Google Enters The Car With Voice-Guided Android Auto

Part of Google's mission at this week's I/O conference was to put the focus firmly on Android, and not just Android as you know it today, but Android everywhere. It's a new concept that sees Google implanting Android at every possible turn, including literal ones that you'd make while driving. Android Auto was unveiled in order to rival Apple's iOS in the Car (or CarPlay), whereby those who buy into the Android ecosystem will be able to seamlessly see notifications and saved points of interest transfer from their mobile to the car.

Google has partnered with a multitude of automakers to include Android Auto in in-car infotainment systems. The first vehicles with Android Auto onboard will begin to hit dealer lots at the close of 2014, with many more to come in 2015. Essentially, Android Auto pipes the essential parts of Android onto the nav system -- most notably, Maps.

The icons are larger and the buttons are fewer, but the gist of Google Maps is still there. Plus, voice actions can trigger Google Now in order to set reminders and the like, which are transferred back to your Android phone once you've left the vehicle. Pricing and further details have yet to be announced, but it's obvious that the next major ecosystem play is the car. Both Google and Apple want to get you hooked on their respective operating systems so that you go so far as to make a car purchase based on loyalty to a smartphone. It sounds crazy, but it's the world we're now living in.