Google Android Auto gets major update – new look, features, split-screen mode; better screen support

Google Android Auto gets major update – new look, features, split-screen mode; better screen support

Three years after its last major overhaul, Google’s Android Auto is set to receive another significant redesign in the summer (from June) in the United States. First introduced in 2014, Android Auto has gone through multiple iterations and the company says it is now found in over 150 million cars globally across nearly every car brand.

Revealed at Google I/O 2022, the latest version of Android Auto features a new user interface that adapts to various car screen sizes, which is something its predecessor couldn’t do. This is an important enhancement as it maximises screen real estate and will see the UI default to a split-screen mode that scales automatically to a widescreen- or portrait-format display.

A selection of panels relating to your most-used features will all shown in one place – a la Apple CarPlay – including media playback, navigation and messaging. “We’ve found there are three main functionalities that drivers prioritise in their cars: navigation, media and communication,” Google said in its release.

There will also be a permanent panel for access to the app launcher, notifications and Google Assistant. On that mention, the company’s voice assistant will now offer contextual suggestions to help you be more productive in the car.

Examples include suggested replies, to messages, to sharing arrival times with a friend, or even playing recommended music. Additionally, you can now quickly message and call favorite contacts with just one tap, and even reply to messages by selecting a suggested response on the screen.

Besides Android Auto, Google also highlighted improvements made to Android Automotive OS (AAOS), it’s infotainment platform that is currently built into Volvo models like the C40, XC40 and Polestar, among others – several carmakers have also pledged to adopt AAOS.

New for AAOS is support for third-party video streaming apps like Tubi and Epix Now, allowing users to have more options besides YouTube to keep them entertained when their vehicle is parked. Users will also be able to use a web browser and cast their own content from their phone when these features become available later this year.

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.

 

Comments

  • carguy on May 18, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    Can existing Cars with Android Auto be update to the latest version ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8
    • Civic Turbo 2018 on May 18, 2022 at 6:39 pm

      Need to buy new car again

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4
      • Kariayam on May 18, 2022 at 8:04 pm

        most new cars dont even come with this as standard which is what’s so messed up, need to pay a premium for this

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
        • Brian on May 19, 2022 at 8:34 am

          Pay premium oso they are removing such features. Meanwhile at BMW…
          https://paultan.org/2022/05/18/bmw-drops-apple-carplay-android-auto-due-to-change-in-chip-supply-function-to-resume-end-june/

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • Crasher7 on May 18, 2022 at 8:00 pm

      It’s up to your phone software, not the car headunit

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5
      • Brian on May 19, 2022 at 8:33 am

        Your phone software does not magically make your HU screen go super long or else you lose a lot of screen space when the interface shrinks to fit the width of your physical screen.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • JOACHIM on May 18, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    This is why going for AA is sometimes not a good option. When it revamps its interface, like this split screen, it makes usage on legacy devices no longer optimised. A inhouse designed Android system ie MBUX, Sensus or AtlasOS will guarantee perfect usability on HU that it is designed specifically for them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5
  • Alihms on May 19, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    Android Auto or Samsung or both in combination needs to work on improving the connectivity issue. My 3008 works flawlessly with Huawei, OPPO but not with the latest Samsung (S22). Older Samsung S8+ works fine.

    I’ve tried many things, including updating to latest software version, buying new & expensive data cable, resetting, rebooting, deleting old legacy connections etc. None works.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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