Android Auto Opens Beta Testing Store
Google has begun offering beta tests for apps used by drivers with the new Android Auto beta program. Members will get to try out Android Auto apps and features before they officially roll out, including the voice-enabled aspects of the app.
Beta programs are a common tool for Google as it has so many irons in the fire that calling on the community of users can help keep track of and ensure that its features are functional. Android as an operating system has had a beta program for a long time, but it hasn’t not been extended to the car-based interactions of Android Auto until now. Those who sign up for the program and are approved will have similar early access to the apps and features of Android Auto that those in the standard version of the program do for the non-automotive version of the operating system. The feedback from those in the program will let Google fix any problems and improve future versions of Android Auto ahead of their public release.
“If you have an Android phone, you can join our beta tester program. In the program, you get early access to new features and updates in Android Auto before they’re released to the general public,” Google explained in the sign-up page for the program. “As a beta tester, you can help us build a better version of Android Auto. You can test how well new features work with your specific phone and vehicle in your part of the world. When you share your feedback, we’ll use it to help plan improvements for future releases.”
Android Auto Go
Google has been adding more to its car-based activities at an accelerated clip over the last year or so. In February, Google brought back Routines to Google Assistant on Android Auto after a two-year absence. The addition of shortcuts to Android Auto also boosted its capabilities by making the order of complicated but frequently used commands. more efficient. The addition of routines fit with the connection to the Samsung SmartThings app for Android Auto, a recent aspect of the new partnership between SmartThings and Google Nest. And they are part of the new Google Assistant Driving Mode, which has been testing large tiles like the shortcuts. Android Auto is not the native integration of Android Automotive, which Groupe PSA is installing in its cars starting in 2023, or as deep as Google’s Android Automotive OS, which Ford is also adding in 2023. The beta testing may help Android Auto stay out ahead of rivals even in cars that don’t make Google the center of their car AI.