

Android Auto projecting to the cluster display in a BMW iX.

Android Automotive OS

Our newest in-car experience, Android Automotive OS with Google apps and services built-in, also has strong momentum. With this experience, the entire infotainment system is powered by Android and users can access Google Assistant, Google Maps, and more apps from Google Play directly from the car screen without relying on a phone. Cars from Polestar and Volvo, like the Polestar 2 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge, are already available to customers. And by the end of 2021, this experience will be available to order in more than 10 car models from Volvo, General Motors and Renault. You can get a sneak peek of this customized experience in the new GMC HUMMER EV below.

The all-electric GMC HUMMER EV infotainment features Android Automotive OS with Google built-in. Preproduction model shown. Actual production models may vary. Initial availability Fall 2021.

Developing new apps for cars

To support this growing ecosystem, we recently made the Android for Cars App Library available as part of Jetpack. It allows developers of navigation, EV charging and parking apps to bring their apps to Android Auto compatible cars. Many of these developers have already published their Android Auto apps to the Play Store and we’re now extending this library to also support Android Automotive OS, making it easy for you to build once and generate apps that are compatible with both platforms. We’re already working with Early Access Partners — including Parkwhiz, Plugshare, Sygic, ChargePoint, Flitsmeister, SpotHero and others — to bring apps in these categories to cars powered by Android Automotive OS.

Android for cars

PlugShare, an app for finding EV chargers, has used the Android for Cars App Library and Google Assistant App Actions to build for Android Auto.

We plan to expand to more app categories in the future, so if you’re interested in joining our Early Access Program, please fill out this interest form. You can also get started with the Android for Cars App Library today, by visiting g.co/androidforcars. Lastly, you can always get help from the developer community at Stack Overflow using the android-automotive and android-auto tags. We can’t wait to see what you build next!

Start Your Engines: Launch New Android Auto Apps to Production!

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In March, we published the Android for Cars App Library as part of Jetpack and most developers have already migrated their implementations to it! In addition to fantastic partner adoption, drivers have been enthusiastic about the new apps and our quality metrics have been positive.

Partner apps running on the Jetpack library (clockwise from upper left): T map, Chargepoint, Sygic, PlugShare, AmiGO, 2GIS, A Better Route Planner, and Flitsmeister

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that you can publish your Android Auto navigation, parking, and charging apps to production! We’ve been hard at work stabilizing the library, Android Auto, and the publishing process to reach this milestone. Publishing to production enables drivers to use your Android Auto app on their car screen without needing to sign up for a beta program. Here’s how:

Thank you for your collaboration and feedback on the Android for Cars App Library 1.0! One of the most common requests from Android Auto users has been for more categories of apps. Our goal with the library is to enable you to easily bring your app to 500+ models of Android Auto-compatible vehicles while meeting our app quality guidelines. The library abstracts away the complexities of screen form factors and input modes so you can focus on what makes your app shine.

Enabling navigation, parking, and charging apps in production is both a big step and the start of a much longer journey. We’re excited to see what you build and look forward to working together to deliver awesome in-car experiences.

Android Auto Apps Powered by Jetpack

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In January, we enabled the Google Play Store to accept open testing submissions of navigation, parking, and charging apps. It’s great to see many of you developing Android Auto apps and sending us feedback through the issue tracker. Thank you for helping us improve the platform so we deliver better in-car experiences together! Drivers have been sending positive feedback, too, as new apps launch to open testing, like Chargemap.

Chargemap in Android Auto

Today, we’ve reached the next milestone: the Android for Cars App Library is available in Jetpack as androidx.car.app 1.0.0-beta01! The move to Jetpack makes the library open source, gives you more visibility into our feature development, and provides API consistency with other Jetpack libraries. We’ve updated the developer guide and design guidelines to cover androidx.car.app. Test your app with Android Auto 6.1, or later, then you can publish your app to open testing in the Google Play Store. androidx.car.app includes all functionality of the closed source library (com.google.android.libraries.car), and then some! For example, we added a new GridTemplate, which is useful when users rely primarily on images to make their selections.

Examples of the new GridTemplate in androidx.car.app

On September 1, 2021, the closed source Android for Cars App Library (com.google.android.libraries.car.app) will no longer be available and the Google Play Store will not accept submissions that use com.google.android.libraries.car.app. Our development focus from now, including new features, is on androidx.car.app. We encourage you to migrate now and we’ve created a migration guide that makes it easy. Migration usually takes less than a day, in our experience with early access partners.

