Not only is the Google’s infotainment system works good, but also easy to set up-- just plug in your phone and hit “Android Auto.”
6/16/15 5:00 am chumakdenis 1
Infotainment system has become one of the must-have things for all the latest hybrids and all-electric vehicles, but the truth is all of them are pretty buggy.
They are the source of more customer complaints than any other part of the car, according to JD Power.
If you’ll look through the forums, you’ll find tons of complaints for crappy systems.
Anyhow, it’s about to change in the nearest time.
CarPlay, the Google and Apple infotainment interfaces, which can be installed in almost any new vehicle, are arriving on the mass market and changing our vision for infotainment systems.
So, let’s talk about the system that tops and remains the perfect choice, at least on the current stage of development.
Google’s infotainment system
Provided you like to use navigation, receive and send texts, make phone calls and do some other stuff while in the car, then, more likely you’ll want to give Google’s infotainment system a closer look.
Android Auto, Google’s infotainment interface that can be installed in any new vehicle, is remarkable for its simplicity and flexibility. It’s easy to use and it works well.
It can look up nearby shops, restaurants, geographic landmarks, suggest navigation destinations based on your history and calendar, deliver useful pop-ups and do a bunch of other stuff that will definitely come in handy.
For instance, Google Now’s card system, which delivers timely notification and suggests destinations based on your history and calendar, makes a ton of sense in the vehicle as well as other cool functions like finding new place.
In here, it’s quite breeze because of Google’s search engine and voice recognition system.
The voice system lets you enter cities, without a full address, as a destination, and it can handle intersections (“Take me to 28th Street and Church Street” worked, though “Take me to 28th and Church” didn’t).
It won’t let you scroll through your contact list - Google thinks that it takes too much attention away from driving - but the system does a good job pulling up names from voice commands, and will make sure to specify if you want to call someone’s work number or cell phone. Its solid transcription job is only lacking when it comes to punctuation, capitalization, and singing in a funny voice. When you receive a text, it reads the message aloud. Pronunciation isn’t perfect, but it handled nonsense like “fdddfdferefef” quite well.
On the contrary, with other automaker systems, searching for a type of restaurant or store is a pain. You may get lucky and find something you want under Points of Interest, but most of the time you need a street address. And you need to enter that address in full, running through the state, city, street, and house number.
Simplicity of use
It’s easy to set up: just plug your phone into the car’s USB port (you’ll need a handset running Android 5.0 Lollipop) and select Android Auto on the center screen.
That’s all: you’re in a new infotainment universe that works just like your phone, which means there’s no need to learn a new system or set up your contacts and favorite locations on yet another device.
On our point of view, system is really good.
The menus are stripped down to what you need and what seems safest while driving: music and navigation on the screen, calls and texts through voice recognition.
The buttons are big, making them easy to hit and minimizing the time your eyes are off the road. It is remarkable for its simplicity and flexibility. It’s easy to use and it really works.
Of course, nothing is perfect and we had some issues with voice recognition and making phone calls during the ride, but by and large, it does its job and does it’s quite good.
It is really worth trying, especially in consideration of the fact that the system costs only 4-5 grands - not that big price to feel yourself a driver of the top-notch vehicle.
However, the final decision is only up to you.
We do agree that the system lags and user experience isn't perfect, so if you want something really perfect - you'll have to wait at least for a year or two for fixing all that stuff that we do have now.
Anyhow, it's the best that we have now and chances of radical changes on the market are quite slim.
So, weigh all the pros and cons and make your verdict wisely.