Google has started rolling out the new Android Auto experience the company first announced at its I/O conference last year. The redesigned Android Auto offers a split-screen layout that can adapt to different screen sizes, and it lets users see directions, music controls, and texts all at once.
“The new design prioritizes three important goals for drivers: navigating where you’re going, communicating with friends and family, and playing your music or podcasts,” Google explained. “Maps is now closer to the driver’s seat so that you can see where you’re going at a glance. The new media card includes the best of Material You to feature your favorite album art, and the added quick launcher lets you quickly access recently-used apps.”
Google is also adding new features to Android Auto. Google Assistant is now capable of displaying missed call reminders and other smart suggestions. Android Auto is also making it easier to access music or podcasts, and Google has added a progress bar for audio playback, which was a top-requested feature.
Android Auto is also gaining on-screen shortcuts for replying to messages or calling favorite contacts. If you have a recent Galaxy or Pixel phone, you’ll also soon be able to make calls on WhatsApp with Android Auto.
The refreshed Android Auto experience isn’t the only product update Google announced at CES this week. The ability to share digital car keys will soon arrive on Samsung phones in addition to iPhones and Google’s own Pixel phones, with Xiaomi phones to follow later this year. Google also said that more car manufacturers will follow BMW and add digital car key support, though the company didn’t share an ETA.