Google upgrades Car Home for Android

Google has updated its Car Home app for Android 2.2 (Froyo) with a highly-customizable UI and one-touch access to key software, including GPS navigation, voice-activated commands and contacts.

“Now you can [easily] customize the shortcuts to personalize Car Home with [quick] access to apps and information on your phone,” explained Google Automotive spokesperson Markus Mühlbauer.

“Simply select one of the icons marked ‘add shortcut’ to start creating your own shortcuts. You can also drag-and-drop or remove shortcuts by long pressing any of them.”

According to Mühlbauer, Car Home can be initialized by either manually launching the app from a smartphone or placing the device in a vehicle dock.

“[This allows you to] automatically switch to Car Home when your phone pairs with any Bluetooth device.

“Simply [choose] ‘settings’ from the Car Home screen and select which of your paired Bluetooth devices you want to automatically trigger Car Home.”

Mühlbauer added that the latest iteration of the platform boasted customizable wallpaper and colors, along with a new category for Car Mode compatible apps.

However, as Adam Litke of

notes, Car Home – which was initially released for all Froyo-powered phones – has now been locked down to just two smartphones: the Nexus One and Motorola Droid.

Definitely not cool, but here’s to hoping Car Home will be unlocked for additional Android devices sometime soon.

We’ll keep you posted.