HARMAN has announced that it supports the Android Open Accessory Protocol, the first major technology partner in the automotive industry to offer the new connectivity standard.
(Note: We reported on the Android Open Accessory Protocol in early May (Click here to learn more). It is similar to Apple’s ‘Made for iPod’ programme and iAP protocol.)
With the Android protocol built into HARMAN’s automotive offerings, users can seamlessly control smartphone or tablet content — such as music, movies or navigation apps — through a car’s dashboard or steering-wheel controls.
Adoption of the new standard continues HARMAN infotainment platform’s industry-leading support of all major mobile operating systems, including Apple’s iOS, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform and Nokia’s existing mobile systems. The Android Open Accessory Protocol is supported across all HARMAN infotainment platforms, so it can be used in entry-level, mid-priced and luxury automobiles. It is available now for automotive installations and extends the Android email and SMS support previously launched by HARMAN.
With the Android Open Accessory Protocol, drivers will be able to safely activate music apps, such as HARMAN’s Aha Radio service, through voice activation or steering wheel controls.
Additionally, built-in navigation systems become more robust, as popular apps that provide information on nearby restaurants, tourist spots or gas stations can be overlaid onto existing map software. Passengers benefit as well, as Android integration allows content to be streamed to entertainment devices used in rear seats.
The Android Open Accessory Protocol is built into devices running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and is a software upgrade for devices running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and later. The protocol allows Android devices to connect to the dashboard or rear-seat installations via USB.