Do you use Android Auto?

Do you use Android Auto?

Google’s car-friendly interface matters more than ever

Source: Google


It’s been a long road for Android Auto’s new redesign. After some unofficial revelations earlier in the year, Google finally took the stage to unveil an updated car dashboard UI that promising drivers would have access to by the summer. Six months later, the new look of Auto – codenamed Coolwalk – has only just entered public beta. Considering some of the improvements Google has rolled out, it’s hard to say it hasn’t been worth the wait. Finally, since Android Auto is the main way people interact with their cars while driving, this update has a lot to offer.

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In recent years, Google’s relationship with cars has been in constant flux. Back in 2019, the company announced Assistant Driving Mode, a new service designed to replace Auto’s phone screen mode. It took over two years for the application to launch with its dedicated home screen, but even then it didn’t take long to reach this world. Google effectively ended it in October, keeping the Google Maps-based wrapper while dropping everything else. Android Auto for phone screens is now dead twice – first for phones running Android 12, then for everyone else.

android-auto-redesign-coolwalk-cropped

Source: Google

Aside from a few different phone screen alternatives, Android Auto – the original car-based version – remains the primary way for drivers to safely interact with their phones on the go. Since the last overhaul in 2019, Google has evolved its look and feel, all of which has led to this year’s UI redesign.

Android Auto has also evolved on a technological level. Wireless capabilities are now available in more cars than ever before, allowing users to skip searching for a USB-C cable every time they crawl into the driver’s seat. Aftermarket dongles have made it possible to add wireless support to your existing vehicle, just as dashboards continue to provide access to older vehicles. While Android Automotive isn’t the same, it’s also powering more cars from companies like GM and Volvo, offering drivers an Android experience no matter what phone they’re using.

When we last conducted this survey three years ago, the way we interact with our cars was very different than it is today. The phone app is gone, auto has become almost standard in all new cars – and more readily available in used cars – and its design has evolved. In 2019, nearly half of respondents relied on Android Auto in their cars; I wouldn’t be surprised if that number was even higher this time.

So are you an Android Auto user? Did your car come with this or do you rely on an aftermarket device? Or maybe your vehicle uses Android Automotive – I’ve added options for those users who keep their phones connected and for those who don’t. Personally, I’ve been using the car built into my car since 2019 and couldn’t imagine driving without it. I bet a lot of our readers think the same way, so let us know in the poll below.

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