What distinguishes car and smartphone applications App deployment in the automotive sector
Drivers place similar demands on their modern infotainment systems as on the smartphone. A unified platform for OEMs and developers could ensure that users are always provided with the latest features in the future.
Companies on the topic
Like the Polestar 2, other vehicles with Android Automotive will also be delivered in the future.
The Apple App Store counted 500 applications when it was presented to the public on April 10, 2008. The Cupertino-based company thus triggered a new era of mobile phone use, which from then on meant much more than receiving and sending SMS or calls.
Smartphones already existed before the iPhone, but the market breakthrough only succeeded when the devices offered a variety of functions and could be expanded by apps. To bring these to the end device, an ecosystem is needed that enables developers to migrate programs quickly and customer-oriented.
This was achieved first with the App Store, then later with the Google Playstore or Blackberry World. The secret recipe of these portals is the union of deployment and use of the apps. On the one hand, these portals represent a pleasant interface for smartphone owners, on the other hand, they provide a developer-friendly interface.
Automobiles are now also more than just a means of transport, they are also Internet-enabled devices. They no longer only count the revolutions per minute, but also the “experiences per mile”, which are also only possible here through various applications.
So why not create a platform that bundles and simplifies the development of automotive applications in one place? Such portals exist-but so far only a few. Many aspects and stakeholders need to be united on them in order for them to meet the promised expectations. This can only be achieved through close cooperation with automotive manufacturers (OEMs) and developers.
However, the involvement of the automotive industry in the development of vehicle applications differs significantly from the processes in smartphone apps. Other factors, including minimizing driver distraction or an even greater focus on safety, also differ – but one thing is the same: Android is an important component.
Android for Automotive developers
Android is not limited to smartphones or other mobile devices. Suppliers such as HARMAN also rely on this operating system in the automotive sector. This offers a lot of advantages. The sheer number of Android smartphones means that there is already a huge community of Android developers.
Newcomers to automotive development probably already have a device on which they can test their new projects. In addition, Android offers great and versatile applications on many smartphones, runs on many different models and already has a very wide target audience of end users. Therefore, it is an easy-to-use technology for many people.
Android Automotive is also already on the rise in the automotive industry, as OEMs are considering Android Automotive OS as the basis for their next-generation infotainment systems. Android developers see this operating system as a trusted platform where new apps and services for consumers are developed, tested and released.
Another advantage is that Automotive Android is particularly close to Android. The only difference is a few extensions of the frameworks to deal with differences in the form factor. Thus, it offers Android developers a real home game.
Until now, the implementation of applications in the car was often associated with the development of the body. And there were some hurdles to overcome in app development for vehicles. Too long implementation phases as well as slow and inconsistent test procedures delayed the introduction of new functions by two to three years. The attractiveness for developers also left much to be desired. In addition, direct communication between the OEMs and developers was delayed or difficult to establish.
What can we expect from car apps?
What OEMs and developers need is a unified platform for connected vehicles to develop, deploy, and manage vehicle app stores, as well as leverage a unified ecosystem of apps and content partners. Efficiency comes from the reusability of components, services and APIs. Software updates can also be streamlined-from logistics to personalization in different locations.
At the moment, consumers may still be familiar with the traditional Android and iOS smartphone connectivity integrations in their vehicle. But soon, cloud-based systems designed specifically for the automotive environment will provide a personalized experience and increase productivity while driving or waiting in the vehicle.
Bringing applications to market with ease
* Naoki Ogishi leads product management for the HARMAN Ignite Store team. He has over ten years of experience in product management in the mobile and connected vehicle sectors. Prior to HARMAN, he was a product manager at eBay with a focus on mobile and buyer experience. Naoki lives in Silicon Valley, California.