Could it be that all Android devices that end up getting upgraded to Android 9.0 (otherwise known as Android P) will support Android Auto, and not just a spattering of devices? It appears that is the direction things are headed. Kenwood, a maker car audio products including infotainment head units supporting Android Auto, stated in a press release that support for all devices will be implemented in Android 9.0.
Here is the relevant blurb from Kenwood's press release:
"The only devices that currently support wireless Android Auto are four versions of the Google Pixel—the first-generation Pixel and Pixel XL and the second-generation Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL—and the legacy Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. They must be upgraded to Android OS 8.0 or higher (via an over-the-air upgrade). For other device manufacturers, wireless Android Auto will be implemented with the adoption of Android OS 9.0 or higher."Normally a heavy dose of skepticism would be warranted in hearing about a big announcement through a third-party rather than directly from the source, the latter of which in this case would be Google. However, Kenwood sounds awfully confident that Android Auto is headed to all Android P devices. In fact, the company doubled down on its statement in an addendum in which it said Google is also working to bring Android Auto to Android 8.0 Oreo devices.
Here's that blurb:
"In our press release below, we indicated that future smartphones would require Android 9.0 OS to be compatible with Kenwood multimedia receivers that feature Wireless Android Auto. Google has informed us that, in addition to 9.0 devices, the company is working with several smartphone manufacturers to bring wireless compatibility to devices with Android 8.0 OS. According to Google, this compatibility will be available on select non-Google smartphones soon."Taken at face value, this means that Android Auto should eventually land on several popular smartphone models. like Samsung's Galaxy S9, LG's G7, and on down the line. We will have to wait and see how it all play out.
Previously Google said Android Auto was being retooled to deliver a "brand new multimedia experience" with updated visuals and features "both on your phone screen and on your car display." Part of that will consist of the latest evolution of the Material Design language that Google has been so focused on across its various products and services.
Android Auto is supported by a wide range of vehicles, including those from Acura, Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, and several others.
Top Image Source: Flickr via Maurizio Pesce