Sunday , December 16 2018 Ausdroid » Tech on the Road » Android Auto arrives in Google Play as Pioneer announces Android Auto head units arriving in Australia

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, @android, and Pioneer Global Android Auto site.

Daniel Tyson   Ausdroid's Editor in Chief

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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Jared Mayfield
Ausdroid Reader

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
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Phill Edwards

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

JeniSkunk
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JeniSkunk

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.

Ben Williams
Ausdroid Reader

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).

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