Android Auto adds more streaming, gaming options


Key Takeaways

  • Google I/O focused on AI updates, showcasing Gemini integrations for Google services and more processing power for developers.
  • Android 15 took a backseat to AI at the conference, highlighting new features like Google Cast and Angry Birds for Android Auto.
  • Google is working to streamline app approval for Android Auto, introducing a tier-system to evaluate apps for in-car experiences.

Google held its annual developer conference yesterday, Google I/O, in Mountain View, Calif. and announced a flurry AI-related updates. We heard about Gemini integrations for just about every Google service, and increased processing power on the back-end for developers.


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Android 15 wasn’t the focus at all. Instead, it was AI, AI, AI.

For the Android faithful, however, the company kept us waiting until today to learn about what new features are coming to Android OS. Among them, we got some updates on Google’s innovative car infotainment system, Android Auto, which pairs seamlessly with Android devices and is supported by over 200 million vehicles on the road today, including nearly 40 models where Google comes built-in right off the line.


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What’s coming to Android Auto?

Google is adding more streaming options to select vehicles that already have Android Auto built-in by including Max and Peacock in the platform’s streaming lineup. Separately, Google ride-share drivers will soon get to enjoy the added functionality of the Uber Driver app running directly on the main screen of all Android Auto-paired vehicles.

This will allow drivers to see turn-by-turn directions on their car screen and accept delivery orders when driving for Uber Eats. Not wanting to be outdone by its competitors’ streaming integrations, Google has also added Google Cast to Android Auto, starting with Rivian and expanding to more models in the future. This will allow drivers to cast video directly to their screens when parked. Additionally, Google is adding Angry Birds to select vehicles with Google Built-In. Most of these updates are limited to select vehicles for now, with hopes of expanding to other models, particularly those with Google Built-In, in the future.

As part of the same update, Google has promised developers that it will work to streamline and accelerate apps that best fit their Android Auto environments. Google announced a tier-system it will use to evaluate apps that have the highest potential for Android Auto. This should make it easier for developers to get their apps through Google’s approval process and onto vehicle infotainment screens. This system categorizes apps into three tiers: Car Differentiated, Car Optimized, and Car Ready. The new tiers should help developers better understand Google’s best practices for in-car app experiences. The company will begin rolling out the new program in the coming months.


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Google seems determined to compete with the likes of Apple Car Play, or even compete on features with built-in infotainment systems like the one found on Teslas. According to Google, the ecosystem of apps for Android Auto has continued to grow over the past year, and the company clearly has high hopes for the future.

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