Android Automotive adds Chrome app, Android Auto gets deeper EV integration

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In addition to updates for phones, tablets, and TVs, Google has a number of Android Auto and Automotive announcements at CES 2024, including a Chrome app.

Android Auto is getting deeper integration wherein electric vehicles can share real-time battery information with Google Maps. This will let the navigation app show “estimated battery level upon arrival at your destination.”

It can also be used to suggest charging stops and estimate how long charging will take for your car. This is coming first to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning over the “coming months.”

On the Android Automotive front, a notable feature will let you send trips planned on your phone to the Google Maps app available on the car display. When looking at directions on Android or iOS, there will be a “Send to car” option next to the usual “Start” button. In your vehicle, this route will be marked as “Sent from phone.” This is rolling out starting today.

Google is bringing a Chrome app to Android Automotive that will be available when your vehicle is parked. It’s basically the browser’s Android tablet UI with a tap strip at the top and a familiar New Tab Page, as well as synced bookmarks. This is rolling out in beta to select Polestar and Volvo cars starting today. It will see wider availability later this year.

Other new apps include PBS Kids and Crunchyroll.

This year, expect to see Cars with Google built-in from Nissan, Ford, and Lincoln, with Google also touting Porsche “in the future.”

Meanwhile, Android’s digital car key support is “rolling out to select Volvo cars soon and to
even more phone and car brands in the future.” Google showed off being able to “unlock, lock and start your car.”

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