First Android Auto apps coming to Android 5 smartphones

Google has made the first apps available for its Android Auto platform. In order to use the apps, at least a smartphone with Android 5.0 is required, as well as compatible on-board systems. For now, only Pioneer equipment is available on the market.

The apps are available on Google Play for users in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is not yet clear when it will be the turn of other countries and language areas.

Google has made a number of its own apps suitable for its automotive platform, including Music and Maps, TechCrunch reports. There are also third-party apps available, including Spotify and Soundcloud, and voice commands can be given to a smartphone. The device must be connected to an Android Auto on-board computer via a USB cable.

Google announced Android Auto last June at its I/O meeting as a counterpart to Apple’s CarPlay. The platform is slated to be available on on-board systems from many automakers, but the rollout appears to have been delayed. Until now, Pioneer is the only one to provide separately installable Android Auto hardware that can be used directly in the car.