Google announced a redesigned Android Auto and previewed some of its features at I/O 2022. Launched around CES last month to users worldwide, the ‘new’ Android Auto is now launching in India. Google says the design updates in Android Auto will offer drivers “a more personalized, user-friendly experience behind the wheel.”
One of the Times of India-Gadgets Now team members spotted the new Android Auto interface. Here’s a first-person account of how the new UI differs from the older one.
Unlike the older Android Auto interface, the new one gets a map-based UI. By default, the screen gets three maps: the largest, of course, is dedicated to maps (for navigation). This card takes up about 60% of the space, while the other two, in our case the search bar (to enter the destination) and the music card (YouTube Music), take up the rest of the screen. There’s a card-based design that conforms to the company’s Material You scheme. The media card shows album covers.
The “Menu” button has been moved to the driver’s side and there are shortcuts for “Settings”, “Phone”, “Maps” and “YouTube Music” in the quick launcher. The launcher shows recently used apps.
Instead of the top left, the time and the battery of the connected smartphone now appear in the bottom right.
Google said Android Auto is compatible with all major automakers and the split-screen layout is also adaptable to different screen sizes. This means that the new interface will be available for cars that have both larger and smaller screens than ours.
In addition to the new design, Google Assistant also gets new functions. The virtual intelligent assistant offers intelligent suggestions, including missed call reminders and instant access to music or podcasts.
Smart Suggestions are a handy feature, but it’s recommended to be used during extreme needs, as you still need to read the Smart Suggestions, which take your attention off the road and onto the screen.
The “Microphone” icon is right next to the “Menu” button and is now more accessible. If you don’t want to have three maps, you can remove one of them and drive with a cleaner UI.
The new design also features a searchable progress bar for music and podcasts, allowing users to skip forward in a song or episode. You can now also make WhatsApp calls and check messages received during a specific trip.