Samsung boosts in-car experience with SmartThings in Android Auto, wider car compatibility

(Pocket-lint) – At Samsung’s smartphone launch event Galaxy Unpacked, the company has confirmed that SmartThings will work with Android Auto while also talking about greater integration with cars, to create more seamless integration when you’re on the road.

Samsung has supported Android Auto for a long time, so that part of the equation isn’t new, but Samsung was keen to stress a closer working relationship with Google through-out the launch event. While the Android Auto experience remains much the same, the integration SmartThings opens up a new realm of possibilities from the screen in your car.

That will allow you to access anything you might have in your SmartThings world via Android Auto, so you can tap through to make adjustments via SmartThings. Of course, Google supports a wide range of smart home devices anyway, which would be supported via Google Assistant in Android Auto anyway, but this gives more options to those who have built a smart home around the SmartThings system.

What’s more interesting is that SmartThings will be able to use functions like geolocation to give you prompts in the car. You’ll be able to trigger routines, such as preparing the house for your return as you drive home. It’s all pretty standard stuff, but having a pop-up message within Android Auto on the display of your car is a little more unique.

Samsung also talked about integrating more cars into SmartThings too, which will allow you to control compatible cars within the SmartThings app, rather than using your car’s own app on your phone. That can feedback information like charge levels, as well as allow you to precondition your car before you leave the house – and all from Samsung’s side. 

This extends further too, with on the road notifications when your car is running low on charge, so that you can be directed to a charging station. While your car will do this from its own native systems, Android Auto has so far been rather distant from this sort of interaction – and it looks like SmartThings could provide that solution.

Outside of the app support, Samsung has also included UWB – ultra wide-band – into the new Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra, which brings with it support for digital keys, including some car keys. It all adds up to a Samsung system that’s getting more car friendly – and being the largest smartphone manufacturer globally, this could benefit a lot of drivers.

Writing by Chris Hall.

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