Google's car infotainment system gets new apps to download to your smartphone and new features: here are what they are
Android Auto is Google's car infotainment system that was born in 2014 and year after year continues to evolve. After a long wait, new apps for use with Android Auto systems have finally arrived in the Play Store, including new navigators in addition to Google Maps and Waze, such as TomTom AmiGO.
In addition to the new apps, the Mountain View giant is also working on new features for its platform, starting with the "split screen," that is, the ability to use and view two apps side-by-side on the display at the same time. Among the new features also the ability to change the background of Android Auto, along with the arrival of shortcuts on the home screen to insert quick links to contacts and actions for greater customization using Google Assistant voice commands. The features are in the roll out phase and are not yet available to everyone, but after testing they will be released with the next updates.
Android Auto: what are the new apps
The Android Auto library expands thanks to the arrival of new apps for smartphones that can then be transferred to your car's infotainment display. The apps concern navigation, electric vehicle charging and the search for parking areas. In the Google Play Store it will be possible to find alternative navigation apps to Google Maps and Waze, including TomTom AmiGO, offline navigation apps such as Sygic and 2GIS, Flitmeister for truck drivers, Mapfactor and T-Map.
A Better Routeplanner offers a route planning service for electric vehicles, while ChargePoint provides useful information on electric vehicle charging stations. Another database for charging stations is PlugShare, which allows you to locate the more than 300,000 census hubs of the major networks, as well as filter by charger type, distance from the car and immediate availability of charging.
Wallpapers, Shortcuts and Games
New features include the arrival of customizable wallpapers for Android Auto, which each driver can set to their liking. In addition, from the home screen you can set useful shortcuts to quick links, or actions of Google Assistant, which can also be used to launch quiz games activated by voice. There's also the long-awaited split screen feature that will allow you to split the screen and use two apps at the same time: 70% of the screen is for the main app, while 30% is for the secondary app, and the two are interchangeable with a swipe.
New Android Auto apps: how to download them
Not all users can yet benefit from the new features and apps for Android Auto, which are still being rolled out. For now, only some users who have the latest updated version of Android Auto will be able to use the split screen and wallpaper switching, which will then be extended to all users when the trial is over.