Google Officially Announces Android Auto Closed Testing Apps

Google wants more categories of apps on Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: Google
When it works, Android Auto is a super-helpful system for any driver out there, as it reduces the distraction when interacting with smart capabilities, such as navigation, music playback, or phone calls behind the wheel.
But until recently, Android Auto had one big problem: the platform came with a series of limitations that prevented third-party developers from bringing their apps in the car, thus forcing users to stick with the likes of Google Maps and Waze.

This is all changing now, as Google is opening up Android Auto to more categories of apps, including navigation, parking, and charging apps.

After launching the Android for Cars App Library in beta in October, the Mountain View-based search giant is making another big step towards the final goal of bringing an avalanche of new apps to Android Auto.

Starting this week, developers can publish apps to closed testing tracks in the Google Play Store, which means they can now get better feedback before the public launch.

Create a closed testing release to test pre-release versions of your app with a wider set of testers to gather more targeted feedback. Once you've tested with a smaller group of colleagues or trusted users, you can expand your test to an open release. On your Closed testing page, an alpha track will be available as your initial closed test. If needed, you can also create and name additional closed tracks,” Google explains.

In other words, with today’s update, developers can run beta tests for their apps right from the Google Play Store and thus control the entire program more effectively before launching open testing, allowing pretty much anyone to download the app.

While Google is making big changes in an attempt to bring more developers to Android Auto, up to this point, only a few confirmed such projects. Sygic is one of the first to take advantage of this update, as their navigation app is already in the beta stage with support for Android Auto.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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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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