Car As Media Channel: Google Announces Android Auto

Car innovation does not keep up with the rapidity we expect from mobile or PC developments. What has largely been plaguing the auto space has been a lack of cooperation as each car manufacturer creates their proprietary technology, not to mention their 3+ year development cycles. Take Ford Sync for example, which has a custom app platform where developers can only create apps for new Ford vehicles. If that developer tries to iterate for another manufacturer, they have to start over. For real innovation to take place, their needs to be a standard operating system in the car.

Enter Android Auto, announced this week at Googe I/O which looks to power the infotainment systems across 40 car manufacturers including Honda, Hyundai, Volvo and more. Similar to Apple’s Carplay it works by plugging your phone into the car console which then displays it on the center display. Interestingly enough, the apps are all voice-controlled and glanceable to address safety concerns. The result brings more media into the car and improves utility like better navigation, location recommendations and more. The mobile component makes Android Auto current as app updates will be reflected in the car.

Google Rolls Out App Indexing To All

Google Play is now letting developers appropriately index the content within apps so they can be integrated into Google Search. Google can now search within apps, including deep links to the content within the application. For instance, a search for a recipe might yield results to a cooking site as well as a deep link to a recipe within the Epicurious app. Expect this to increase discoverability and have search lead to deeper app engagement.

According to Google: “App Indexing helps you drive usage of your app through Google. Deep links to your app appear in Google Search results on Android so users can get to your native mobile experience quickly and easily.”

Google To Launch Streaming Service

Google has announced a streaming music service called Google Play Music All Access built on top of their Play store. Let’s just say it contains all the features of Spotify–mobile and desktop access, a recommendation engine and social integration–with one major exception. Unlike most of Google products, Google Music will be $9.99 per month. iTunes is expected to launch their streaming service this year so expect the space to get cluttered pretty quickly.