Google revealed a set of updates to the Android Auto experience this week with Google Assistant, car displays, and Google apps built-in services. Google Assistant driving mode on Android phones was given a new dashboard this week with the keyword phrase “Hey Google, let’s drive.” This new mode will deliver “glanceable, tappable cards” for ease of use while driving – with special emphasis on music with Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music, Podcast Addict, JioSaavn, Audible, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, and others in the mix.
Driving mode (as mentioned above, and earlier this year) will be delivered to Android smartphones of all sorts in the next few weeks for English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian modes. Driving mode will be the “primary experience for Android phones” in vehicles from this point forward.
Android Auto on car displays will be getting better in the very near future as well. Google announced that “more than 100 million cars compatible with Android Auto” will get new features that “bring help from Google onto your car display via your Android phone.” Google Assistant will soon send recommendations for podcasts, music, and news. You’ll be able to “set which app launches” when you start Android Auto, automatically, too.
Google also suggested this week that “in the coming years, millions of cars will have Google fully built-in to their infotainment systems.” Notice the lack of the word “Android” or term “Android Auto” in that statement. The statement continues: “So you can get around with Google Maps, use Google Assistant to turn on the A/C, download your favorite apps on Google Play and much more, even without a smartphone.”
A big team-up between Google and Honda was announced that’ll have “future models with Google built-in starting in 2022.” This new Google experience in vehicles (or “Google built-in”) will be “available on cars from top brands” other than Honda, too, including: Ford, General Motors, Renault, Polestar, and Volvo.