Google has released new updates for Android Auto, including a new look and features that make driving more simple, personal and helpful. The new app launcher allows you to find all your favourite apps with fewer taps. The bottom left button will open the app launcher, where you'll find the familiar app icons laid out with your most commonly used apps automatically featured in the top row.
Google has also added Google Assistant badge on most of the app icons. By tapping the icon, your Assistant can perform various functions, like telling you about your calendar, giving you weather reports, reading news or setting a reminder for you. Android Auto can also automatically start playing your music from where you last left off.
You can tap on a suggested location or use the Assistant to start navigating. And if you already have a route queued up on your phone, Android Auto will automatically populate the directions and begin routing you to your destination. The new navigation bar sits at the bottom of your display and allows you to manage multiple apps more easily. So, even if 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. You can also jump straight to your app running in the background with one tap.
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 your friends and family while keeping your eyes on the road. Just long-press the mic button on the steering wheel, tap on the mic button on your display or say ‘Hey Google’ to allow the Google Assistant to make calls, send messages and read your notifications.
According to Google, the Android Auto is flexible and can morph itself to fit widescreen displays in cars that support it, giving you extra space for step-by-step navigation, media playback and ongoing call controls (depending on vehicle support). Plus, the new Android Auto improves visibility with easy to read fonts as well as a new dark theme and colourful accents that can be matched to your car’s interior.
If your car has Android Auto support, you’ll start to see the new design over the next few weeks. These updates, however, will not be reflected in Android Auto for your phone screen.