Google’s Android Auto system has just been released in 18 new countries, nearly tripling the total number of places it’s available in to 29. The company announced the news in a flag emoji-filled tweet from its official Android account.
The complete list of new countries consists of India, Switzerland, Guatemala, Ecuador, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Austria, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Russia, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, and Peru. The more widespread accessibility should help Android Auto become more mainstream around the globe.
Notably, India is among the fastest growing auto markets in the world right now and additionally has a huge Android user base. Not all vehicles support Google’s smart car system of course, so that limits its reach to certain brands such as Volkswagen, Audi, Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and Hyundai.
As far as domestic manufacturers are concerned, Mahindra & Mahindra had announced that the XUV 500 and Scorpio would both support Android Auto. It plans to add more cars to the list in the future. Compatibility-wise, the software only works with handsets and tablets running 5.0 Lollipop and above.
Android Auto lets drivers connect their smartphone to their car and utilize various apps like Google Maps for convenient turn-by-turn navigation. It also allows drivers to issue voice commands, make calls and receive messages while driving.
Google recently rolled out version 1.6 of Android Auto, introducing some major changes. The update allows users to browse through their music collection without lockouts even when the car is stationary. It also improves phone-car connection reliability. The tool initially came out as Google’s answer to Apple’s CarPlay, with several common features between the two.
You can download version 1.6 of Android Auto via the Google Play Store.