Android Auto appears to be geared up for a whole new set of apps, as Google opens the door a little wider when it comes to programs designed to run across your dashboard

The company is now allowing navigation, parking and charging apps to be found on the Google Play Store, giving the smartphone display system a much-needed boost on new functions.

How to use Android Auto

Android Auto operates via an Android smartphone, and offers an on-screen interface for compatible infotainment systems

With this method, you can access Android applications, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and your media, regardless of the vehicle’s original user interface.

While Google follows a relatively hands-off approach in what is released in the Google Play Store for Android phones

The risk of distracting the driver and apps that might crash the dashboard user interface mean that there are more stringent restrictions on programs that run in Android Auto mode.

In January, Google began testing submissions for new classes of apps, and all related transportation methods are still available.

But it does cover third-party navigation, parking and electric vehicle charging programs

And in March, Google launched the Android Car App Library as part of the Android Jetpack Libraries, offering developers an open source version of the library

According to Google, most of the developers have moved their apps to Android Jetpack libraries, and the apps they were creating are now released to the public.

And there is a variety of apps to choose from, including familiar names like: Chargepoint and PlugShare, for those who drive electric cars, and T map and A Better Route Planner for those who want an alternative navigation app.

And unlike before, drivers will not have to sign up for a beta program to download and install these applications

The platform’s apps still need to follow the developer’s guide and carefully test them to make sure they meet Google’s app quality guidelines

The apps should have a fairly consistent appearance as well, as the library also facilitates interface design so as not to overwhelm the driver while navigating the apps.

And for those who use Android Auto, Google says: There are now more than 500 models of cars compatible with the display system

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