Google is getting ready to roll out a major new update for Android Auto this summer. The new version of the platform will be the first big change the platform in several years.
NAVIGATING IN THE DARK
The update to the four-year-old Android Auto system was announced at Google I/O in May this year and includes an entire redesign of the app. One of the more basic improvements is a faster start to the system. The moment the car is on, Android Auto will trandfer music playing from a mobile device to the car and bring up a navigation app, including turn-by-turn directions on the navigation bar. The navigation bar will also allow users to manage their phone and apps with fewer taps on the screen than is currently necessary.
The look of the screen will also improve. Depending on the size of the screen, different amounts of information will be displayed. Larger screens will include notifications and directions, making the most of the screen size. The other major shift in the look of the platform is the option of a new dark theme, with brighter accents and fonts to make it easier to read the screen.
Due to a viral Reddit post, some eager Android Auto users believed the rollout would begin last week, but that turned out to be premature. For now, Google is sticking to a release date of some time this summer. The new updates are just the latest part of Google’s focus on Android Auto this year. In January, Android Auto received full Google Assistant functionality for the first time, an important step for bringing cars into the Google ecosystem.
Google made several other announcements connected to Android Auto at I/O. Volvo is working in partnership with Google to make Android Auto a central part of the car company’s Polestar line of electric vehicles, and navigation service Waze is easier to operate by voice now that it has been integrated into Google Assistant.