KEY POINTS

  • Drivers can access Android Auto apps without the need for a beta sign-in
  • Developers should follow simple guidelines to release apps for public production
  • Navigation, parking and charging apps are now available on Google Play Store

In response to the Android Auto users’ request for a wider scope of app categories, Google has brought a list of Android Auto apps out of beta. Navigation, parking and charging software are now available for public release and will be on Google Play Store in the days ahead.

In an Android Developers Blog published on their website, Eric Bahna, Android Auto-Google Product Manager, officially announced that developers can now release their navigation, charging and parking apps publicly. This means that drivers can now take full advantage of the said Android Auto apps on the Play Store without the need to sign up for a beta program.

Google published the Android for Cars App Library in Jetpack as androidx.car.app in March. That was two months after the company enabled Google Play Store to accept developers’ open testing submissions of apps for navigations, parking and charging software.

Back then, third-party developers could only launch media and messaging apps publicly. Drivers who wished to check out Android Auto apps and use them on their car screens could access them through beta mode, Engadget reported.

Google intentionally placed certain app restrictions like limiting the Navigation to Waze or Google Maps alone while all media apps share a common template. This is part of the company’s effort to closely manage the software accessible on the Play Store in order to ensure the users’ road safety, 9to5 Google reported.

Meanwhile, to be able to publish Android Auto apps for public production and make the drivers accessible via Google Play Store, the company gave developers a step-by-step guide.

First, they have to design their app with Google’s developer guide found on their official website. An app developer must ensure to develop software using the latest version of androidx.car.app.

A developer must test the app using the desktop head unit as well as the new testing library. Finally, the app can be published in the Play Console, heading over to the production track.

In August 2020, Google promised to open up a wider variety of Auto applications on its marketplace. The company has also updated its platform for testing and releasing apps called the Play Console to make it conducive for Android Automotive APKs (application packages).

Android Auto Google is developing a new button for Android Auto. Photo: Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage