At the beginning of this year, Google and Nvidia teamed up with car manufacturers to form the Open Automotive Alliance. The two companies partnered with GM, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai and agreed to work together to form an interface in-car entertainment systems. Ever since that announcement in January, we have heard absolutely nothing about the progression of the alliance, aside from a couple of vague rumors.
Android Police, however, has now obtained quite a bit of information about the system, including tentative interface designs and functionality. The report claims that Android in the Car’s basic interface will center around four “distinct spaces.” Those spaces are navigation, music, telephony, and search.
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Using information from its sources, Android Police created several mockups showing off the designs for some of the spaces. First off, is the music interface. As you can see, it looks very similar to what we see already on Android devices. The album art is very prominent and displayed as the background with a translucent control bar running over it. At the very bottom are some action buttons that will take you quickly to the other spaces. In the upper right corner is a Google search button that will open up a voice search prompt.
As far as the calling capabilities, users will reportedly have the ability to either choose from a list of frequently called numbers or manually enter a number. Users will also be able to place a call using voice search by simply saying “Ok Google, call Zac.” Presumably, the Android in the Car interface would connect with an Android device via Bluetooth to actually place the call.
Finally, sending a message appears to work very similarly to calling. Users will be able to use commands to text by saying “Ok Google, send a message to Zac – Running late to get pizza.” Google would then read the message back to user, confirming that it was transcribed correctly, then send it.
The report notes that the confidence in overall functionality is greater than the interface design at this point. Presumably, manufacturers would have the final say in design, much like they do with Android and could apply their own overlay on top. Nevertheless, we expect to hear more about Android in the Car at Google I/O.