Google releases Android Auto APIs for audio and messaging

BY Evan Selleck

Published 18 Nov 2014


At the end of June, Google officially unveiled Android Auto, the company’s attempt to extend Android into the automobile — and a directly competition to Apple’s CarPlay.

Now, several months later, Google has officially announced the release of Auto APIs for audio and messaging. As a result, these areas of the Android experience can now be extended to the in-dash units in some automobiles that support Android Auto, with an experience that is optimized for the new surroundings.

With these APIs, developers will be able to build their apps to extend into Auto-optimized versions that will not only work with the entertainment system inside the car, but also work with steering wheel buttons and more. Of course, this specific release is primarily meant for developers, especially those who have apps they believe would make a natural fit for the automobile.

For users, this means they simply connect their Android handheld to a compatible vehicle and begin utilizing a car-optimized Android experience that works with the car’s head unit display, steering wheel buttons, and more. For developers, the APIs and UX guidelines make it easy to provide a simple way for users to get the information they need while on the road. As an added bonus, the Android Auto APIs let developers easily extend their existing apps targeting Android 5.0 (API level 21) or higher to work in the car without having to worry about vehicle-specific hardware differences. This gives developers wide reach across manufacturers, model and regions, by just developing with one set of APIs and UX standards.

With these new APIs focused on audio and messaging, developers will be able to allow users to have their automobile read out text messages while they drive, so they don’t have to look down at their device to read what has come in. Users will also be able to send out voice replies. With the audio APIs, users will be able to interact with apps that launch music, podcasts and more with their voice.

Are you excited to try out Android Auto?

[via Android Developers]