5 issues Android Auto ought to study from CarPlay

Apple might have deserted its long-rumored electrical automotive mission, nevertheless it nonetheless wields appreciable affect within the automotive house. Most carmakers confer with CarPlay assist of their commercials. Whereas Android Auto continues to be prevalent, corporations exit of their solution to promote their compatibility with Apple’s {hardware} — even in vehicles operating on Android Automotive.



Apple beat Google to launching an in-car mode and has remained forward of Android Auto in some methods. Extra lately, nonetheless, Android Auto has matured into an ideal competitor and is now on par with Apple CarPlay in most methods.

There are many instruments that Android Auto bests CarPlay at its personal recreation, however there are additionally just a few issues that Google can study from Apple — stuff you won’t even know are lacking from the Android facet. Listed below are the very best elements of Apple CarPlay that we wish to see on Android Auto.

1 Ease of use is the whole lot when driving

Nirave Gondhia

Android Auto may be supply a extra succesful UI, however whenever you’re really engaged with the act of driving, Apple’s implementation takes the cake. CarPlay is a less complicated expertise that acknowledges why, when, and the place you employ it — and, extra particularly, when you do not. Every part is designed to be intuitive and straightforward to make use of in order that it doesn’t detract out of your major accountability: secure driving.

Android Auto is, in my eyes, much more advanced and requires you to concentrate to the display, not the highway, probably contributing to the platform’s contact restrict that forces you to attend a number of seconds earlier than persevering with. Coupled with smaller, harder-to-press buttons, it’s tougher to do easy issues like flip off voice prompts when navigating or opening a brand new media app. Sure, you shouldn’t be utilizing a display in each circumstances, however neither Siri nor Google Assistant is highly effective sufficient to declare the show out of date.

Nirave Gondhia

Android Auto gives much more customization for customers, and there are lots of advantages to this, however there are additionally appreciable downsides. For instance, Spotify on Samsung telephones typically will not present in Android Auto until you allow developer choices, which occurred on my Galaxy S24 Extremely. It took me a number of minutes of sitting in a parked automotive to troubleshoot, so I can solely think about common clients will probably be vastly annoyed when the largest music service would not seem of their automotive when utilizing the most well-liked model of telephones.

2 Simplified UX and fewer distractions

One in every of these duties I typically carry out is switching between the totally different voice alert modes whereas navigating. For probably the most half, I do know the place I’m going, however typically, it is advisable to detour or go someplace new. I discover voice alerts annoying as they interrupt you, however they’re helpful when on unfamiliar roads. When you’ve reached or are on acquainted roads, chances are you’ll wish to flip it off, which requires reaching for the on-screen buttons.

This may be private expertise, however I discover CarPlay to be extra intuitive, sooner, and fewer distracting than Android Auto. There are fewer buttons to distract you and a easy grid-like UI that scales to assist 1, 2, or 3 lively objects, all of which feels extra peaceable and fewer visually busy. Android Auto has a number of buttons you possibly can press, a number of home windows that scale in another way for various apps, and the choice to press many extra buttons. Granted, Android Auto does a lot greater than CarPlay, however that is not what I am after within the automotive. Extra buttons and widgets means you must take a look at the display — and away from the highway — for longer.

Android on telephones, tablets, and within the automotive all observe an analogous expertise to offer continuity, whereas Apple designs interfaces and experiences with the use case in thoughts. CarPlay does far lower than Android Auto, however because it’s within the automotive, I discover it more practical when driving. Want to vary a setting? It is pretty easy in CarPlay, whereas Android Auto is a minefield, very similar to Android’s settings menu as a complete.


15 greatest Android Auto apps in 2024

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It is not simply Android Auto the place Google wants to enhance its focus. The corporate introduced this month that it’ll deliver the power to solid to the middle display in vehicles operating the Android Automotive platform, beginning with the Rivian. That is designed for when the automotive is charging, or probably for the opposite screens within the automotive, nevertheless it factors extra to Google’s method: the middle display is simply one other display, whereas with CarPlay, the middle display is a automotive display. It’s going to in all probability solely take days for the display to be modded so you possibly can solid whereas driving, elevating the opportunity of unintended penalties from a seemingly considerate characteristic.

Google should acknowledge {that a} show operating Android in a automotive differs from a show operating Android exterior the automotive and construct really significant experiences designed for the automotive.

3 Fast screenshots, for troubleshooting and past

A screenshot captured of the maps screen on Apple CarPlay

Google’s whole automotive OS, Android Automotive, and the subsequent era of CarPlay are designed to let Google or Apple construct the platform that powers the automotive. Successfully, they turn into your entire OS, whereas proper now, you have got Android Auto or CarPlay operating on high of the automotive maker’s personal UX.

