BMW will use Android Automotive, but without Google services

BMW will use Android Automotive, but without Google services

BMW has announced in a press release that, as of 2023, will use Android Automotive on certain vehicles. The German company joins others such as Ford, Renault, Honda or Polestar, which use or plan to use the platform in the near future. software for cars developed by Google.

In the case of BMW, yes, there seems to be a peculiarity: the company will use a version of Android Automotive without Google services. The company announced this year an agreement with Aptoidean alternative app store, so they are likely to turn to its services rather than Google’s Play Store.

This is possible because Android Automotive, like the Android variant for mobile phones, it is free. Whoever wants it can take the system, modify it as they wish and implement it on the devices they need. Amazon is a good example of this. The American company takes each release of Android as a basis for developing the Fire OS systems that they subsequently implement in their tablets, smart televisions and sticks like Fire TV.

Rival BMW brands, such as Renault or Polestar, have also chosen to use Android Automotive, although they have done so in the hands of Google. This means that the services of the American company (such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, Google Play Store or YouTube) are available in the cars of the aforementioned brands. In the case of BMW, unless there is a future agreement, these services will not be available.

Photo by Artem Vallat on unsplash

BMW yields, like everyone else, with Android Automotive

The development of software has always been one of the pending issues for car brands. For years, their infotainment systems have been light years away from what we’re used to from computers, mobile phones, or even smart TVs.

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With the rise of the electric, connected and autonomous car, however, many of these companies (including BMW) have begun to pay more attention to software that they incorporate in their vehicles, as it is an increasingly influential factor in the overall experience of the product. Newer companies like Tesla have also shown the importance of taking care of this section.

However, building a platform software from scratch and up to what Google offers with Android Automotive, what Tesla offers in its cars or what Apple is expected to allow with the future version of Carplay is complex. Y it is not enough to do an initial development; it is also necessary to release updates of software periodicals that enrich or refine the user experience. For this reason, many companies that initially pursued the development of their own operating systems have ended up closing collaboration agreements with technology-based companies.

The passage of BMW, despite not reaching out to Google, is one more example of how traditional vehicle manufacturers end up giving in to the operating systems that technology companies have been developing in recent years. And, probably, they will not be the last to take a step like this.