Great remodeling of Android Auto It will soon be over and will soon require all smartphone users to switch to Google Assistant driving mode. With the imminent discontinuation of the smartphone app, all users will have to get used to the uncommon app. We’ll show you what this “new” mode can do.
In May 2019, Google released a file Assistant driving mode It announced that it was supposed to replace the Android Auto smartphone interface, which was already dusty at that time and urgently needed a successor. Everything was prepared too: Android Auto received a completely new interface on the infotainment screens, the old smartphone application was already built in and Android 10 was prepared for this change. The product should look like the screenshot above – the only product ever released.
But in August 2019, the emergency brake was suddenly pulled out and it was announced that no driving assistant mode is present for the time being. An alternative Android app for Android 10 users has been quickly brought to the Play Store so that users are not suddenly banned from using it after updating the operating system. Google has never given a reason for this short-term delay, nor does it have a specific timeline for the rollout. But it soon became clear that there are no technical problems here – at least not superficially – but the strategy has changed.
Driving assistant mode did not appear until the end of 2020, but with a completely different interface. In the USA and some other countries, the rollout started at the beginning of this year and should be ready for all users around the world soon. Android Auto will be discontinued and the new mode, which has been rooted for at least two and a half years, will take over. But what is the driving mode of the Google Assistant?
This is the driving assistant mode
First of all, it must be said that the “Google Assistant Driving Mode” has become the “Assistant Driving Mode” over time, which is basically unrelated to Google Assistant. But since the mode is a Google product, there is still talk of the driving mode of the Google Assistant in many places. But this should not confuse you and it is quite possible that this mode will also become part of the assistant after the successful roll out of the maps – just as it was planned from the beginning.
The new mode is part of Google Maps navigation and focuses on map viewing and help. The familiar view is complemented by a new bar at the bottom representing the actual situation. This contains the Google Assistant microphone button and an icon for the app drawer. In the middle, if the navigation is not displayed in the main window, there can also be a button to switch to Google Maps.
The buttons for Assistant and Google Maps do nothing special, except for switching to the respective products. The real innovation is the app drawer, which allows you to switch to the different apps installed on the smartphone and optimized for use while driving. This is similar to Android Auto’s App Drawer on infotainment screens. The list of apps has been expanded with many new navigation apps. However, since there is no testing option, I can’t say if it is theoretically possible to open another navigation app from Google Maps Navigation.
Above this bar at the bottom, there can be a secondary status bar in which content from some applications can be viewed. There is so much possible, from navigation instructions to information from the music player to phone calls. Google Assistant can also put some information about the actively used app at this point.
Screenshots of the driving assist mode
Unless Google can manage it with Android 10 and skip it without comment with Android 11, it will now finally be implemented with Android 12: It was announced that with the onset of Android 12, Assistant Driving Mode will become the new interface for Android Auto on smartphones. However, in the end, the smartphone version is only a temporary solution for users who, for various reasons, cannot or do not want to use Android Auto directly on the screen in the car. It shouldn’t be a very long-term project because the target group gets smaller and smaller over time.
Now you have to ask yourself why did you take so much time to work on this situation. The deck doesn’t really look that exciting, and it doesn’t bring any new functionality either. At least since the fall of 2020, the interface has not changed from the first leaks to this day, and the functionality has not expanded either. It is very likely that internally one is still not quite sure how to implement this combination of Google Assistant, Google Maps, Android Auto and also a bit of the full Android experience. And when all the sections work together, it takes a little longer…
By the way, the new mode has no effect on the screen surface. Even if Android Auto is set on the smartphone, it can still be used on infotainment screens Should Do not change.
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