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Android-Auto-1
Google has this morning kicked off their Android Auto initiative with avengance, announcing the arrrival of their Android Auto app in Google Play, as well as announcing the first Android Auto head units. The first head units will be from Pioneer, and the good news is that Australia is in the first wave of countries to receive the units.

Google first announced Android Auto back at Google I/O last year. The Android Auto protocol ‘casts’ information to the head unit which is displayed in a simplistic manner, designed to keep your eye on the road and have minimal interaction with the phone.

Pioneer is the first partner to have third-party units available, but Android Auto is expected to arrive in new cars over the next year or two, with over 20 car manufacturers including Ford, Mazda and more who signed on though the Open Automotive Alliance to supply cars with Android Auto running on their entertainment systems.

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Pioneer has three two head units which are Android Auto compatible in Australia: AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX, and AVH-4100NEX AVIC-F70DAB and AVH-X8750BT (Thanks Jeni). At this stage the Pioneer Australia website doesn’t list either of these units, but you can certainly view them on the Pioneer US site. Pricing for the head units – which can be purchased through Amazon in the US – ranges in price from US$700 – US$1400.

With hardware, you will of course need software and Google has launched the Android Auto official app on Google Play. The app is ready to install from Google Play and offers integrated navigation including turn-by-turn directions, hands free phone calls and messaging as well as obviously (for a car stereo) music playback, It also offers information and assistance.

One of the key features of Android Auto is the ability to communicate with Android Auto through the use of Voice Commands. Voice Commands are used to minimise the interaction with the stereo and phone – hence keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Outside the US, the success rate of voice commands is fairly hit and miss, but we look forward to seeing how well it works in practice.

We will be following up with Pioneer Australia this morning for further information on availability of Android Auto head units, so stay tuned.

Source: Google Play@androidPioneer Global Android Auto site.
    6 Comments
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    Jared Mayfield
    Jared Mayfield
    5 years ago

    Really disappointed I dropped $1200 on a Pioneer AVH-X8550BT which I used with a rooted phone to get screen mirroring. It work ok but its a pretty clunky set-up and I don’t want to root my nexus 6. I emailed Pioneer to see if they would update the firmware to make it compatible with android auto, of coarse they said this wasn’t going to happen. I don’t want to drop that much money again, you guys think someone a lot smarter than me would be able to get android auto on my older head unit?

    Phill Edwards
    Phill Edwards
    5 years ago

    Can the Auto app only be used with a head unit, or can you just use you mobile phone?

    Daniel Tyson
    Reply to  Phill Edwards
    5 years ago

    Installed it – there’s nothing in the app, the screenshots above are about it. Looks like you need the head unit.

    JeniSkunk
    JeniSkunk
    Reply to  Daniel Tyson
    5 years ago

    Dan, I’ve got a reply pending due to URL.
    Could you please check it?

    JeniSkunk
    JeniSkunk
    5 years ago

    According to the Pioneer Android Auto microsite, the models for Australia will be AVIC-F70DAB and AVH-X8750BT
    Links in my reply to this post.

    Duflez
    Duflez
    Reply to  JeniSkunk
    5 years ago

    Yep, this is correct. Pioneer in Australia are getting these units, not the US market NEX units. The AVH-X8750BT will be the first model, retail is $1,149 AUD. According to Facebook posts they are expecting units to start arriving any time now, they also indicating that the model will soon be on their website for full details and manual, etc.

    Seriously considering getting this unit installed in my car (well once Vodafone One M8 gets Lollipop and I can check that app installs from Play Store).