Despite being a relative newcomer to in-car entertainment, the Android Auto app has now surpassed the 500 million download milestone on the Google Play Store.

That’s a mighty impressive figure, even if most Android smartphones now ship with the app pre-installed and ready to be activated. However, it’s still one of the best ways to turn-off distractions when driving, or connect directly to an in-car head unit for even further controls.

It’s also worth noting that only with it installed can users connect their phone to compatible vehicle displays to get the Android Auto experience. Beyond that, the other purpose of the app is to run that same in-car experience in a smaller version on your smartphone’s display.

Because you’re not bound by an in-car head unit at all, Android Auto has clearly been a popular download for those just wanting to dock their smartphone and get all of the same controls and features in a less distracting interface. That might be one reason for Android Auto racing to that 500 million download figure at the very least (via Android Police).

Another could be the recent GMS agreements that essentially requires (read: forces) all smartphones launching or upgrading to Android 10 to have Android Auto pre-installed as standard.

This could potentially have boosted Android Auto download figures, as that is a five-fold increase over the 100 million downloads obtained by early-January 2020. Considering just how many devices have been updated to Android 10 since early 2020, it does seem to add up.

With Andriod Auto reaching this download milestone, it joins a number of first-party Google apps to achieve the same feat in recent months. Now if they can make some improvements here and there, we’d be much more content.

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