Good News for Android Auto As Another App Now Available for All Users

Gala Music mobile and car UI 15 photos
Photo: Gala Music
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The Android Auto and CarPlay app ecosystems have become much more appealing lately for software developers, especially as keeping users connected when they can't interact with their mobile devices is essential to maintaining (and growing) the user base.
The latest important name to step behind the wheel is Gala Music. The music platform announced Android Auto support this week, allowing users to listen to their favorite tunes in the car without looking at their phones.

Users could already listen to Gala Music content in the car by connecting a mobile phone to vehicle speakers, but thanks to Android Auto support, the app is now available on the infotainment screen. Users can control playback, discover new music, browse genres, and access their connections from the infotainment display.

The debut of Gala Music on Android Auto proves that Google's in-car experience isn't losing its customer and developer appeal despite the push for Android Automotive or native vehicle software platforms.

Google is also working on a major influx of apps on Android Auto thanks to a new project that would open the Google Play Store doors to its in-car experience.

The company announced at I/O this week that it'll start bringing apps built for larger screens to the cars. The process will include an automatic review of the apps published on the Google Play Store and software that can run on Android Auto, either when the vehicle is parked or, thanks to a driving-optimized experience, would be available on the screen when the phone is connected to the head unit.

Google has also unlocked new app categories on Android Auto, and the biggest release is undoubtedly the YouTube app. The search giant will allow video apps on Android Auto, and despite the company not specifically mentioning YouTube as one of the supported apps, its video platform will certainly debut in the car. YouTube is already available on Android Automotive, allowing users to watch videos when the vehicle is parked.

In addition to YouTube, Google will bring games and browsers to Android Auto as part of its app expansion strategy. Google Chrome and Vivaldi will likely be among the first browsers landing on Android Auto, letting users navigate the web from the infotainment screen. The experience will only be available when the car is parked, with the UI to lock automatically when the vehicle starts moving.

Google hasn't shared an ETA regarding the release date of all these apps, but all launches give Apple no option but to expand the CarPlay app ecosystem, too. Apple will hold its next developer event in June, so expect big news on the CarPlay front, including more cars getting the new-generation CarPlay and fresh apps joining the platform.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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