Times Internet-owned music streaming service Gaana has launched an app for Android Auto, letting users stream music via Android compatible phones, vehicles and aftermarket radios. The app can also be used on phones running Android 5.0 or later, for a driver-friendly interface, which includes directions, communications, music, etc.
Note that Google launched Android Auto in India in April last year, and currently is available on Hyundai Grand i10, Ford Endeavour’s SYNC3 system, Honda Accord, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Tucson, Skoda Superb, the upcoming Maruti Ignis, Honda Civic & XUV 500, and aftermarket units from Sony, Pioneer, JBL etc. Competing systems include Apple’s CarPlay and the device interoperability standard MirrorLink among others.
Gaana’s Android Auto app will support both paid and free users. It offers an interface with a clear layout and large fonts to make it easier to access when driving. The app also supports maps and other communication apps, offering an advantage over Bluetooth streaming that only streams music. It also supports voice commands using Google’s speech technology, which the company claims is ‘very good’ at picking up Indian accents.
Note that in June last year, Gaana said that it partnered with Uber for allowing users to stream songs, although this required the user to plug the aux cable into the car’s system or use Bluetooth to stream music, which can also be done otherwise and without Gaana. The Android Auto app however, has a lot more potential to be used in such scenarios, although would require investment from Uber or the driver.