Compared to most Android platforms, the in-car Android Auto platform seems pretty closed-off. And it’s for a good reason. Google was focused on high-quality experiences that were the most useful to drivers, without cluttering up the dashboard with too many icons.
Now the company is ready to unleash a wider array of app categories from third-party developers. Following an initial announcement last August, Google is now enabling devs to publish new apps to the Android Auto platform.
This will mean more navigation apps beyond Google Maps and Wyze as well as those geared towards parking and charging vehicles, some of which are already being published.
Early newcomers to the Play Store with Android Auto compatibility include T-map, Chargepoint, Sygic, PlugShare, AmiGO, 2GIS, A Better Route Planner, and Flitsmeister.
“Today, we’re thrilled to announce that you can publish your Android Auto navigation, parking, and charging apps to production! We’ve been hard at work stabilizing the library, Android Auto, and the publishing process to reach this milestone. Publishing to production enables drivers to use your Android Auto app on their car screen without needing to sign up for a beta program,” Google writes on the Android developers blog.
Related: Best Android phones
“Our goal with the library is to enable you to easily bring your app to 500+ models of Android Auto-compatible vehicles while meeting our app quality guidelines. The library abstracts away the complexities of screen form factors and input modes so you can focus on what makes your app shine.
“Enabling navigation, parking, and charging apps in production is both a big step and the start of a much longer journey. We’re excited to see what you build and look forward to working together to deliver awesome in-car experiences.”
We can expect more Android Auto-enabled apps to arrive in the coming weeks and months. Let us know your wish list @trustedreviews on Twitter.