1. dawindbag's Avatar
    Today I read this really great review of Android Auto on Ars and came away wondering if Microsoft had a project like this in mind for Windows 10. While the review of Android Auto makes it seem good but raw, I couldn't help but notice a lot of commonalities where Windows 10 would shine.

    Continuum - The entire USB connection to the car's head unit feels like a stripped back version of Continuum. Instead of transforming a Windows 10 Mobile device into a full desktop it converts it into essentially a IoT device with a restricted UI. Conceptually the same and Continuum probably contains most of the APIs this type of technology needs.

    Action Center/Cortana/Start Screen - Android Auto has the Overview screen that contains most of the cards that you'd see either on Google Now or on the Notification shade. This type of UI would be even better on Windows 10. Cortana would handle all of the notifications elegantly and include suggestions and reminders from the notebook. Live Tiles and the Start Screen would be a perfect addition here that outstrips what Android was able to do.

    Cortana - Voice commands will be central to any car solution and I've found Cortana to be better than Siri and OK Google in most scenarios.

    App Gap - While the app gap tends to be a big problem for Windows devices, I'm not sure it would be here. Apps will likely not be a big part of most automotive use due to safety restrictions and it seems like Google's first-party apps will get 90% of the use, the only exceptions being PocketCasts and other podcasting solutions and maybe messaging like WhatsApp and Skype. For Windows 10 that's an advantage since the stock messaging, calling and video apps are already planned to be extensible. Presumably if the Windows 10 messaging app integrates with Skype and WhatsApp it'll work in this use case.

    Task Bar - The return of the task bar could be similar to the nav bar that Android Auto uses. It's possibly redundant to the Start Menu/Live Tiles + on-screen controls in this application, but as the review notes accessing each app with 1 click is a great benefit. The Start Screen and tiles require 2 taps and more closely mimics what Apple Carplay does. MS would need to make a decision here, but they have all the UI concepts in place on Windows 10.

    I haven't read anything about Windows 10 for cars yet and MS took a serious black-eye with Sync, but all the talk about mobility of experiences and the new features and cross-platform nature of Windows 10 makes this feel like a awesome opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with Google and Apple.

    Then again, maybe MS is shooting for something even bigger with Windows 10 being the underlying OS that these new OEM infotainment platforms run on instead of QNX or Android. If that happens then many of the ideas above become first-party options instead of an app like Android Auto. It's interesting and I wonder if MS will discuss it on the 29th.
    noersetiawan likes this.
    07-25-2015 08:07 PM
  2. pedenske's Avatar
    During build last year they talked about something like that and it would be cool to see come with the windows 10 IoT.
    Microsoft unveils Windows in the car, battles Apple CarPlay | The Verge
    07-27-2015 12:26 AM
  3. michail71's Avatar
    I don't think we would have live tiles in the car, way too distracting :)

    Driving interfaces have to be extra simple and distraction free. So I would imagine a whole specialized shell
    07-27-2015 09:03 AM
  4. jhoff80's Avatar
    During build last year they talked about something like that and it would be cool to see come with the windows 10 IoT.
    Microsoft unveils Windows in the car, battles Apple CarPlay | The Verge

    That wasn't actually running on the car hardware though. I mean, it wouldn't need to be running on Windows 10 at all. What they demoed was via Mirrorlink, which means that it's basically extending your phone to the car's screen (like how Android Auto and CarPlay work), so the car's underlying OS doesn't matter at all. Of course though, with this only being a concept and with Microsoft pushing hard just to get Windows 10 (and then Windows 10 Mobile) out this year, I don't expect any car functionality at all, to be honest.
    07-27-2015 02:05 PM
  5. dawindbag's Avatar
    I don't think we would have live tiles in the car, way too distracting :)

    Driving interfaces have to be extra simple and distraction free. So I would imagine a whole specialized shell
    Live Tiles don't seem like they'd be too distracting. They are no more complex or distracting than the Android Auto cards on the Overview screen. Obviously you wouldn't be letting drivers open apps while driving but just glancing at which apps have notifications and seeing images/icons wouldn't be a problem.

    Static start screen, action center, Messaging, Maps and Music player all pretty much exactly mirror what Google got approval for from NHTSA.
    07-27-2015 05:29 PM
  6. pedenske's Avatar
    And having things like current temp/airflow, radio station/volume and current directional heading would be perfect things to put into live tiles.
    07-27-2015 07:03 PM
  7. dawindbag's Avatar
    And having things like current temp/airflow, radio station/volume and current directional heading would be perfect things to put into live tiles.
    It's an interesting idea. Would probably require Windows to be the entire OS for the car instead of just a continuum like experience or an app like Android.
    07-27-2015 10:49 PM
  8. SonOfDad's Avatar
    Really don't see how a phone screen is big enough to interact with while driving :? they would need near perfect vocal I/O picking up the input accurately would be difficult given the amount of noise in a car and external traffic.

    Until someone can deck out a car with this I'll pass but Google should name their system K.A.R.R.

    07-27-2015 10:53 PM
  9. pedenske's Avatar
    It's an interesting idea. Would probably require Windows to be the entire OS for the car instead of just a continuum like experience or an app like Android.
    Isn't that what something like Windows 10 IoT could be used for?
    07-27-2015 11:52 PM
  10. michail71's Avatar
    Live Tiles don't seem like they'd be too distracting. They are no more complex or distracting than the Android Auto cards on the Overview screen. Obviously you wouldn't be letting drivers open apps while driving but just glancing at which apps have notifications and seeing images/icons wouldn't be a problem.

    Static start screen, action center, Messaging, Maps and Music player all pretty much exactly mirror what Google got approval for from NHTSA.
    Depends on the app, some are. I've found some on my phone to be irritating when they rotate useful info with something useless. Then you have to wait for it animate again.

    Also, live tiles aren't all that live. They only update periodically. One thing that irritates me about all the news live tiles is they get behind and when you open the app the story you were after on the tile isn't even available anymore.

    Nokia made there car app a while back that was centered around driving but I never tried that.
    07-28-2015 12:00 AM
  11. dawindbag's Avatar
    Isn't that what something like Windows 10 IoT could be used for?
    Yes...I've kind of said that twice now. But that's a much bigger barrier for entry, you need the OEMs to dump QNX or Android and adopt Windows 10. Possible, but the app approach that Android took is platform agnostic and really that's what MS needs to do considering the 0% marketshare in Auto right now.
    07-28-2015 07:37 PM

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