Good Corporation introduced Android Auto back at Google I / O 2014, but it wasn't until May 2015 that the product first appeared in real cars when Hyundai added the OS to the Sonata.
If you look at Android Auto from 2015 and compare it with the current version, you will see very few differences – Google is rather slowly developing this platform, very rarely adding new features and improvements to it. On the other hand, this suggests that work is underway on the system, but at the same time, most users are greatly lacking some functions. Today we'll talk about the five most missing ones.
Your car probably has buttons that can control Android Auto. But what if you could add more? However, for now, modern motorists have to resort to using the touchscreen all the time, hoping that designers will add more buttons and knobs in new models that can interact with Auto.
If third-party accessory makers could release their own gadgets and accessories, then consumers would be able to place additional controls wherever they want. Technically, you don't need anything supernatural for this, just Bluetooth – an accessory.
Better integration into vehicles
To navigate inside Android Auto, touch buttons at the bottom of the screen are used – phone, home screen, navigation, and so on. A significant part of the right half of the screen is eaten up by a tab that could display information about the car. But in reality it cannot, since the launch of AA, this section contains only the function of switching to the standard multimedia system of your car. And with 100% probability on the central panel of your car there is already a separate physical button for that very switching, which automatically makes this functionality Android Auto completely useless.
It would be much more logical and convenient to view information on fuel consumption, tire pressure, the need for service and other similar things on this tab. Yes, the usability of Android Auto is far from ideal, but let's face it: 95% of car manufacturers have their own infotainment systems and have not been close to a product from Google.
The situation is twofold: on the one hand, who, if not Google, is to blame for the weak integration of its platform, on the other hand, all the major players in the automotive market are very careful about allowing third parties to access their vehicle data. It turns out to be a vicious circle – “some cannot, because others do not want to.” Personally, it seems to me that the first step should be taken by the company from Silicon Valley, having proved to the manufacturers that its system is sufficiently safe and user-friendly.
Using your phone as a keyboard
In most cases, voice input is quite a convenient solution – but clearly not when you are offered normal typing using the car's touchscreen. Google has already added the ability to control Auto via a smartphone, so why not let the driver enter the data they want (messages, destinations, search in the library, etc.) using the smartphone display?
Yes, most likely, for safety reasons, the developers would make this option active only when the car is stationary (for example, in a traffic jam or on a package), but this method would still increase the accuracy and speed of entering text information.
Messengers are one of two types of apps (the other being music, podcasts, and other audio apps) that support Android Auto. However, not everything is as smooth as we would like here: when you receive a notification about a new message, this notification is displayed on the home screen. At the moment, there is not even a rudimentary message history.
Now, if you have erased the notification or want to listen to it again, then you are out of luck – you will not be able to open the desired message via Android Auto in any way, it can only be found in the corresponding application on your smartphone.
Accordingly, trying to create a new post is often tedious and not worth the effort, since Google simply cannot figure out who you want to contact. There is a solution: the company needs to add a certain hub for messages to the system, which will collect information from all messengers, visually display and create new messages, making working with them as simple as dialing a number in a 'dialer'.
More convenient work with music
Android Auto can play the music you want by voice request. But the realization of this opportunity has suffered since the appearance of Android Auto on the market. Firstly, the main snag is that the voice recognition engine does not always understand complex words and spelling that it does not understand, and also reacts to words found in a search query that normally serve to activate certain functions (for example, “CALL on me ”or“ OPEN your eyes ”and other phrases from track titles and artist names).
The second problem stems from the first. Surely you might already think that Google cares about you and doesn't want you to type in the machine. In fact, Google does not want you to type in a moving car – in the same Maps, this scenario is played out as follows: you stand still, enter the name of the location you are interested in, and when you start, the keyboard disappears from the screen. Google, why not do the same for music apps?
Google has been talking about more extensive use of the Green Robot for years. The search giant installs its platform on millions of cars and this takes the level of responsibility to the next level, since a car is much more expensive, rare and long-term purchase than a mobile device. Therefore, the company cannot afford to make the mistake of trying to quickly break into an unknown market for itself, as was the case with tablets that have not won much recognition Android. The Auto project must continually improve, and fine-tuning the above five features can be a great start for global improvement.