Apple and Google. They're the Michigan and Ohio State of the tech world. They're New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, Real Madrid and Barcelona, or whatever sports-based rivalry you want to cook up. Bottom line, if one company expands into a segment, it's only a matter of time before the other follows suit. And now, that rivalry is about to carry over to your car's dashboard.

Unnamed sources are reporting to Automotive News that Google will unveil its very own challenger to Apple's new CarPlay in-car operating system later this month at the Mountain View, CA company's annual developer conference. The system, allegedly called Google Auto Link, will be the first product to come from the Open Automotive Alliance, a partnership between Google, General Motors, Hyundai, Audi, Honda and hardware manufacturer NVIDIA.

The official announcement is expected to be made on either June 25 or 26, at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. Expect to hear a lot more about Google Auto Link then.


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  • 34 Comments
      fordskydog
      • 6 Months Ago
      YES! My only concern is: will I be able to get the OS I want in the car I want?
        John Hughan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @fordskydog
        Technically the only things EITHER of these systems should require from the car is a Bluetooth connection (for phone calls and voice control), an HDMI input for the video feed that the smartphone will be sending to the head unit's display, and a USB HID signal for the display's touch input to be sent back to the smartphone. If either Apple or Google is requiring more than that, I can't see any reason for it other than to force OEMs and aftermarket vendors to make themselves proprietary to one brand or the other -- which would be very unfortunate.
          John Hughan
          • 6 Months Ago
          @John Hughan
          Looks like that support was added in MHL 3.0, but good to know! However, this got me looking into CarPlay more, and it appears that CarPlay works over the regular Lightning to USB cable. So I'm guessing video output is compressed by the iOS device for transport over USB and then decompressed by the head unit before being sent to the display, similar to how USB video docking stations work for PCs. So as long as a single decompression chip can support both Apple and Google's implementations (or the head units are somehow fast enough to do the decompression in software), I'm thinking the prospects of interoperability are high. And being able to use regular old USB is a perk as well because it means cars don't have to have multiple cables installed to support the various platforms.
          Rick C.
          • 6 Months Ago
          @John Hughan
          HDMI? Do you intend to watch movies while driving? I don't think the local constabulary will look favorably upon that.
          Krondor
          • 6 Months Ago
          @John Hughan
          John, good posts. One update, however. MHL 2.0 supports touchscreen input, so as new devices adopt it the proprietary connector advantage is solved.
          fordskydog
          • 6 Months Ago
          @John Hughan
          I agree with you, that in they are requiring more to force you into one paradigm or the other. Don't think extension of your phone to your head unit. Think tablet in your dash rather than head unit. The head unit will run Android or iOS. I can see Google allowing Android apps that will communicate with the iOS head unit, but not the other way around. Anyway, all I've ever wanted from the hardware makers is hardware. I like to flash to a different os, like Cyonogen or many other user-rolled versions of Android. I can see there being a whole community of builders for car hardware.
      Neutral President
      • 6 Months Ago
      The #1 mobile malware platform… yeah, i want that in my car.
        NightFlight
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Neutral President
        You have to be an idiot to get malware on your phone.
      Will
      • 6 Months Ago
      Certain to be half-baked, last-minute ripoff of CarPlay. Our Lady of Perpetual Beta. At least Amazon is honest about copying Apple at every turn.
        NightFlight
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Will
        Is that why Apple has been copying just about every single feature that has been out on Android since 2.2?
        r3bman
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Will
        "Our Lady of Perpetual Beta" Funniest, and truest, thing I have read in a while.
      holysmoke.s
      • 6 Months Ago
      Of course they are. Google always releases an identical Apple product later.
        11fiveoh
        • 6 Months Ago
        @holysmoke.s
        Yeah, how dare them not let apple have even more of a monopoly. Seriously, competition is amazing. Look at apple coming out with larger iphones, do you not think that's because of the phablets other manufactures have had for years?
          Bernard
          • 6 Months Ago
          @11fiveoh
          @Will Oh no, another koolaid guzzler that thinks rounded corners deserves a patent from the one true source of all "innovation." /s
          NightFlight
          • 6 Months Ago
          @11fiveoh
          @ Will Completely false, and 100% incorrect. Care to spread some more FUD?
          Will
          • 6 Months Ago
          @11fiveoh
          Not really sure screen size requires any creativity. In Android phones it was basically a necessity to make bigger phones to pack a bigger battery because the OS is a power hog. I guess making crappy products helped them "innovate."
        EvilTollMan
        • 6 Months Ago
        @holysmoke.s
        Look at all of the upgrades for iOS 8, half of them are all features that already exist within android.
          NightFlight
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EvilTollMan
          .... and have existed for literally years. Apple has been playing catch-up ever since Android 2.2 was released.
          Will
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EvilTollMan
          And eventually people's old Android phones will break and they will get to see the new OS versions for theirselves if they are foolish enough to buy another fragmadroid pos.
          NightFlight
          • 6 Months Ago
          @EvilTollMan
          Will, you seriously have no idea of what you are talking about. None. Let me guess, the last Android device you used was running 1.5.
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 6 Months Ago
      I hope so. Google will have a more open platform that will allow different companies to design it to their taste and add their own features. Plus Google Maps won't direct you into a ravine like Apple Maps would.
      Hernan
      • 6 Months Ago
      My feeling is any automaker would be an idiot to 'pick a side' in the Android vs. iOS battle. They should support BOTH, or they're going to lose customers over a really stupid detail they have no control over.
      knightrider_6
      • 6 Months Ago
      So far Hyundai is the only automaker that offers Apple's Car Play and is also a member of Open Automotive Alliance.
      lasertekk
      • 6 Months Ago
      Will it track me? Will it treat me as a 'product', with my information for sale to the highest corporate bidder? Will I get bombarded by even more direct, targeted advertising? Will my privacy be infringed upon? If the answer to any of the above is 'yes', then my answer is NO.
      • 6 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      A Middle American
      • 6 Months Ago
      Just what we need. For our cars to work as badly as our smartphones. The sad part is, 5 years from now none of us will have a choice on whether to accept this crap. It'll be, either buy a low end econobox (where they can't afford to include it) or accept the full monty of big brother cludgeware express.
      Bernard
      • 6 Months Ago
      Will it come with a self driving feature? :-) Ok, ok, I know that's not ready yet, but I hope it's good.
      bakedpatato
      • 6 Months Ago
      Honestly I don't get the Open Automotive Alliance's thinking...put an entire Android operating system in a car just to get data from another Android device? well it's going to be a race to see who gets their system out first; I've seen Carplay devices demonstrated live in cars like the Spark EV and apparently the new Civic and Fit just need a software update for carplay.
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