Android for Autos May Beat iOS to Become In-Car Standard

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It seemed like it’d only be a matter of time before Android had an answer to Apple’s “iOS in the Car” initiative, and indeed, Google is now joining up with auto manufacturer Audi to produce an in-car infotainment system based on Android.

That’s according to a new report from
The Wall Street Journal, which says that an announcement of the product will come at CES next week, and that the software will allow drivers to access a variety of apps and services similar to the ones you’d find on Android phones and tablets.

More specific details about what the software looks like, or what it’s called, are still hazy for now, but it appears that Google and Audi’s solution will differ from Apple’s iOS in the Car platform by having Android Apps run on a given car’s hardware, rather than by having you integrate your own device with the automobile.

iOS in the Car pairs up an iPhone with a car and lets you place calls, send texts, listen to music, and use Apple Maps through voice control, so it’s likely that the new Android platform will at least have similar functionality to that.

Apple has already announced partnerships with manufacturers like Honda, Nissan, Ferrari, Mercedes, Kia, Chevrolet, and others too, but the
WSJ says that Google and Audi will detail “collaborative efforts with other automotive and tech companies” as part of its CES announcement.

Google’s new partnership is not unexpected, as the company had recently noted that the automobile is one of its most desired new arenas for its Google Now software. Taken on a larger view, though, the move is yet another signifier of the larger battle for the automobile that’s emerging between tech companies.

Smart tech and more advanced infotainment systems have been popping up in new vehicles for years now — led partially by Ford and its Microsoft-powered ‘Sync’ platform — and everyone from Apple to Nokia to Nvidia have been seeking ways to nudge themselves into the market. With Android and iOS already duking it out on so many other devices, it seems only natural for Google and Apple to take their war to the road going forward.

The Wall Street Journal



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