Though some automotive makers are pulling away from the concept, that is nonetheless the designated finish purpose for each corporations and is probably going inevitable. When this occurs, there will probably be a reasonably large studying curve for a lot of common customers, and Android Auto wants to make sure a easy solution to seize what’s taking place.

We’ve been conditioned to take a screenshot on a cellphone to display an issue. How do you do that in a automotive? Apple CarPlay makes this simple utilizing the identical keyboard button combo you employ on the cellphone. Android Auto screenshots require going by means of varied settings in your cellphone, so you possibly can’t do it whereas driving. Google ought to straight-up copy Apple right here; there’s no have to reinvent the wheel.

4 Broader assist for wi-fi Android Auto

Nirave Gondhia

It took carmakers many extra years to introduce Android Auto assist than it did for Apple CarPlay. The latter was met with some resistance from automakers, whereas the early years of Android Auto noticed plenty of uncertainty and a scarcity of assist for a lot of well-liked vehicles.

Issues have improved, however there are nonetheless areas the place Android Auto assist looks like an afterthought. One in every of these is wi-fi Android Auto assist, and there are lots of examples of vehicles — even newer makes and fashions — that don’t assist it.


Android Auto vs. CarPlay: Which is healthier?

Must you preserve an iPhone in your automotive?

The longer it takes for native wi-fi Android Auto assist to turn into normal, the longer it is going to take earlier than it’s ubiquitous; for now, older vehicles that don’t assist Android Auto will proceed for use for a few years. Granted, third-party wi-fi adapters can be found for each platforms that make this a moot level, nevertheless it’s value contemplating when shopping for an older automotive.

5 Higher machine integration

Nirave Gondhia

One of many greatest advantages of Apple controlling the {hardware} and software program is that issues work rather a lot smoother. Google doesn’t have that profit with Android Auto, and it has to assist plenty of totally different {hardware} profiles, nevertheless it must take a lesson out of Apple’s playbook.

In the event you swap between telephones from totally different producers, you get an analogous expertise, however every cellphone maker has carried out Android Auto in another way. Equally, nearly all USB-C or Lightning cables work for Apple CarPlay, whereas Android Auto is especially finicky in regards to the cable you employ. The on-screen expertise is comparable, however even then, little nuances come right down to ease of use.

There are additionally frequent disconnects for those who transfer the cable, e.g., when going over a pace bump, telephones will ceaselessly disconnect from Android Auto (wi-fi or in any other case), and typically they will not join. I’ve but to have an iPhone that did not ultimately work with Apple CarPlay, however I’ve had a number of Android telephones from varied makers the place Android Auto will not work reliably for seemingly no motive — and primarily based on Redditcomplaints, I am not alone.


Android Auto vs. Android Automotive vs. Google Automotive Companies (GAS)

Google’s car-friendly providers could be complicated. Let’s break them down

Regardless of Apple’s many faults, in my expertise it’s nailed the general reliability of CarPlay for each carmakers and the bulk clients. There are at all times issues and nuances the place issues don’t work proper, however Android Auto has rather more room to enhance.

The way forward for the highway is AI-powered — and hopefully, a complete lot safer

The Google I/O logo seen on Google's campus.

It’s unclear the place Google and Apple plan to make use of AI within the automotive. We’ll probably hear extra from Apple after it unveils its new platforms at WWDC subsequent month.

Google hosted its Google I/O developer convention earlier this month. Whereas it was all about Gemini AI, there have been just a few tweaks to Android Auto, together with native assist for the Uber app (making it straightforward for drivers to entry this from the middle display) and the aforementioned Solid characteristic for Android Automotive. A brand new automotive app high quality tier was additionally launched to assist builders consider their assist for vehicles primarily based on every tier.

It is unclear what else Google has deliberate for Android Auto, however I hope Google does heed the above recommendation. Whereas lots of its new and present options are designed for passengers within the automotive, they take away from the first person: the motive force. Android Auto must be much less distracting to make sure the motive force can focus on the highway. Then, it will be on par — and in some ways higher — than Apple CarPlay.

Nirave is a creator, evangelist, and founding father of Home of Tech, which covers the very best well being and know-how merchandise. Following a coronary heart assault on the age of 33, he’s been centered on the impression of know-how in serving to us dwell longer, extra fruitful, and happier lives. Comply with him on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for extra updates on his journey. Learn his publication on the Impression of Expertise at impression.scorching.tech.

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