Car Home for Android Gets Personal

Friday, October 1, 2010 | 8:21 AM

Car Home for Android turns your Android phone into a better driving companion by providing you with quick access to key applications on the go: GPS navigation, voice-activated commands, contacts, and more. Today, we’re releasing a new version of Car Home for Android (Update: currently for Nexus One and Motorola Droid, only) which makes it easier to customize Car Home to get the information you need faster.

Now, you can also quickly customize the shortcuts to personalize Car Home with one-touch access to apps and information on your phone. Just select one of the icons marked “Add shortcut” to start creating your own shortcuts. You can also drag-and-drop or remove shortcuts by long pressing any of them.


You can launch Car Home by opening the app directly from your phone or docking your phone in a car dock, and now you can automatically switch to Car Home when your phone pairs with any Bluetooth™ device. Simply select “Settings” from the Car Home screen and select which of your paired Bluetooth™ devices you want to automatically trigger Car Home.

Want to customize Car Home even more? You can now set your own wallpaper for Car Home. Just select “Settings” in Car Home and choose a wallpaper that fits your tastes. You can also customize the color of the shortcut icons to really make the Car Home experience your own.


We’ve also made it simpler for Android developers to modify their existing applications to be compatible with Car Mode. Apps which support Car Mode will show up in a “Car applications” category so they can easily be identified by you and added as a shortcut.

The new version of Car Home for Android is available for Android 2.2. You can get the update from Android Market by searching for “Car Home” in Android Market or tap here on your Android device.

Don’t forget, while your Android-powered companion can assist you while you drive, please keep your eyes on the road and drive safely at all times!

Update 10/1/10 10:28 PST: The new Car Home is available for Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Visit our Help Center to learn more or send us your feedback and questions in our Help Forum.

Posted by Markus Mühlbauer, Manager Engineering & Product, Google Automotive

45 comments:

Tom G. said...

Will this be available for HTC evo? As it is now its not showing up in the market for me.

Ant said...

It's not showing up in the market, but it has been available via various 3rd party Android fan sites.

Kev'em said...

I was able to download it from the Market on my EVO, running official Android 2.2.

leedsunited92 said...

Not showing up for HTC Desire either :(

asuengineer said...

I have a HTC Incredible and can't find this in Android Market either.

Kevin said...

Me neither. I have an EVO as well and cannot find it.

Hoytler said...

Nothing for the Motorola Droid X 2.2 either.

Wish this blog would indicate that this app isn't available outside of the Nexus One (so far).

Will S said...

Love the automatic launch with Bluetooth pairing. Since no OEM car mounts I've seen accommodate a phone with a case on it, third party universal mounts (I like my Arkon) are the way to go, and now I don't have to launch and close the app manually. Thanks Markus & team.

JB said...

Fragmentation for the loss, once again.

I'm once my contract with my myTouch 3G is done I'm moving to another mobile platform.

Even if I buy another android phone with 2.2 on it, there is no guarantee that it won't suffer the same fate as the myTouch 3G. (it stopped getting updates past 1.6 and new apps are not supporting 1.6)

Sam said...

Not appearing for my MotoBlur either.

m israels said...

I really did think I was going to like this, but not in the market for my DX 2.2, non-rooted.

Henrique said...

I must say it's GREAT to see that the Car Home app has not been abandoned by Google and is still receiving some investment.

As next steps, it'd be great that following the recent release of Android Market paid apps to several additional countries, we'd now see Google Maps Navigation being also released to several additional countries (including Brazil, please!!).

I'm more than ever pleased I got my Nexus One and my Car Dock.

m israels said...

You can see the following for more info on downloading:

http://www.droid-life.com/2010/10/01/download-google-car-home-app/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+DroidLife+(droid+life)

Superlink X said...

Found it on my Evo yesterday. Stock rooted on the newest OTA update. Not sure if it can still be found in the market or not, but it works great regardless. You just have to open the Car Panel app and then check Car Home as the default app, since you can't open Car Home directly on Sense devices. Works amazingly well.

Calculon said...

Great work. I don't use the stock dialer and use rdio instead of music, so I found the car dock very unappealing. You couldn't change any of the shortcuts :(

Robot Briefs said...

You can also download it from www.robotbriefs.com in our download section.

Really nice app. Good job Google

Stephen Condra said...

When I try to update on my Nexus One running CM 6.0, it fails to install. Any ideas?

Dave said...

ARRGH! Why couldn't Google have done this for 2.1 devices too?? My TMO Mytouch 3G Slide is only three months old but it can't run this!

Dave said...

ARRGH! Why couldn't Google have done this for 2.1 devices too?? My TMO Mytouch 3G Slide is only three months old but it can't run this!

Dave said...

ARRGH! Why couldn't Google have done this for 2.1 devices too?? My TMO Mytouch 3G Slide is only three months old but it can't run this!

test said...

