Android Auto is Getting a Major Redesign

Posted on May 12, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Android, Google, Hardware with 19 Comments

Google detailed a major update coming to Android Auto at its I/O developer conference today. The update coming this summer will introduce a brand new UI designed to adapt to any screen size, with a new split-screen functionality that will keep navigation and media controls front and center.

“With split screen mode, now standard across all screen types and sizes, you’ll have access to your most-used features all in one place — no need to return to your home screen or scroll through a list of apps. With your navigation and media always on, you won’t have to worry about missing your next turn while changing your favorite commute podcast, Google explained.

Google Assistant is also becoming more capable on Android Auto. The assistant will be able to surface contextual suggestions when replying to messages, including sharing arrival times to contacts, and also play recommended music while you’re driving. Without using the Assistant, Android Auto will also soon let users message and call favorite contacts with just one tap or easily reply to messages by choosing a suggested response on the screen.

Android Auto is also about to become a better entertainment platform with YouTube, Tubi, Epix, and more video streaming apps coming soon. “As we work to add more capabilities to cars with Google built-in in the future, you’ll be able to not only browse the web directly from your car display, but also cast your own content from your phone to your car screen,” Google also said today.

Since its launch back in 2015, Android Auto has really matured with better navigation features and a Car App Library now including over 200 apps. Google also announced that the number of vehicles compatible with Android Auto has now crossed over 150 million worldwide.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Android Auto is Getting a Major Redesign”

  1. SvenJ

    "browse the web directly from your car display, but also cast your own content from your phone to your car screen". Not sure that's the best idea. Maybe we could get am adapter that lets us use steering wheel controls to play games.

    • jgraebner

      I expect (hope) that the web browsing and video playback features will only be available when the car is in Park.

  2. cac303

    My problem is that carmakers still aren't pumping out enough power through the USB port to keep a large modern smartphone charged while using the car app. If I am playing music through my smartphone while using maps there is a small power drain and at the end of a 4-5 hour road trip, my phone is dead.

    • lightbody

      I had this problem and solved it by getting AAWireless, and then a more powerful usb charger for the 12v socket to properly charge the phone. Use the car's built in AA usb socket only to provide AA wireless.

  3. peterh_oz

    Will this come to existing cars via an update to the phone app? Or does the car or head unit manufacturer have to do the update to the vehicle software, which won't happen.

    • darkgrayknight

      There isn't much software on the car side needed to run Android Auto (or Apple CarPlay). It is mostly just USB ports connected to the current stereo/info/entertainment system of the car. So generally no updates needed to the car for most changes.

  4. JH_Radio

    The Lexus RX350 (year 2016) doesn't have Android Auto or CarPlay. I suppose that's more standard in cars now?

  5. Davor Radman

    So they are still acting like there is no world outside usa.


  6. perception7

    I've always wanted to option to watch videos while parked in my vehicle (there are plenty of times I'm stuck waiting somewhere in my vehicle and would like to use my screen to watch something).

  7. johnlavey

    Well, seeing how Android is moving its auto program into the 21st century, this begs the question: when is the iPhone stepping into the new world? One of many gadgets that I have been waiting for is being able to unlock my Honda with my phone.

    • red.radar

      I understand the convenience factor. But I like to still drive my car when the battery on my phone is dead or worse the phone has become disabled.

      therefore I still need to carry a key for a backup. The key is more durable.

      and then why even pull the phone out the pocket when the wireless key fobs can work with. No interaction?

      I don’t get how the phone unlocking the car is a better solution…. Maybe I am missing something…

    • fishnet37222

      If I'm able to unlock my car with my phone, that means it's possible someone else could unlock my car with their phone. I don't like that possibility.

      • perception7

        A hammer can also open any car, why would they bother with digital security unless they are trying to be sneaky about it?

      • johnlavey

        That's always possible....but that's what passwords and security are all about.

  8. crunchyfrog

    This will be a welcome upgrade to AA. The LCD in my car is big enough to have more than one thing running at a time.

  9. will

    This totally looks like a an Apple CarPlay ripoff, just move things to the bottom vs the top.

    • Zep

      Are you blind? This is much more than moving some icons from the top to the bottom, including making the split screen layout that CarPlay copied from Android Auto available in all cars.

    • hellcatm

      apple rips off a lot of things as well. Everyone rips off everyone in tech.

  10. darkgrayknight

    What I'm waiting for is more apps being usable via Android Auto, like Here We Go & other alternate maps.