We’re working hard to stabilize androidx.car.app and prepare the Google Play Store for production submissions. Production submissions will require androidx.car.app and you can get your app ready by using it in open testing today.

Opening the Google Play Store for more car apps

Posted by Eric Bahna, Product Manager

In October, we published the Android for Cars App Library to beta so you could start bringing your navigation, parking, and charging apps to Android Auto. Thanks for sending your feedback with our issue tracker, so we know where to improve and clarify things. Now we’re ready to take the next step in delivering great in-car experiences.

Today, you can publish your apps to closed testing tracks in the Google Play Store. This is a great way to get feedback on how well your app meets the app quality guidelines, plus get your in-car experience in front of your first Android Auto users.

 Image of T map
Image of PlugShare
 Image of 2GIS

Three of our early access partners: T map, PlugShare,and 2GIS

We’re preparing the Play Store for open testing tracks soon. You can get your app ready today by publishing to closed testing. We’re eager to see what you’ve built!

11 Weeks of Android: Beyond phones

Posted by Product Leads for Android TV, Android for cars, Wear OS, and Chrome OS

Android

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. Each week we’re diving into a key area of Android so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted Android Beyond Phones; here’s a look at what you should know.

With Android, people can experience the apps and services that they love across many devices & surfaces. Beyond phones, Android offers distinct yet familiar experiences on devices of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the smallest smartwatch screens, to larger displays on foldables and Chromebooks, to in-car entertainment systems, and all the way up to the largest television screens. For the past 4 days, we featured a daily deep dive into each of these exciting form factors that are providing developers with new and growing ways to engage people. Read on for a recap.

Android TV

We kicked off the week with Android TV, which is now partnering with 7 of the top 10 OEMs and over 160 television operators across the globe. The Android TV team highlighted 6 upcoming launches, like instant app trials right from Google Play and an updated Gboard, to help developers acquire more users, more easily monetize, and build even more engaging experiences. Then, new resources were published to help developers build their first Android TV app, or even go deep on new integrations like Cast Connect and frictionless subscriptions. If you’re excited about developing for TV, pick up an ADT-3, learn the latest from the training pathway, and bring your Android app to the biggest screen in the home!

Android for Cars

We shared new ways to reach more drivers on Android for cars. Android Auto, which allows you to connect your phone to your car display, is currently available with nearly every major car manufacturer and is on track to reach 100 million cars. Soon, new app categories including navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging will be available and the experience for Android Auto users will become even more seamless as car manufacturers continue to add support for wireless connectivity. We also highlighted the launch of the first car powered by Android Automotive OS with Google apps and services built in — the Polestar 2. As more manufacturers ship cars with this embedded functionality, we’re making it even easier for developers to build media apps on Android Automotive OS with updated documentation and emulators. Get started today to bring your app to cars!

Large Screens

We covered large screens starting with the announcement of ChromeOS.dev — a dedicated resource for technical developers, designers, product managers, and business leaders. We’ve showcased our growth in device sales in Chrome OS, seeing Chromebook unit sales grew 127% year over year between March and June this year1, as well as some of the new features coming, such as customizable Linux Terminal and Android Emulator support. We’ve also continued to see growth in apps optimized for larger screen experiences, with over 1 million apps optimized for tablets and large screens available in the Google Play store. To help you develop the best-in-class apps for Chrome OS, foldables and tablets, we are continuing to release new features and updates. We released new design recommendations for your app as well as a few updates made in Android Studio. Check out the new sessions and some of the resurfaced content to learn more about bringing the best experiences to your users on these large-screen devices.

Wear OS

To round out the week, we talked about Wear OS where we are investing in the fundamentals with a focus on performance and faster app startup times, which you’ll see in the latest platform release coming in the fall. Wear OS will be launching updates to cornerstone features like Weather in the coming months, and is investing in helpful experiences, such as our recent hand-wash timer to help people maintain hand-hygiene in the Covid-19 pandemic. The team is working hard to bring the best of Android 11 to Wear OS.

