Android Auto provides a cost-effective way of upgrading a car with a modern and connected in-car experience. It is compatible with most Android devices including budget phones, so no additional costly hardware is required. The platform is designed to prioritize safety and ease of use while driving, with Google Assistant integrated for voice commands. However, some safety limitations of the platform can be frustrating, causing users to switch to less modern options. While these limitations are necessary for safety, some restrictions seem unnecessary and counterproductive.
Planning an itinerary can be challenging with Android Auto’s less precise route planning options. Adding a stop along the way is also less user-friendly on the Android Auto interface as compared to the mobile app. Asking Google Assistant for a gas station only displays nearby locations, but not necessarily on your route, and browsing the map to select one is not an option. The driver is also prevented from asking a passenger for help when using this platform, unlike CarPlay which allows iPhone users to access Maps on the connected phone. Listening to music and podcasts can be confusing as well, as users must ask Google Assistant for their preferences. Entering an address is prohibited when driving, even if it is just a few letters. Google’s voice recognition system is useful, but it fails to work efficiently for complex street names or points of interest (especially outside the US). Messaging is also restricted, with no option to read an entire message while driving. Google limits interaction with messages while driving, posing a potential safety threat. Location sharing can be complex, with Android Auto’s feature requiring usage with Google Maps contacts only.
In conclusion, Android Auto is useful for upgrading an outdated car with an advanced in-car experience without breaking the bank. Safety features are evident, but some limitations might not be necessary, making it frustrating for users. Nonetheless, it remains an excellent option for drivers who prioritize safety and ease of use.