Google’s attempt at building in-car software is moving up a gear. Today, the company has announced a few updates for Android Auto — the infotainment experience powered by your smartphone — and Android Automotive OS, a functionally-similar alternative that’s baked right into the car. The biggest addition for Android Auto is a simple calendar app that shows your daily schedule and some relevant shortcuts for each item. If you’ve booked a haircut, for instance, you’ll have the option to call the business or immediately bring up directions. Google is also introducing a new settings app that should make it easier to change your preferences.
Right now, Android Auto and Android Automotive support two types of third-party apps: media and messaging. Google wants to expand the platform, though, and support "new categories" such as navigation, parking and electric vehicle charging. Today, the company confirmed that it's working with "early access partners" including SpotHero (parking), Chargepoint (charging) and Sygic (navigation) on driving-optimized apps that will be released in beta later this year. If the tests are successful, Google will release the underlying APIs so that other developers can start building Android Auto and Automotive apps in the same categories.