Amazon wants to challenge CarPlay and Android Auto

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Connect the Amazon Echo Dot to your existing speaker system, and you bingo! -- your speakers just got smarts.
Amazon wants to move Alexa from the home into our cars.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Amazon is trying to move in on Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto by convincing carmakers to bake in Alexa as an in-car infotainment technology.

According to a new report, Amazon is scaling up its Echo Auto ambitions. It has already convinced BMW and Audi to adopt the tech. It is now supposedly trying to get other automakers to sign up as well.

CarPlay tops Android Auto in latest customer satisfaction rankings

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CarPlay
CarPlay is taking over the auto market.
Photo: Hyundai

Apple’s CarPlay software for automobiles is quickly becoming a must-have feature for new car buyers, according to the latest rankings from J.D. Power.

Even though it was released four years ago, CarPlay is just starting to catch on with consumers who want a phone mirroring system on their dash. And when it comes to Apple vs Google, CarPlay’s satisfaction rating is significantly better than Android Autos.

Apple Music is getting a massive upgrade on Android

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music streaming
The latest release also includes Chromecast support.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple Music is about to get a big upgrade on Android.

A beta version of its next major update reveals Android Auto support is on the way. A number of other new features will also be added to bring the Android version of the app in line with its counterpart on iOS.

Apple’s CarPlay is less distracting than your car’s built-in infotainment system

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BMW cancels its ridiculous CarPlay subscription fee
BMW cancels its ridiculous CarPlay subscription fee
Photo: Apple

Many new cars come with in-dash navigation and entertainment systems created by automobile makers. For safer, less-distracted driving, they should use Apple CarPlay instead.

That’s the result of a study done by AAA that compared CarPlay to Google’s Android Auto and the native infotainment systems found in five 2017/2018 vehicles.

CarPlay and Android Auto are fast becoming standard for new cars

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CarPlay
CarPlay and Android Auto were found on roughly half of new cars sold in Q1.
Photo: Hyundai

Compared to iOS or even macOS, Apple’s CarPlay in-vehicle standard seems relatively minor in terms of importance. However, according to a new report, in-car systems such as this are rapidly becoming the norm.

In the first three months of this year, analysts at Canalys suggest that Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto were available in 46 percent of new vehicles sold in Europe, and 52 percent of new vehicles sold in the U.S.

Live blog: Google I/O 2018 delivers the future of Android and more

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Sundar Pichai at Google IO
What does Google have in store for us this year?
Photo: Google

Google I/O 2018 kicks off in less than an hour.

There’s loads to look forward to this year, including an update on Android P, and previews of what’s to come for Chrome, the Google Assistant, Android Auto, and more. The recently-rebranded Wear OS may also get some much-needed attention.

Google is live-streaming its big keynote, which kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific. If you can’t tune in, follow our live blog below to stay up to date with everything that’s happening in Mountain View.

5 big things to expect from Google I/O 2018

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Google IO 2018
Google I/O starts today!
Photo: Google

Google I/O 2018 is right around the corner. You may not be all that excited for it if you only ever use Apple devices, but you should be. Google’s plans for the future of its platforms could well shape the future of all smartphones, wearables, and more.

They will also tell us how Google intends to keep up with and fight Apple’s latest devices, including iPhone X, which is quite literally changing the face of Android-powered devices.

Here are five big things we’re expecting from this year’s Google I/O keynote, which kicks off on Tuesday, May 8.

Longtime holdout Toyota finally embraces CarPlay

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Toyota Avalon CarPlay
CarPlay will be available in the 2019 Toyota Avalon.
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has confirmed it will finally embrace CarPlay in its 2019 Avalon and other vehicles launching this year. The Japanese firm is one of the last major automakers to adopt Apple’s platform, which will be available with all standard packages.