The Android equivalent of Apple CarPlay, tentatively dubbed Google Auto Link, will debut at the search giant’s developer conference that begins on June 25.
According to sources who have spoken to Automotive News, Google will debut an in-car mirroring and control system for Android phones at this year’s Google I/O developer conference, which takes place on June 25 and 26 in San Francisco.
The product has been developed under the name Google Auto Link, but may be rebranded prior to its official launch, and is technically the result of the Open Automotive Alliance, whose members include Google, Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and graphics chip maker Nvidia.
Although details have yet to revealed, it’s expected that Auto Link will allow approved apps and certain core functions of the Android operating system to be mirrored onto and controlled via a car’s entertainment system. Control methods will include touchscreen interfaces, steering wheel controls and voice recognition.
Smartphone-driven satellite navigation, music playback, phone dialling and messaging are all likely to be demonstrated at Google I/O.
Apple unveiled a similar system, CarPlay (above), for iPhone earlier this year at the Geneva motor show. Only newer devices, such as the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, are CarPlay compatible.
Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will have CarPlay-equipped entertainment systems available by the end of 2014. BMW, Citroen, GM, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota have committed to adding the functionality at a later stage.
Gartner’s figures for 2013 put Android’s worldwide market share at around 78 per cent and iOS at roughly 18 per cent. Data suggests that Android’s global dominance is down to developing markets where its availability on entry-level handsets has helped uptake.
In the US, ComScore estimates that iPhone devices account for just shy of 42 per cent of smartphone users, with Android accounting for almost 52 per cent. Kantar Worldpanel says that almost 58 per cent of smartphones in Australia run Android, with Apple’s iPhone coming in second with 35 per cent of the market.
Although iPhone may trail Android in terms of market share, research indicates that iPhone users generate more web traffic and purchase a greater quantity of apps.