Android Auto recently hit 500 million installs on the Google Play Store.
The half-billion milestone is huge for the app considering it made it to 100 million downloads just six months ago. It’s important to note that Android smartphones now ship with Android Auto pre-installed, so it’s easy to blow that number up.
According to a leak from last year, the terms of Google’s Mobile Services (GMS) agreement require a pre-installed version of Android Auto. This was likely a factor in the 500 million downloads.
For anyone unfamiliar with the Android Auto app, it connects Android smartphones to Android Auto-compatible in-car head units to provide a safer way for users to interact with their phones while driving. You can also use it by mounting your phone on your dash, and it provides larger easy-to-use buttons for selected apps when you’re driving.
However, the version that’s pre-installed on many phones only allows you to connect your phone to compatible infotainment units. The phone version is now a separate app called Android Auto for phone screens. This app currently only has 500,000 downloads.
While this news is exciting, it’s still overshadowed by the fact that Google has remained relatively silent about the Google Assistant ‘Driving Mode’ that was announced last year to replace the on-phone version of Android Auto.
During WWDC 2020, Apple announced a few improvements to CarPlay, including most notably, using an iPhone as a car key.
Source: Android Police