In January 2021, Samsung launched its SmartThings app for Android Auto. This was the first Android Auto app that wasn't related to audio playback, messaging, or navigation. It allows users to turn on/off and control their SmartThings-compatible smart home products from their car's screen. Now, Google has opened its doors to more such IoT (Internet of Things) apps to Android Auto.
Such IoT apps could bring the ability to control home security, smart doors, lights, and other sensors from the comfort of a car's touchscreen. This also brings control to a touchscreen UI rather than relying on Google Assistant voice commands to control smart home actions.
IoT apps for Android Auto and Android Automotive OS will be available soon
Android Auto currently supports three app categories: Media (like YouTube Music and Spotify), Messaging (like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp), and Navigation (Google Maps and Waze). With a new update to the Car App Library, Android Auto will now get one more category support of for Internet of Things (IoT) apps.
Developers can use driving-optimized app design templates for Android for Cars App Library. Testing of such apps can be done using the Android Automotive OS emulator for Android Automotive OS and the DHU for Android Auto. As per reports, you can expect these IoT apps on Android Auto to have a grid-based layout for easier smart controls.
Moreover, car owners using Android Auto can download IoT apps from Google Play. Although Google has an Assistant voice command to control smart home features, a dedicated Google Home app for Android Auto would be nice.