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Android Auto

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First Jeep to support Android Auto will be the 2017 Compass

Android Auto has been getting onto more and more car manufacturers and the latest to join the fold is Jeep. An update to the Android Auto site has changed Jeep's state from "Coming Soon" to "Launched."

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Google Maps v9.49 beta adds a manual parking location tracker, weather indicator for mass transit navigation, and more [APK Download + Teardown]

It's always good to see useful new features in the apps we use often, and Google Maps rarely fails to bring something new with every update. The latest bump to v9.49 is no different. This release adds a few new toys for users to enjoy. There's a new capability to manually save your parking location so it's easier to get back to your car, weather predictions for your destinations while setting up navigation, and more. There's even a quick teardown that shows search results will soon support sorting.

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Mazda is gearing up to add Android Auto (and CarPlay) to its vehicle lineup

Even though it seems like it's slowed down since launch, Android Auto has picked up another car manufacturer to add to its repertoire. The latest is Mazda, which announced that it will be bringing both Auto and CarPlay to its vehicle lineup. 

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Android Auto page updated with 2017 Subaru Impreza listing... two months after the car's launch

Hey Android Auto team, you folks aren't asleep at the wheel over there, are you? Because the site with the comprehensive list of Android Auto-supported cars was just updated today to include the newest model of the Subaru Impreza. Which would be cool, except that the 2017 Impreza was announced with Android Auto support months ago, and new models rolled out to US car dealers way back in December. I hope that didn't cost Subaru any sales.

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BMW has no plans to add option for Android Auto to its cars


In an interview today with TechCrunch, Dieter May, Senior Vice President of Digital Services and Business Models, revealed that BMW has no current plans to integrate Android Auto into any of its cars. Instead, May prioritizes continued investment in ConnectedDrive, the brand's own platform of connected services.

Of course, this might all sound slightly hypocritical given that BMW already has several models with an option for Apple's CarPlay, or it may also be taken as a sign that the company may decide to drop support in the future once it feels satisfied with the quality of its own services. Apps for Automotive (A4A) is part of the ConnectedDrive platform and provides many of the same functionalities that are available on Android Auto, letting drivers connect and control their smartphones through BMW's own interface.

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In response to huge US traffic death surge, NHTSA proposing stricter in-vehicle smartphone guidelines

If you've been reading anything about traffic fatalities in the United States in the last year or so, you've probably heard that we're in the midst of a rather alarming increase in the number of people dying on American roads. In 2015, over 38,000 people were killed in vehicular incidents (this includes pedestrians, cyclists, solo crashes, and multi-vehicle accidents). That was an increase of 7.2% over 2014. 2016 is looking much worse yet, seeing a surge of around 10% over the already grim 2015 numbers. For comparison, the traffic death rate per 100 million vehicle miles is also way up, the worst it's been in seven years (i.e., this is not a simple result of more miles being driven).

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Sony XAV-AX100 Android Auto headunit available for pre-order

Android Auto is starting to pick up a little bit of steam, which is nice to see for us car audio nerds. Recently, Auto hit v2.0 which brought with it some changes, including an on-phone mode. For those of us who do not have a fancy new car that includes the smartphone connectivity, aftermarket headunits are our next best bet. That brings us to Sony's first dip into this particular arena, the XAV-AX100. Announced back in August, we only got some news about features. Well, now this bad boy is up for pre-order at $499.

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Android Auto integration with Facebook Messenger now available

Texting while driving can be extremely dangerous, but replying to messages with your voice is probably the safest way to do it. I've used Google Now (well, it's not called Now anymore) on my Nexus 5X countless times to send SMS and Hangouts messages while driving. Facebook today announced that the Facebook Messenger application for Android has added support for Android Auto.

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Android Auto v2.0 has a jump shortcut for lists in audio apps and prepares to add several new settings and a homescreen shortcut [APK Teardown + Download]

Android Auto v2.0 began rolling out earlier this week with a pretty significant redesign that made the driving mode part of the app's primary UI. There were quite a few changes to support the on-phone Auto simulator, including a fair number of new options like the ability to auto-launch with certain Bluetooth connections (and prevent that if it's still in a pocket).

While most of the new features are easy to discover when poking around in either the driving mode interface or in the couple of config screens, there's a new feature in the audio player that deserves to be called out on its own.

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Logitech's ZeroTouch car mounts re-purposed as Android Auto mounts, now available from Google Store

Some months ago, Logitech released a pair of car mounts called "ZeroTouch." At the time, I thought they were interesting, but ultimately not worth the high price. Now, this same hardware is back on the Google Store as an Android Auto mount. The price is still crazy, though.

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