Android Auto has come a long way since it was first introduced in 2014. It has gone through many design iterations and is now found globally in over 150 million cars. To keep up with the times, the infotainment systems of modern vehicles have also grown in size, with some featuring ultra-wide screens while others feature portrait-style screens.
However, the current Android Auto UI doesn’t take full advantage of these different sizes as it was never designed to cater for such different screens. To fix this, Google is redesigning Android Auto with a new scalable split-screen layout for next-generation cars to better accommodate screens of different sizes and aspect ratios. . Here’s what you can expect.
Android Auto’s new split-screen redesign makes it smarter than before
Depending on the size of your car’s infotainment screen, Android Auto will automatically scale to display panels for the app launcher, notifications, and Google Assistant. If your vehicle has an extra-wide display, these panels will appear on the left. And if the infotainment system uses vertical screens, they will be displayed at the bottom.
The new design will ensure you don’t have to go back to the Android Auto home screen every time you need to access the app launcher.
The main user interface will consist of three parts. The first two are navigation and media controls and the last one changes dynamically to display contextually appropriate information like incoming new messages, clocks, etc.
Android Auto gets even smarter and integrates the Google Assistant deeper. When you start a trip, you can easily share a link of your arrival time with friends, you can use one-tap quick replies for messages, and more. Plus, you’ll be able to call your favorite contacts with just one tap without using your voice.
These changes will come to Android Auto this summer. They will be available on all new and used vehicles, as long as they support Android Auto.
If you’ve just received a new car that supports it, be sure to check out the most important Android Auto settings you should tweak.
Android Automotive for support for third-party video streaming apps
In addition to Android Auto, Google is also bringing a number of improvements to Google-built cars, aka Android Automotive. These systems feature a vehicle-specific Android version of the infotainment system and include the Volvo C40, XC40 and Polestar 2.
It is now possible to use YouTube on such vehicles while they are parked. Google will extend this capability to third-party video streaming apps, including Tubi and Epix Now. This feature will be exclusive to Volvo vehicles for a short time before being available to other vehicles with the Android Automotive operating system.
The big G is also looking to support Google Cast for such cars, so you’ll be able to stream the content you want from your phone. Finally, a web browser is being developed for the Android Automotive operating system and will be available later this year.
To make life easier for developers, Google will give them tools that will allow them to quickly adapt their tablet apps for a parked car experience, speeding up the process. develop and publish Android Auto and Android Automotive OS apps, and build more feature-rich apps.
These tools will open the door to new types of Android Auto apps. For now, the best Android Auto apps are limited to media playback, navigation, and messaging.
Android Auto’s redesign will update it
Google is making Android Auto smarter and more useful with a new redesign. The dynamic layout automatically adjusts for the best experience based on the size of your vehicle’s infotainment screen, which will increase over time.
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