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Android M: Das Auto

A version of Android would be built directly into cars allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the internet without even plugging in their smartphones

Vipul Vivek 

Even before we could finish discovering the in Lollipop, a discussion among developers at the Open Source Project some weeks ago about "M" has left the tech world wagering on what the next version of the world's most popular operating system for smart devices could be named. "Milkshake"? "Marshmallow"? "Milky Way"? (I'd prefer "Marmalade".)

However, what has left bloggers clueless is what the M could mean for design. The biggest interface overhaul, the Material Design, has already been completed in Lolllipop. What next? Just tinkering? Well, Reuters claimed recently the company was "laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the internet without even plugging in their smartphones". This is different from the Android Auto project that works only when the vehicle is connected to a smartphone or the entertainment devices for use in vehicles Harman is building for the American search titan. Possibly, the other projects will be stopped after the M is released late next year or announced at the Google I/O in the middle of the next year, as the expectation is. This would integrate your car with the Google's huge geographical database - the traffic, the turns, the halts, stops and speedways, the petrol pump, the restaurants on the way, the police station and finally the home or office, wherever you were headed. (The first Google self-driving cars are set to arrive in January in northern California, US.) That would not just make software like Google's own Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay redundant but leave a little less work for car makers. That is, if they were to allow Google to take over their cars.

Another rumour is the M would integrate smart devices on a cloud to keep you always synced. So your smartwatch, your smartphone, your tab, your laptop and probably your office desktop all become a part of your extended self no matter where you go. Google the Butler will get you your reading, your work and your fun anywhere, anytime.

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First Published: Sun, December 28 2014. 22:24 IST