How Google and Apple are getting into the automobile industry, and what is coming for app developers.
Technology inside the car is not a new trend. During the last years, several car manufacturers had tried to add new features in order to improve the driver’s experience. Google and Apple have realized that maybe they could bring their most known operating systems to the car. They are called “Apple CarPlay” and “Android Auto”. And here it is a new world of opportunities to app developers.
A new era of technologies
While Android and iOS are trying to lead the mobile industry, other new devices are coming, known as “wearables”. These new devices are focused on improving the quality of life through technology and as cars are in our life, they are also included. So this article is not about “smartwatches”, but cars’ new operating systems.
Most of people are familiar with Android and iOS experience so, why do not try to bring these experiences to the car?
Cars and technology
Cars mean technology. Every automobile company invests great amounts of money in technology. They are investing in safety, performance and user experience, among others. The user experience can be also interpreted as safety, so a great operating system can significantly improve the experience of driving a car.
Nowadays, car users tend to connect their smartphones to their cars in order to use some useful apps that they use everyday. But it is still a smartphone connected to a car. What if we could use a native car app which was specifically developed for cars? Of course it would be great, as it was conceived only for this purpose.
Android Auto, the right information for the road ahead.
Google’s Android Auto is conceived to be another part of the Android enterprise. It takes the same interface and connects to other Android devices. That means that can connect with the 84.7% of the smartphones in the world. The principles of Android Auto are “Extending Android to Cars”, “Build for one platform” and “Minimize distraction”.
Right now, they offer maps, music, voice and many other apps. They have announced in their website the new SDK (Software Development Kit) for Android Auto. Any user with a compatible vehicle and a smartphone with Android 5.0 or higher is ready to use the adapted apps for this system. There is no limitation when you imagine what an app can do inside a car. Google wants to make it easy for developers and they make the integration easier as ever.
As for the car manufacturers, the list is increasing every day and now they are 28. VW, Audi, Fiat or Ford are some of the names.
The best iPhone experience on four wheels.
Apple wants to make their product as an extension of their most popular device, the iPhone. CarPlay will display maps, play music and interact with Siri. They just want to make the driving easier and safer. This means that currently there is a SDK but it is not open for all the developers, so if someone has an app idea, the only way to start the development is to send the proposal to Apple and be accepted. Only few apps are available and the certification control will be tougher than in the normal app store for iOS. Many sources point that there will be a special certification for CarPlay apps.
The number of car brands with Apple CarPlay is also increasing and right now the list grows to 29.
Both Google and Apple are aware of the possible distractions when driving. In order to prevent accidents, they have decide to establish a set of restrictions to apps. In case of Apple, the restrictions are even tougher as only accepted ideas will be able to carry out.
New opportunities for developers
And here is where the developers come into play. We can adapt to the car the apps which are already at the app stores or create new ones and make driving easier and more comfortable. Now is possible to make real any idea comes to mind when driving. The future of the automobile is coming and there is no doubt that the apps will be there.
Can I bring my own app to the car?
Google plans to make it really easy. They said “easily extend your existing apps to work in the car” and they promise to release a new SDK for this purpose in the next months. Of course, it won’t be possible to bring the same app with the same whole features, but we will be able to adapt these apps to get a better experience when driving.
On the other hand, Apple also has a SDK but it is not going to be as easy as Android Auto. Apple will apply a double validation process for the CarPlay apps. Right now, only approved ideas are able to begin with the development, so we will have to wait until Apple decides to make it open to the public. No doubt we will be there.
Current apps on the market
Both platforms have iHeartRadio, Spotify and AtBat apps. Android is also working with tuneIn and Songza. Carplay has Beats Music and Podcasts, among others.
Real alternatives to Apple and Google?
Of course, not only Apple and Google are interested in cars. There is a company called “Mirrorlink” which tries to bring to the car’s screen the same screen from the smartphone. Microsoft is also on the battle and they have presented “Windows in the car”. This is an early concept from Microsoft, but they have promised to have their own marketplace for apps created by developers.
Why should I have or not an App for these new technology
Right now there are 1,200 millions of cars in the world and by 2035 is estimated to be 2,000 millions. This is a huge number of car users, and potential car app users. Most of the famous apps for smartphone are in the app stores from the early beginning, so, why don’t to try and bring your app to the car? In addition, if the user enjoys the car app, then he probably will take a look at the smartphone app.
Car apps are coming, Google and Apple know it and they are ready to provide app developers the tools to make it possible. Google Auto and CarPlay will be probably the main operating systems, if we see the number of car brands that will support them. And we as developers are also ready to bring these apps to the car. Are you interested in bringing your own app to the car? Contact us.
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