DFIR Review

Ka-Chow!!! Driving Android Auto



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  • DFIR Review
  • Mobile
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  • WinHex

Recently I purchased a new car. I am talking brand spankin’ new. I had been looking for a compact SUV for a while because of a growing family, and I found it: a 2019 Nissan Rogue. I purchased it in 2018, so this would make the car, like, really new. I was super excited as this was the first time I had ever purchased a new car.

While signing the novel-sized stack of paperwork that is part of any car purchase, the woman I was working with and I were chatting about all the bells and whistles that were in my newly purchased ride, and she mentioned that she had a term for newer cars: laptops on wheels. She was absolutely correct. My car keeps track of all sorts of things: gas mileage, proximity to objects, tire pressure, what I’m listening to on the radio, external temperature, and other things I probably don’t know about. The on-board electronics are crazy compared to my first car (a 1985 Chevy S-10 pickup). Additionally, my new car supports Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto, the two automotive interfaces developed for the two major mobile software platforms

While I have been using CarPlay for some time now, I have never used Android Auto. I was aware of its existence, but that was about it. When I bought the car, I was in the middle of creating a clean Android image for the DFIR community, so I thought it would be great to have this in the image since phone-to-car interfaces will become more and more common. Currently, there are 29 different auto manufacturers that have various models which support Android Auto, and the list continues to grow. Additionally, there are after-market radio manufacturers (e.g. Pioneer, Kenwood, etc.) that are baking Android Auto in to their units, so I feel that this will become more common place as time goes on.


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