One More Google Maps Rival Is Coming to Android Auto

OsmAnd on Android 1 photo
Photo: Google Play Store
While Google Maps continues to be the preferred navigation app for most users, the Mountain View-based search giant has recently unlocked Android Auto to also allow for third-party alternatives, and several high-profile software companies have been in a rush to release the car-optimized experience.
So right now, Android Auto users can already choose from a series of Google Maps alternatives, some of which come with must-have features like hazard warnings and offline support.

And now, another Google Maps competitor has confirmed incoming support for Android Auto, with an update to supposed to bring this feature scheduled to go live this quarter.

It’s OsmAnd, a super-popular app providing offline navigation and a series of extras, with millions of people already using it on their mobile devices.

An earlier announcement reveals that OsmAnd is coming to Android Auto in the second quarter of the year, so in theory, we’re not very far from the moment this highly anticipated update is projected to finally go live.

No further specifics have been provided on the Android Auto version of OsmAnd, but expect the essential functionality to be there, including offline maps, turn-by-turn voice guidance, lane assist, speed limits, and dark mode.

In the meantime, Google blocking access to Android Auto for Google Maps alternatives for several years is causing legal trouble for the search giant. Italy’s competition watchdog has issued a hefty fine for Google after finding that the company offered Google Maps as the exclusive navigation app on Android Auto, therefore blocking third parties, including a local company, from rolling out similar products.

Earlier this year, however, Google unlocked Android Auto for third parties while also allowing for more categories of apps, including not only navigation solutions but also tools aimed at EV owners to get information on charging stations. Several such apps have already landed on Android Auto while others are currently in the works and expected in the coming months.
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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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