Automotive

Android Auto gets a fresh new look!

Accomplish more with fewer taps

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Aiming to help drivers and passengers alike to have better entertainment experience and accomplish tasks while on the road, Android Auto is now rolling out with a new interface in more than 36 countries.

The new update carries a fresh app launcher in which you can find all your favorite apps with fewer taps — really important for drivers as they can’t afford to look away from the road for a long time.

As a preview, the bottom left button opens the app launcher where you’ll find familiar app icons laid out with your most commonly used apps automatically featured in the top row.

There are also Google Assistant badges now that update you of your schedule, give you a weather report, or read the latest news all while you’re driving.

A big part of Android Auto is its ease of navigation. Whether it be Google Maps or Waze, you can still find the fastest route to your destination through voice commands. If you already have a route queued up on your phone, the system will automatically load the directions when you get to your vehicle. Pretty convenient!

Additionally, the new navigation bar sits at the bottom of your display and allows you to manage multiple apps easily. This ensures that even though you’re listening to music, you won’t miss your next turn; or if you’re following directions, you can still easily pause or skip a song.

On the bottom right corner, a new notification button houses all of your recent calls, messages, and alerts. You can also keep in touch with friends and family while keeping your eyes on the road. This is done by long-pressing the mic button on the steering wheel, tapping on the mic button on your display, or simply saying “Hey Google” to have the Google Assistant help make calls, send messages, and read your notifications.

Visibility and the way the UI is presented is also important if you’re just going to glance over the menu while driving. This is why the refreshed Android Auto has been designed to now be easier to read and has a new dark theme so it doesn’t get too bright at night.

If your car has Android Auto support, you’ll start to see the new design over the next few weeks. I personally use Android Auto as most navigation systems from car brands are finicky to use. With this update, driving experience should be a lot easier and safer.

Automotive

There’s a new MX-5 Miata built for the track

Offering the joy of car racing at a reasonable cost

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A favorite sports car of many, the Mazda MX-5 just got a serious upgrade as a track car.

This coming 2020, RaceGAS Dynamics will be introducing a new one-make sports car racing series called the Miata Spec Series. It’s the country’s only rear-wheel-drive sports car racing championship that features the latest edition of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Latest edition of the 4th-gen MX-5 Miata

Developed for the track, the updated MX-5 is designed as an affordable car that will be equipped with custom competition parts to bring out its on-track full potential while still being street-legal.

We were able to review the MX-5 RF Club Edition roadster a few months back, and the performance of the stock MX-5 is already impressive enough.

There is an array of new upgrades including brand new Cusco coilovers and sway bar suspension components, a Sparco steering wheel, racing seat and racing harness, a six-point roll cage that allows operation of the soft top assembly, a full cat-back exhaust system, one set of 17Ă—7.5-inch Concept One wheels and 215/45/ 17 Nitto tires, and finally, a full set of apparel which includes racing suit, shoes, and gloves.

Major engine, drivetrain, and electronic components will be sealed by the organizer prior to customer handover to ensure the cars’ conformity to the one-make racing formula.

President of RaceGAS Dynamics Allan Uy shares, “Ever since I began my racing career, I have always wanted to create a sports car series that allows the cars’ owners to enjoy their rides whether on the track or on the road. With the Mazda MX-5, we are able to realize this dream.” He further adds that the Miata Spec Series offers its participants the enjoyment of sports car racing at a reasonable cost.

Set to be released in May next year, Interested buyers may reach out to RaceGAS Dynamics through email ([email protected]) for inquiries about the cars and the upcoming 2020 Miata Spec Series season.

The expected introductory price is at PhP 2,500,000 for the brand new MX-5 Soft Top Manual Transmission unit by RaceGAS Dynamics.

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Automotive

Honda introduces its new and affordable City variant

Ready to take on any urban challenge

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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. has just introduced its new and affordable Honda City. The Honda City 1.5 S CVT is currently the most affordable model in its family that comes with an Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission.

This series has been known as the brand’s best-selling nameplate in the Philippines and this time, the new City has a Euro-4 1.5-liter SOHC four-cylinder i-VTEC engine with Eco Assist System. Together with its CVT configuration, this subcompact sedan delivers 118hp and 145Nm of torque which produces a powerful yet efficient powertrain ready to take on any urban challenge.

To give a quick rundown of some of its features, the City 1.5 S CVT aims to give customers one of the best value for money propositions in its class. At this price point, you still get features such as front and rear windshield defoggers, power windows, power door locks, security alarm with immobilizer, LED daytime running lights, and keyless entry as standard.

Plus, since Honda makes no compromise when it comes to safety, the new City also offers dual airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

Priced at PhP 820,000, the Honda City is available in four different colors such as Lunar Silver, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal, Black Pearl, and Taffeta White. Units are already available in Honda dealerships nationwide.

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Automotive

The Tesla pickup just got a reveal date

We’ll finally see Elon Musk’s promising electric truck

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People have always been on the lookout for any updates regarding Elon Musk’s upcoming pickup truck ever since he first announced the project. It got a lot of people excited as it promises more power for less the asking price. Well, we’re only a few days away from its unveiling as Musk finally announced its reveal date.

According to the main man of Tesla, the electric pickup truck will be unveiled on November 21, 2019 in Los Angeles near the SpaceX rocket factory.

If you still remember some of Musk’s previous tweets, his main concern for the upcoming truck is for “people to get a really great truck for US$ 49,000” and it seems like he’s dead set on doing that. It should also be more capable than other trucks like the Ford F150 and even outperform a Porsche 911.

In more than a week’s time, we’ll finally get to see the Tesla pickup and I for one am just looking forward to seeing what it will offer. In the meantime, you may read our article on what to expect when it finally gets unveiled.

READ MORE: Anticipating the Tesla Pickup Truck: What you need to know

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