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Discussion Starter #1
Google has announced a complete makeover of the Android Auto experience coming later this summer. Looking through the announcements I've read it looks like this will include the ability to see audio controls while in Maps and vice-verse with seeing a terse indication of the next turn while in audio controls for example. Not necessarily a full split screen like we get in the native Hyundai screen if you have navigation in your car, but a big step to at least get away from the single functionality dedicated screen. A big improvement.

Check out the public announcement at: https://www.blog.google/products/android/android-auto-new-look-io19/

There are a lot of media outlets writing articles using Google's public content as well, such as: https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/06/google-refreshes-android-auto-with-new-features-and-a-darker-look/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Android Auto is in need of a refresh. I am looking forward to these changes.
I totally agree !! Looks like they are taking a pretty good leap based on the limited set of photos we can see in the press release. Here's to hoping they go all the way to a top notch solution instead of just part way.
 

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I'm an iPhone guy and Android Auto seems to have a number of issues, presumably why some car manufacturers are not supporting it including Toyota. That said, the new Google Pixel 3a looks like a darn good phone and great value, and free from the crapware and update issues from the other Android handset manufacturers. I think that is the phone to get to get the best benefit out of AA and other Android features directly from the OS provider. The only feature it is missing that seems to concern a number of car owners is wireless charging. But I've not heard of the charging issues on Pixels hooked up to car USB that other handset makers seem to have.
 

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I'm an iPhone guy and Android Auto seems to have a number of issues, presumably why some car manufacturers are not supporting it including Toyota. That said, the new Google Pixel 3a looks like a darn good phone and great value, and free from the crapware and update issues from the other Android handset manufacturers. I think that is the phone to get to get the best benefit out of AA and other Android features directly from the OS provider. The only feature it is missing that seems to concern a number of car owners is wireless charging. But I've not heard of the charging issues on Pixels hooked up to car USB that other handset makers seem to have.
Toyota is the only manufacturer I can think of that doesn't include Android Auto but does include Apple Carplay. They were very slow to even include Carplay and it is only just rolling out to models in the last year or so. I believe they will be including Android Auto as well in the coming years. That omission is one reason I've never seriously shopped Toyota.

I have a Samsung Galaxy S9+. It is certainly not free from the crapware but it doesn't seem to get in the way. I find that the USB port in the Ioniq supplies sufficient power to keep the phone charged while I'm using Android Auto. I also keep a dedicated charger that plugs into the 12V socket for when the battery is really low and charging is the priority.

I personally never use the wireless charging on my phone. Plugging it in is a lot faster (to charge) and the charging pad in the Ioniq tends to accumulate stuff making it a nuisance to use. Obviously, that's my fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Toyota is toying with the idea of charging an annual subscription fee for CarPlay. I've seen a couple articles about this, here is one: https://www.motor1.com/news/348176/toyota-supra-apple-carplay-charge/

Personally I consider this absolutely obnoxious. They are trying to monetize something that Apple does all the recurring development of. No reference to charging for AA as of yet. May be because they are still holding out on implementing AA, or may be because Google has told them NO to charging. Anyone's guess what is going on in the heads of Toyota marketing folks. Whatever it is, it is detrimental. This was one reason I dropped the Prius from my consideration list and I know others who have done the same.
 

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I test drove a Rav4 Hybrid a couple of weeks ago. It was a lower model so it had no carplay but it did have USB so you could plug your phone in and use a different mapping app which was subscription based. I don't remember the name of the app and I didn't test it but it was a turn off for me.
 

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his was one reason I dropped the Prius from my consideration list and I know others who have done the same.
Absolutely, yes, me too. For me, GPS is important, and Toyota have now placed this option well out of my range in the Prius. CarPlay is the next best option, so I can use my iPhone instead. Absent availability on the Prius, I went looking for an alternative.

Score one for a Prius owner of some years, departing the fold over Toyota's bizarre and unreasonable policies on suitably equipping vehicles to meet consumer need. And after all, it isn't as if a Prius is cheap motoring.
 

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Toyota is toying with the idea of charging an annual subscription fee for CarPlay. I've seen a couple articles about this, here is one: https://www.motor1.com/news/348176/toyota-supra-apple-carplay-charge/

Personally I consider this absolutely obnoxious. They are trying to monetize something that Apple does all the recurring development of. No reference to charging for AA as of yet.
There could be a legitimate issue behind a decision to charge for CarPlay compatibility. Car manufacturers love to charge exorbitant prices for built in nav and updates and may believe CarPlay cuts into their revenue stream (it does). Apple (and Google) do not do the engineering on the auto side programming, but instead set standards the manufacturer has to meet. This costs money too.

That said, when customers all over social media are saying they are basing car buying decisions on access to AA or CarPlay, it does seem insane to ignore that, provide it reluctantly at best, or charge extra. But it is their business and we are free to make our own choices.
 

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There could be a legitimate issue behind a decision to charge for CarPlay compatibility. Car manufacturers love to charge exorbitant prices for built in nav and updates and may believe CarPlay cuts into their revenue stream (it does). Apple (and Google) do not do the engineering on the auto side programming, but instead set standards the manufacturer has to meet. This costs money too.

That said, when customers all over social media are saying they are basing car buying decisions on access to AA or CarPlay, it does seem insane to ignore that, provide it reluctantly at best, or charge extra. But it is their business and we are free to make our own choices.
They already do charge extra. In every model I've looked at, AA and CarPlay are in higher trim packages.. not necessarily the highest, but not in the base either.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There could be a legitimate issue behind a decision to charge for CarPlay compatibility. Car manufacturers love to charge exorbitant prices for built in nav and updates and may believe CarPlay cuts into their revenue stream (it does). Apple (and Google) do not do the engineering on the auto side programming, but instead set standards the manufacturer has to meet. This costs money too..
I guess I disagree with this. In every product evolution, there are things that start out as unique value add and over time get commoditized to just a standard feature that is expected and can't be charged for. GPS is one of those. They are welcome to charge more when they provide added value for a GPS system and the customer wants it and thus pays for it. As GPS has become a commodity freely available on your phone, people are not as inclined to pay the auto manufacturer for yet another version of what can already be had on the phone. Presently with a far better solution from Google. The auto maker may try to force customer's hand on this by not enabling AA or CP thinking customers will then pay for their built-in GPS, but some customers instead are telling them to go pound sand.

Yes, the manufacturer had an initial investment in the implementation of the AA and CP API into their audio video system, but that's where their effort ends. They are not investing anything annually, putting any effort in whatsoever after the product is sold. They built that initial investment (made a few years ago) into the purchase price of the car just like the design of any other feature. So where do they justify charging for a service annually. They are not providing any annual service. 100% of the effort is now handled by Apple and Google. All feature additions, all data in the system, all changes in the UI, etc. are all from Apple and Google. The car does not even know anything changed. No justification for the auto maker to charge except plane old greed trying to monetize something.
 
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