At HARMAN, we’re constantly finding new and innovative ways to drive into the future of connectivity. One thing we’ve learned is that in-vehicle customization and personalization of apps and features has a crucial role to play in that effort. The renowned HARMAN Ignite Store is changing the future of the automotive experience by sourcing groundbreaking automotive apps from visionary developers around the world. To learn more about the state of the HARMAN Ignite Store? We spoke to Karen Piurkowski, Global Marketing Director, Automotive at HARMAN, about the ahead-of-its-time automotive experience solution:

Q: What are your app type categories?

Piurkowski: Ignite supports media and messaging, and now is focused on parking, charging, and navigation applications. These latter domains were announced by Google, and Google’s priority is to support these apps on Android Auto, we plan to leverage those assets for embedded.

We are also targeting domains that are not currently on Google Roadmap. The two main domains here are POI (for example Yelp and Trip Advisor) which are competitive to Google Maps feature set and Productivity. As electric vehicle penetration increases, we have placed an emphasis on video

Q: Does HARMAN differentiate between app capabilities in park vs. drive mode during the certification process?

Piurkowski: Yes. Except for Apps that are only permitted to run when the car is parked (e.g. video), all third-party apps must adhere to distracted driving guidelines, and lose video focus (i.e. ability to display) when the car transitions from park to drive mode.

During the certification process, HARMAN ensures that the content provider supports all required application programming interfaces and that they adhere to HARMAN’s reference design guidelines, and lead to proper and predictable reference template behavior.

The OEM is responsible for the definition and implementation of the park and drive mode. Once in drive mode, only a handful of applications (e.g. media player) can display and leverage application programming interfaces to extract content from ‘headless’ applications.

Q: How many app partners have joined the platform so far?

Piurkowski: Currently there are more the 40 apps for which we have agreements in place. These are mostly standard AOSP media apps. The list is comparable to the list of applications available on the Google Automotive Play Store and supports the premise that we aim to cover 90% of the Android Automotive Apps.

We are now focused on more than 100 Apps that have been prioritized by our OEM customers. Some of the domains (e.g. Charging) require development effort so that we may support map and voice partners selected by OEMs.

Q: How many OEMs use the store today?

Piurkowski: We’re currently at feature complete status with two OEMs -- with multiple brands for both -- and are in the development phase with a third.  There is a planned start of production date in 1Q2022 and 1Q2023. The total market share of planned brands to deploy Ignite store comparable to all brands by OEMs with public announcement supporting Google Automotive Services.

(Continued in Part 2 of the blog)

We at HARMAN have taken every step to ensure that the end-to-end HARMAN Ignite Store experience is seamless and easy for app developers, OEMs and customers alike.  It creates incredible opportunity for unprecedented customization and connectivity, two values at the core of everything we do at HARMAN. Want to learn more about all the HARMAN Ignite Store has to offer? Visit