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OPLIN 4Cast #658: Android Auto refresh, but a surcharge for Apple Carplay

Posted in 4cast, Apple, cars, and Voice-activated assistants

I’m probably getting a reputation among library digital content vendors as the guy who keeps complaining how difficult their apps are to use in the car. But the fact is, a couple years ago, Ohio increased penalties for distracted driving—not just texting, but any activity that takes your attention away from the road. I don’t want points on my driver’s license (to say nothing of the fine) because I can’t make my audiobook skip back a few seconds to catch something I missed.

A recent study by MIT found that, indeed, the problem is where you’re looking, not how many things you’re thinking about. The solution is to minimize the need to look away: to simplify the interfaces of navigation apps, media controls, and the like, and to increase the number of functions that can be controlled easily by voice command. Just in time, Android is rolling out the first major update to Android Auto. But are car manufacturers putting up barriers?

  • This is the new Android Auto [Android Authority] “A new navigation bar will dynamically display media to accent what you’re currently doing. If you’re navigating, the navbar will show media and phone controls. If you’ve got the podcast launcher open for a larger view, the navbar will show basic turns and directions. This new navigation bar should help you navigate safer and more effectively.”
  • Google’s new version of Android Auto focuses on Assistant [TechCrunch] “Android Auto, which launched in 2015, is not an operating system. It’s a secondary interface — or HMI layer — that sits on top of an operating system and brings the look and feel of a smartphone to the vehicle’s central screen. Rival Apple introduced its own in-car platform, Apple CarPlay, that same year.”
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: Where Are They Now? [] “The connection needs in-vehicle Wi-Fi, as Bluetooth alone isn’t robust enough. The latter enables phone calls or streaming music, but it ultimately supports relatively little data. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto need a hardier connection — the impetus behind a physical cable in the first place, which both systems required at inception.”
  • BMW Wants You to Pay an Annual Fee to Access Apple CarPlay [Jalopnik] “You can pay a lump sum when you get the car, which amounts to 20 years of Apple CarPlay connectivity for $300, or you’re stuck paying $80 per year for the time you own the car. The first year of CarPlay use is included free of charge.”

From the Ohio Web Library: