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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Android Auto Developer Documents Reveal More Interface And Third-Party App Info

The last few weeks has been flooded with Apple CarPlay news. The software became available to the masses through Pioneer's head units last month and has been received with positive feedback for the most part.

The biggest CarPlay competitor will be Android Auto. Google's technology is aimed at doing what CarPlay does in your vehicle but on the Android platform. Several automakers and tech companies are on-board with Android Auto which is expected to arrive sometime in 2015.

Although few details of the software are available at the moment, Google has recently released new documentation on its developer website which gives an insight as to how the Android Auto interface will be designed and how developers will be able to integrate the technology into their apps. More details are after the break.

1. Interface: App developers won't be able to design their own interface for their apps in Android Auto. Instead, a fix topography will exist which will be customizable only to the extent of changing colors of buttons, button functions and text.

The button layout cannot be changed by developers. Things like moving the buttons around, changing the size, or even adding additional interfaces will not be possible. "Night Mode" will be available for all apps where the interface turns dark.

These limitations make Android Auto sound like anything but "Android" but Google seems to be concerned about safety while driving. Hence the standardized user interface. According to the company, "Android Auto provides you with a standard UI designed to minimize driver distraction."

2. Apps: There won't be any special apps designed only for Android Auto, instead developers will have to add Android Auto compatibility to their existing apps. It is the same way Android Wear works for wearables.

3. Notifications: The Android Auto platform will integrate with existing Android APIs for notifications. Users will get car appropriate notifications from Android apps on the vehicle's screen.

4. SDK: According to Google, the Android Auto Software Development Kit (SDK) will be available in the next few months.

You can read the entire document published by Google on their Android Auto Developer page.

Source: Google

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