We have been tracking the development of Android Automotive OS since it was first previewed at Google I/O 2018. Android Automative takes Android Auto to the next level with a fully embedded Android Powered infotainment system in the car, including a version of the Google Play Store.
The big question has been, what apps will run on the platform? Being embedded in a car there are certain safety restructures (rightly so) for apps running on Android Automotive OS. Today thanks to the Volvo Polestar 2, which is basically my new dream car, we are getting a glimpse of what apps are going to make it.
Firstly and completely unsurprisingly we have both the Google Assistant and Google Maps, two essential elements for Android Automotive to be a success. Next of we have a range of media apps for enjoying podcasts, radio, audiobooks, and music.
- Podcast apps Castbox and Pocket Casts
- Library app Libby
- Radio apps iHeartRadio, Swedish Radio Play and NRK Radio
- Bauer Media Audio’s Magic Radio and Radioplayer apps
- Music and podcast app Spotify
Two glaring omissions from that list are clearly Google Play Music and YouTube Music. To say we’re befuddled that Google hasn’t put their own media streaming apps onto the platform is an understatement. We suspect it will just be an omission due to mentioning local favourites and we suspect Google will make YouTube Music a staple of the Android Automotive experience.
So how can other developers get onto Android Automotive OS? To make it easier to comply with international driver-distraction guidelines Google has provided media app templates, similar to how they have for Android Auto, for Android Automotive OS. Polestar is also releasing new developer emulation tools to make testing apps in development quicker and easier.
Overall we are very excited for the possibilities of Android Automotive OS, and for the Polestar 2 release as well, we think it’s important to tip our hat a little to Tesla who has undoubtedly put pressure on the market to make a vehicle like the Polestar 2 a reality.
Now to get in contact with Volvo Australia to wield our considerable influence and get the Polestar 2 to our shores.