Google will be releasing Android Auto 2.0 for any phone running Android 5.0 or newer. The update will allow users to run Android Auto on their phone rather than through an infotainment screen. Simply put, you can run Android Auto in any vehicle, no matter the age, as long as you have an Android 5.0 or newer phone. Even better, if you have a vehicle that has Bluetooth audio, the updated app has a setting to automatically switch to Android Auto when connected.
One of the biggest benefits of Android Auto is the way it integrates with the apps you use every day. That means Google Maps, Messenger, Pocket Casts, and hundreds of others are all controllable through the app. While it won't be available at launch, Google stated that it is working on "Ok Google" voice integration so you can control the app without taking your eyes off the road.
We at Autoblog are big fans of both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Both were finalists for our 2016 Technology of the Year award. Apple won out, but we were still very impressed by Google's product. We've been looking forward to this update to Android Auto since it was announced. If it had come out last year, we might have had a different Tech of the Year winner on our hands.