Google has announced a range of new apps and features set to be delivered across vehicles equipped with Android Auto and Android Automotive OS, while launching a new program to expand the ecosystem of apps available across both of these platforms.

Here, the tech giant confirmed that new entertainment apps, such as the multimedia streaming services Max and Peacock, as well as the mobile game Angry Birds, will launch on select cars with Google built-in. The Alphabet subsidiary also launched the Uber Driver app on Android Auto, allowing Uber drivers to accept rides and deliveries, and see turn-by-turn directions on a larger display. In addition to these new apps, Google Cast will also be delivered to cars equipped with Android Automotive, launching first in EVs from Rivian. The feature allows users to cast video content from their phone or tablet directly to the car’s central display while parked.

Framing the announcements around its annual I/O conference, Google also announced a number of measures that will, together, support app developers in bringing their solutions to vehicles. At the forefront are Google’s new quality tiers, inspired by those that exist for large screens. Together, they work to streamline the process of bringing existing apps to cars by highlighting what makes for a good user experience in the vehicle.

Tier 1, called ‘Car differentiated’ represents the highest level of innovation. Apps in the tier are specifically built to work across a broad range of vehicle hardware and can adapt their experience across driving and parked modes. They provide a strong user experience designed for the different screens in the car, including the center console and instrument cluster, as well as further screens such as the panoramic displays seen in many premium vehicles.

Tier 2, ‘Car optimized’, equates to most apps available in cars today that provide a good experience on the car’s center stack display. These apps will have some car-specific engineering to include capabilities that can be used across driving or parked modes, depending on the app’s category. Apps in the third tier, called ‘Car ready’, are large screen compatible and are enabled while the car is parked, with potentially no additional work. While these apps may not have car-specific features, users can experience the app just as they would on any large screen Android device.

In committing to these tiers, Google, in partnership with automotive OEMs, will introduce a Car ready mobile apps program to bring more smartphone apps to the vehicle at an accelerated rate. As part of this program, Google will proactively review mobile apps that are already adaptive and large screen compatible to ensure their safety and compatibility in cars. If the app qualifies, it will automatically be opted in for distribution on cars with Google built-in and made available in Android Auto without the need for further development, or the creation of a new software release. This program will start with parked app categories including video, gaming and browsers with plans to expand to additional categories in the future.

The program will roll out in the coming months, although developers offering a large screen compatible adaptive app that falls into one of the above categories can request a review, should they wish to participate sooner.