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Android Automotive gets its 38th app: Waze

Android Automotive gets its 38th app: Waze
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Waze for Android Automotive.
expand / Waze for Android Automotive.

waze

Google’s other The great navigation app Waze is coming to Android Automotive. Today the company announced its move waze blog“New exclusive Waze app for cars brings Waze’s best real-time navigation, routing and alerting features[s] directly on the screen of the car. You can experience safer and more comfortable journeys while avoiding the hassle of using a smartphone while driving.

Google has two different car products with really confusing brands. The first is Android Auto. This is the Google version of CarPlay, an app that runs on your phone but projects a custom car interface onto your car’s dashboard display, showing Google Maps and compatible Android Auto apps on your phone. Waze was on Android Auto since 2017. Today’s announcement is for Android automotive, It’s a different product than Android Auto. Automotive, its fully revealed version, and a full operating system Instead of an app, Cars has infotainment computers and Android Automotive OS (AAOS) runs Android in the car. Even if you have an iPhone in your pocket, your car will run Android on the car’s onboard computer rather than Linux or something like QNX. AAOS has a car version of the Play Store where you can download apps directly to your car, and that’s the platform Waze comes from. Android Automotive is pretty rare in the world, but you’ll mostly see it in new Volvo/Polestar, Ford and GM cars. Sometimes Google or car manufacturers refer to AAOS as “cars with Google built in”.

The application situation in Android Automotive is tough. In-car infotainment systems are heavily regulated to the point that every app and individual interface must be vetted by regulatory bodies around the world due to safety concerns. This is incredibly difficult, expensive and time consuming for app developers; this is a big reason why Android Automotive currently only has 37 apps. You can see full list here. AAOS only allows media and navigation apps, and even media apps don’t have a dedicated interface; you simply connect your own branding and audio stream to Google’s interface, which eases the editing burden but limits what apps can do.

Waze’s car app is very similar to the phone app, but larger with the all-important report button and tons of icons detailing user reports for police, construction, and other road hazards. “Is it still there?” prompt asks the user to confirm that a previously reported threat is still active.

Although Waze has created an app for Google’s car operating system, it’s currently limiting its rollout to certain vehicles. The company says the app is exclusive to “new Renault Austral Hybrid and Renault Megane E-Tech electric vehicles in Europe.” The awkward launch may be related to all these regulatory issues car apps have to deal with, and Waze says it will bring the new app to “more users worldwide in 2023.”

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