The ever-growing influence of smartphones on everyday life can be welcomed or avoided, but it is no longer possible to ignore it.
Android Auto technology (and its rival Apple CarPlay) allows you to use your smartphone without letting go of the steering wheel. Until recently, it was only possible to talk about the round handlebars of four-wheeled vehicles, but recently Honda announced a new firmware for the TFT display of the CRF1100L Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports models.
However, this is not the first motorcycle with Android Auto support: the Gold Wing received the same feature last year. But the Honda Africa Twin is a much more mass-produced model, and there is no doubt that the implementation of this technology in Africa will open the gateway through which similar solutions will pour in an avalanche on other models. Apple’s CarPlay approach to this idea was implemented on the Africa Twin as part of the 2020 model update, but it is Google’s implementation of Android Auto that will allow Honda to attract a huge swath of Android users to the technology.
For those who still have a Nokia 3310, in a nutshell about the essence of the technology: Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow you to display on the LCD of a car or motorcycle these programs installed on the phone and control them using the same display or joystick / remote control on steering wheel. Something like this is implemented on smartwatches, if it makes more sense.
For example, you can stream music or audiobooks from your phone to the acoustics of a car or motorcycle, use navigation from Google or other providers, and due to the connection of the phone to the network, a motorcycle or car does not need to install a SIM card to receive any data online. But similar functionality has been implemented in car multimedia receivers before, and the main essence of Android Auto is that it implements voice control based on Google technology, which allows you to make calls, scroll through a playlist, respond to SMS, emails and even messages in instant messengers. without touching either the phone or the multimedia screen of the car / motorcycle or even taking your hands off the steering wheel.
Of course, given the speed of technology development, the claimed compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also means the development of motorcycle-supported functions. That is, the functionality of the Africa Twin dashboard is not static – its capabilities will evolve as the functionality of Android Auto and the wirelessly connected smartphone grows.
To use Android Auto on a Honda Africa Twin, the motorcycle must be brought to the dealer for a dashboard firmware update, and a Bluetooth headset must be installed in the helmet to play audio, make calls and use voice control.