There are still some things that need work, such as the contact list. If using car mode with phone rotated horizontally (which I think most would do), and one tries to use the contacts or dialer shortcut, there is no reorientation. One either has to rotate the phone vertically, or struggle to decipher the menus at an angle. This needs to be fixed. I know the motto is reusue, reuse, reuse, but if the app is not designed for horizontal orientation, then perhaps special dialer, contacts, etc need to be made for the car home application.

Mike said...

Any plans to update this app for other phone models in the near future? I've a Droid X and I'd like to update, please.

Pero said...

Droid X 2.2 please

JokeyRhyme said...

The only thing I would use this for would be quick access to Navigation. It's therefore a terrible shame that Google has still failed to negotiate the required licence to provide Navigation here in Australia. :(

I do like the fact that Google is updating their suite of applications via the Market. Very nice. Any word on when Listen will get a more post-Donut icon?

Also, what's with device detection on the Market? Shouldn't Google follow their own guidelines and target device capabilities instead of specific handsets?

Level M said...

Please consider implementing Google Maps Live Wallpaper FTW!

Purushothaman Rajaram said...

Hello, I am unable to See the APP for the DROID-X 2.2 from the market. Can you tell us whats the reason.

Thanks

gpsmapper said...

I don't see any "Add shortcut" options, just three blank spaces on the second screen. Long presses do nothing. I'm on Droid 1 running 2.2. Anybody else?

Andy said...

@gpsmapper: It sounds like you're running the old version of Car Home if you can't change the shortcuts or add new ones.

Mrwirez said...

Ok... here is how I did it. Open root explorer, open /system/app -mount R/W. look for CarHomeGoogle.apk. Long press it and hit rename... add .bak to it [CarHomeGoogle.apk.bak]. Hit ok and close out. Reboot and open Market. Search for Car Home (should be 2.2.1) and install. Reboot...

It worked perfect plus you have the 2.2 backup of CarHomeGoogle.apk. 2.2. This is so sweet. I used the "road" wallpaper, changed the color to match my dashboard , added SiriusXM, Listen, and Pandora apps.. KILLER!!

PS.. DON'T mess with CarHomeLauncher.apk or you will lose the icon and shortcut!

Wirez..

Geometric Angel said...

not showing up for the G2. I echo the device detection in the marketplace is nonsense.

Alex Lyman said...

Can't find the update in the Market on my new G2. Is this N1/DroidX specific, and not a 2.2-only thing?

Trevor said...

Installed it on my G1 running Android 2.2, but it doesn't show up. No "Car Home" icon anywhere! Bah humbug.

SDsc_rch said...

i can vouch for MrWirez' procedure above. Worked for me!

James Plaskitt said...

It seems daft that this application is available for the Nexus One and not the HTC Desire, even though hardware wise, they are practically the same phone.

SDsc_rch said...

hmmm.. only able to add certain shortcuts: car home shortcuts, "other" program shortcuts, direct-dial #s and navigation shortcuts

what they DON'T have shortcuts to are widgets (like oh say.. GPS!)



to save battery, i normally run around with my GPS off, and turn it on when i need it

until google maps automatically toggles GPS on when its called up, it would be nice to have easy access to a widget that turns GPS on before i go to my navigation mode

what i would REALLY LIKE is if GPS automatically turned on when i turn on a GPS-needing app!


many thx to google for making this!
:)


- me
(ps: interesting.. they have a brightness toggle - day/night/auto --- so i KNOW they are "able" to make a widget in the CarHome environment - they just need to "want" to make a GPS widget!)

bj warkentin said...

GPS does turn on and off on demand... I used to toogle it on and off in an attempt to save battery but discovered that you can leave it "on" all the it and Android will power it up as required.

Think of the "off" setting as disabled, and the "on" as a standby, allowing the GPS radio to be turned on by an app asking for GPS info.

If you leave it "on" and the GPS radio stays on all the time you have an app running that is continuously asking for GPS updates.

bj warkentin said...

Why does this update not work for other hardware running 2.2? I have an older version working perfectly under 2.2 running on a HTC Magic.

This version will not install, with an error message of:

Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_UPDATE_INCOMPATIBLE]

Bob said...

Why isn't the navigation available in other countries such as e.g. Norway? Isn't navigation basically just a "tilted" view of the map? As long as I have access to directions in Google Maps, it should really support navigation as well - no need to put silly geographical limitations on this service!

Sandeep said...

For those who can't see it in the market you can download the app from here:
http://ip208-100-42-21.static.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=8404454&postcount=9

You will need to copy it to your sd card and use a file explorer to run the install (you can download and install the launcher app as well so you can start the Car Home manually)

enjoy

Dallas said...

bug: the app will freeze if you try to add a non-navigational shortcut. Needs fixing

Ric said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Ric said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Ric said...

If you wan't to run the Car Home app on a HTC phone your going to need to download and install CarHomeGoogle and CarHomeLauncher apk files from the from the XDA site.

http://ip208-100-42-21.static.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=7295573&postcount=10

Good LUCK!

Allen said...

My Moto Droid X had it preloaded from factory.

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