Google to roll out new Android Auto interface

The redesigned Android Auto experience

Luckily, Google is aware of that and will be releasing a new major update for the in-car system. That's according to a company blog post today from Android Auto product manager Rod Lopez, who adds that Google will be sharing more details at Tuesday's "What's New with Android for Cars" session during I/O.

With that in mind, the main interface of Android Auto now features a navigation bar which will tell you your turn-by-turn directions and allow you to control your phone all from one place. Different automakers have different sizes and shapes of infotainment display: Google says Android Auto will now make better use of widescreen panels and show more information at once. It would allow them to find out and start other apps compatible with Android Auto.

The new Android Auto UI is designed around getting you to the apps you want to use more quickly. Apps will be displayed in a grid, and notifications will be shown when tapping a bell button. It's best illustrated here on this web-based version of the Polestar 2's Android Automotive operating system, the first example of Android Automotive we've seen. Now you can be in Google Maps and control your Spotify playlist on the same screen or even take a call from the nav bar. With Assistant's new Driving Mode, which is also coming this summer, you only need to say "Hey Google, let's drive", and your handset will immediately serve up a list of relevant notifications and actions, from friends and family to call, to a link to the last podcast you were listening to, so you can hop right back into it once you're in the auto. Other subtle changes include the fonts, and the new round icons (they used to be square). It also gives more priority to important notifications like navigation heads up and ongoing calls.

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The new look will be overviewed with developers at Google's I/O conference later this week.

Google recently also showcased its new Android Automotive OS based on Linux, which will be a whole standalone operating system, which vehicle manufacturers can integrate into their cars.

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