Home Google Updates Car Home Android App for Navigation Customization

Google Updates Car Home Android App for Navigation Customization

Device convergence is happening everyday as new tech gadgets combine the functionality of previous devices into one handy solution. I first experienced this when the iPhone replaced both my previous phone and my iPod. Not having to carry both devices around all the time was a huge step forward for a music fan like myself, and now we overlook simple pleasures like these.

Another device that could soon be swallowed by the smartphone is the dedicated GPS receiver. Friday, Google announced some updates to its Android app, Car Home, which provides big-button access to car-friendly apps for your windshield-mounted Android smartphone. Are the days of the dedicated GPS numbered?

The new version of Car Home features a slew of customization features, including app shortcuts, icon colors and background wallpapers. Users can quickly add app shortcuts to their Car Home screen, and the app can be automatically launched when placed in a special dock.

Do you always use your Bluetooth headset when you drive? Or perhaps you have one of those newfangled Bluetooth enabled cars? With a few settings you can also have the Car Home app launch automatically when your phone is paired with these devices.

Device Convergence?

Google has also made it easier for developers to make their apps car-friendly, which could be a catalyst to the convergence of smartphones and GPS units. The powerful developer communities that exist for smartphones will be a huge advantage for smartphone-based in-car navigation.

The other leg-up the phones have is the ability to pull data down from the cloud. Some GPS units can include things like live traffic, but the advantage of smartphones is they are already tied to a cellular network which the user already pays for. There’s only so much a dedicated GPS unit can do via satellite.

But this convergence will take some time. The major thing holding it back is the power (or lack thereof) of GPS chips within smartphones. Until they are capable of the accuracy found in dedicated units, these units will still remain valuable to wayward motorists. Eventually, however, that is going to change and manufacturers like Garmin, TomTom and Magellan will suffer. That is unless they start making their own phones, like the Garmin nüvifone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.