Android Auto update, new developer tools and apps

AndridAutonewAndroid Auto has received an update and developers can now use a simulator called “The Desktop Head Unit. Android Auto allows Android smartphone users to connect Android Lollipop smartphones to the car’s head unit for music, messaging and maps, activated via voice control.

The Android Auto update to 1.2 has an improved home screen that allows for better at-a-glance viewing of ongoing activities such as music and navigation. It also includes bug fixes.

Colors of notifications make it easier to differentiate updates.There’s a new background image with a style like Google-Now. Playback controls match the gray of the Android Dialer. There is more space between the notification cards.

Android Auto does have some known issues there are problems with voice search on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy S4. Owners who are having trouble with voice search on these phones, may need to install security updates. Android Auto doesn’t start on the Moto G. Android Auto is working with Motorola on a solution.

The simulator for Android development has changed. The Desktop Head Unit (DHU) enables the Android development machine to emulate an Android Auto head unit, so developers can easily run and test Android Auto apps. The DHU runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux hosts and replaces previous Android Auto simulators, such as the Android Media Browser and Messaging simulators.

Android Auto allows the entertainment and messaging features to be accessed by developers. Apps currently in development for Android Auto are:

  • iHeart Radio.
  • JoyRide.
  • Kik.
  • Tunein.
  • Talkray.
  • icq.
  • Stitcher.
  • Pocket Casts.
  • Threema.
  • Skype.
  • Spotify.
  • textPlus.
  • Contacts+.
  • TextMe.
  • WhatsApp.
  • NPRone

Currently, Android Auto is available in aftermarket head units from Pioneer and Kenwood. The Hyundai Sonata is one of the first cars to be updated to Android Auto. Volkswagen offers vehicles with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. The Honda Accord will be the first Honda model with Android Auto. GM will bring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to most 2016 Chevrolet models.