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Google reportedly taking Android in-car with Audi

Google is rumoured to have struck a deal with Audi to make Android run its in-car infotainment systems.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Your next car could come with Android built in. At least, it could if it's an Audi. Google has reportedly partnered with the German motor company to build its Android operating system into Audi's future cars, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Android would power the in-car entertainment and information systems, which Audi would presumably skin (much like Amazon does with its Kindle Fire tablets) to make it look like its own. This would mean you could use your phone's music and navigation apps using the onboard system in the car.

A Google spokesperson told me the company doesn't comment on rumour or speculation. I've contacted Audi for comment as well, and will update this story if I hear back.

It sounds quite likely, though. This year, Apple announced its iOS in the Car, which aims to integrate your iPhone into your motor's infotainment system. It's already signed up BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, and Kia, among others. So it's highly probable Google wants to provide an alternative to take some of the winds out of Apple's sails.

Apple's version might not be far off. It recently released its iOS 7.1 beta to developers, and that featured a setting to turn a "Car Display" on and off.

Apple's in-car software requires you to have an iOS device in the car with you, whereas Google's effort would run on built-in hardware, according to the Journal's sources.

The Google-Audi partnership is expected to be announced at CES next week. There's no word on when it'll be rolled out to new models of car, but I'd expect it sooner rather than later, if it really wants to take the fight to Apple.

Would you want a mobile operating system in your car? Or would the two be best being kept separate? Which sounds better, Apple's or Google's? Let me know in the comments, or park yourself over on our Facebook page.