Learning paths

Are you building your apps with different screen sizes and form factors in mind? Check out all the resources for Wear OS and Android for cars, and if you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week for Android TV and large screens, consider completing the pathway for each. These include codelabs, videos, articles and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz.

We hope that you found the Android Beyond Phones week useful, and we're excited to see all the great experiences that you'll build on these platforms!

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

Sources:
1 The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Notebook Computers, based on unit sales, April–June 2020 and March–June 2020​.

11 Weeks of Android: Beyond phones

Posted by Product Leads for Android TV, Android for cars, Wear OS, and Chrome OS

Android

This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. Each week we’re diving into a key area of Android so you don’t miss anything. This week, we spotlighted Android Beyond Phones; here’s a look at what you should know.

With Android, people can experience the apps and services that they love across many devices & surfaces. Beyond phones, Android offers distinct yet familiar experiences on devices of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the smallest smartwatch screens, to larger displays on foldables and Chromebooks, to in-car entertainment systems, and all the way up to the largest television screens. For the past 4 days, we featured a daily deep dive into each of these exciting form factors that are providing developers with new and growing ways to engage people. Read on for a recap.

Android TV

We kicked off the week with Android TV, which is now partnering with 7 of the top 10 OEMs and over 160 television operators across the globe. The Android TV team highlighted 6 upcoming launches, like instant app trials right from Google Play and an updated Gboard, to help developers acquire more users, more easily monetize, and build even more engaging experiences. Then, new resources were published to help developers build their first Android TV app, or even go deep on new integrations like Cast Connect and frictionless subscriptions. If you’re excited about developing for TV, pick up an ADT-3, learn the latest from the training pathway, and bring your Android app to the biggest screen in the home!

Android for Cars

We shared new ways to reach more drivers on Android for cars. Android Auto, which allows you to connect your phone to your car display, is currently available with nearly every major car manufacturer and is on track to reach 100 million cars. Soon, new app categories including navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging will be available and the experience for Android Auto users will become even more seamless as car manufacturers continue to add support for wireless connectivity. We also highlighted the launch of the first car powered by Android Automotive OS with Google apps and services built in — the Polestar 2. As more manufacturers ship cars with this embedded functionality, we’re making it even easier for developers to build media apps on Android Automotive OS with updated documentation and emulators. Get started today to bring your app to cars!

Large Screens

We covered large screens starting with the announcement of ChromeOS.dev — a dedicated resource for technical developers, designers, product managers, and business leaders. We’ve showcased our growth in device sales in Chrome OS, seeing Chromebook unit sales grew 127% year over year between March and June this year1, as well as some of the new features coming, such as customizable Linux Terminal and Android Emulator support. We’ve also continued to see growth in apps optimized for larger screen experiences, with over 1 million apps optimized for tablets and large screens available in the Google Play store. To help you develop the best-in-class apps for Chrome OS, foldables and tablets, we are continuing to release new features and updates. We released new design recommendations for your app as well as a few updates made in Android Studio. Check out the new sessions and some of the resurfaced content to learn more about bringing the best experiences to your users on these large-screen devices.

Wear OS

To round out the week, we talked about Wear OS where we are investing in the fundamentals with a focus on performance and faster app startup times, which you’ll see in the latest platform release coming in the fall. Wear OS will be launching updates to cornerstone features like Weather in the coming months, and is investing in helpful experiences, such as our recent hand-wash timer to help people maintain hand-hygiene in the Covid-19 pandemic. The team is working hard to bring the best of Android 11 to Wear OS.

Learning paths

Are you building your apps with different screen sizes and form factors in mind? Check out all the resources for Wear OS and Android for cars, and if you’re looking for an easy way to pick up the highlights of this week for Android TV and large screens, consider completing the pathway for each. These include codelabs, videos, articles and blog posts. A virtual badge is awarded to each user who passes the quiz.

We hope that you found the Android Beyond Phones week useful, and we're excited to see all the great experiences that you'll build on these platforms!

Resources

You can find the entire playlist of #11WeeksOfAndroid video content here, and learn more about each week here. We’ll continue to spotlight new areas each week, so keep an eye out and follow us on Twitter and YouTube. Thanks so much for letting us be a part of this experience with you!

Sources:
1 The NPD Group, Inc., U.S. Retail Tracking Service, Notebook Computers, based on unit sales, April–June 2020 and March–June 2020​.