Google throws open the doors for Android Auto smart home apps

Android Auto is getting a new app category. Google has announced that Internet of Things apps (or smart home apps) for cars are now supported by the Play Store. Developers can now build smart home apps, and after an enhanced car safety check by Google, they’ll be available for car screens. This has been in early access for a while, but now the feature is hitting general availability.

As usual, the Android for Cars app program covers two different platforms: Android Auto and Android Automotive OS. The redundant branding means people always get these confused, but Android Auto is an app that runs on your phone. Just like Apple’s CarPlay, you plug your phone into your car’s dashboard (or it wirelessly connects), and the phone software takes over the car’s in-dash display, using it like an external monitor.