Numerous cars are equipped to work with Android Auto. This is a handy application that allows you to extend your dashboard system for use with an Android smartphone. But if you look in the Dutch App Store, you will not come across this application. Why is Android Auto not available in the Netherlands?
Android Auto does not take the place of a dashboard system, but it can make an additional contribution to the car's infotainment system. That means that you can't turn up your air conditioning with the operating system, but you can navigate via Google Maps, answer hands-free messages and phone calls and listen to music. So it's more of an extension of your phone in the form of entertainment, rather than Android taking over your car.
Not in the Netherlands
In other countries it can be an addition to your driving experience, because there, for example, the speedometer can be used. This way you know how fast you can drive on a specific road. This is only available in certain countries. The trouble with Android Auto is that it is not supported everywhere at all. The Netherlands is unfortunately one of them.
It is often said that the reason for this is that the government does not allow it, as it is an extension of your mobile. While smartphone use behind the wheel is discouraged in every way. Especially because Android Auto is not as heavily boarded up as, for example, Apple's competitor: Carplay. With it you can only call, navigate and listen to music, making it easier to use hands-free. You are not tempted to do other things.
On the other hand, Android Auto is now much less open: you can really only do the basics on it, in order to pay as much attention as possible to traffic. Why we still don't have the app in the Netherlands, that's because Google states that it has deliberately not yet rolled out Android Auto in the Netherlands, because it gives priority to larger countries. It cannot simply introduce the app, because it does have to do with laws and regulations. It costs time and money to find out what those laws and regulations entail per country and possibly lobby to ensure that the app can still be used.
Downloadable via APKMirror
You can put Android Auto on your phone, but that is not completely legal. The app can be found on APKMirror, where you can download all kinds of apps that are not (yet) available in our country. However, this requires you to give your phone permission to download third-party apps and that involves risks for which you are protected in the Google Play store.
It is a pity that the application is not yet available in the Netherlands, because Google is constantly improving it. For example, a dark theme that is better for your eyes will be introduced soon and it will become more and more simplified and easier to use. In the end, it will also increasingly resemble Apple's Carplay, so that governments may still allow the dashboard tool.
In addition, Android Auto should mainly work via the Google Assistant, so you only have to exclaim "Hey Google, let's drive" to then get the navigation and calling options. However, before you can officially use this in the Netherlands, that is still unknown, so you have to wait until then or still have to download the app via APKMirror.