Google today released the Desktop Head Unit (DHU), a new testing tool for Android Auto developers. The DHU basically enables your workstation to act as an Android Auto head unit. It emulates the in-car experience for testing purposes.
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After this the Android Auto developers have a new way to try out their apps. Without spending a lot of resources on an actual head unit or an entire car.
The Android Auto Desktop (DHU) is capable of running on Windows, OS X or Linux desktop. And it works in conjunction with the companion app on Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher.
Installing it is somewhat a difficult job as you will need to connect the Android device through a USB cable. But once you are successful with compiling and installing your app it will behave as if it’s connected to a car.
Naturally Android Auto apps need to be minimally distracting. And so porting a regular app straight across is out of question.
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Google provided some rough simulation through its SDK before. But still you will need to work from your car. Now things are different as using the emulator is tantamount to using an actual Android Auto device.