#IO19: Android Auto - Open Sesame (For God’s Sake and 3rd Party Navigations)!

07. 05. 2019 · 2 min read

Sweat swells down from our foreheads, our heart rate reaches deadly levels, and there’s an antistress ball in both hands. We are going to watch Google IO again. As every year, we will have all our fingers crossed in hopes they will open Android Auto for third party developers, us included.

Last year, in 2018, Apple did the move with CarPlay. Everybody was expecting that Google would be the first – following their „Don’t be evil“ attitude, but they have remained the last big tech pretty much stubbornly keeping their car connectivity platform for their apps only.

We encourage #FreedomOfNavigation

We do not doubt the quality of Google’s navigation apps, but we think that you as the customer should have the right to choose the service you like the most. Especially, when you want to use maps in offline mode. You can have several reasons, including saving data, no internet connection or low latency, which might cause slow rendering.

In the US the average mobile network latency is around 70 miliseconds. It means that you can experience some delays while your map is loading – which might be quite uncomfortable when you need to get yourself from point A to point B and decide if you need to turn left or right.
What choices do you have?

You might say, Google Maps allows you to download the maps. That's true, but prepare to sacrifice a lot of photos and videos. You are limited to download just 50.000 square miles (120.000 square kilometers) what is approximately the size of Alabama and the maps will cut off 1500 megabytes of your storage (Alabama offline maps in Sygic use just 94 megabytes). Oh, and we need to mention that you have to re-download the maps every 30 days. Because the offline maps aren‘t updated.

Yes, Waze allows downloading maps too. Or not download, but somehow keep the cache undeleted. Only on Android devices. And only the route from start to finish. So if you have any unexpected change in your trip, prepare to a.) turn the data on, or b.) wait for the night until the North star will show up (just kidding, paper maps are an option too).

We have tried, you have tried, we have failed, we still can change it

Throughout the years, we have contacted Google several times – in order to get the Android Auto development kits to achieve the #freedomofnavigation on the platform. Unfortunately with no result. Our fans have also sent thousands of messages to the company asking them to open the platform for 3rd party navigations. No change.

So, we have to ask you again - as you are the chosen one who can help us (if you haven't yet). It will take you just a few minutes. Send feedback to Google via the Android Auto companion app right now. Ask for compatibility with Sygic, and hopefully, together we will be able to deliver new apps on your favorite platform much sooner.

Written by Marek Lelovic