Google’s Android is the most popular smartphone operating system in the world, and now the little green robot is coming for your car.
Hyundai has announced that its 2015 Sonata will be the first production vehicle in the world to come loaded with Google’s new Android Auto operating system.
Android Auto is a version of Google’s Android OS that runs exclusively in vehicles. The system was developed to provide you with easier access to your smartphone’s features, like music streaming, phone calls, and navigation, all on your car’s dashboard screen.
How does Android Auto work? It’s pretty simple actually. When you get into your Sonata, you connect your Android phone (it has to be running Android 5.0 Lollipop) to the car’s USB port. You’ll then be prompted to download the Android Auto companion app to your phone.
Once you download the app, you can start using the software.
If you already own a 2015 Sonata, don’t panic. Later this summer Hyundai will make the Android Auto update available via download through the automaker’s website. Once you download the software, you’ll have to load it onto a USB drive and insert that into your car’s USB port. The car will take care of the rest.
Android Auto’s apps are designed to look like standard Android apps to ensure you can easily identify them the fist time you use them. So the Maps app will feature the same icon as Google Maps, and the Music app will look like Google Music.
You’ll also be able to use third-party apps like Spotify, iHeartRadio, NPR, Skype and more. You won’t be able to visit websites or play games using the software.
Android Auto will eventually be landing on vehicles from automakers ranging from Audi to Volvo.
Of course, Google isn’t the only tech company invading the automotive industry. Apple’s CarPlay software is also coming to a several automakers, and will offer similar features. Like Android Auto, CarPlay sports the same design language as Apple’s iOS apps, to make sure using the service is as easy as possible.
We’ll be getting some time Hyundai’s new Sonata in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for our impressions.
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