Android Auto's new look and features are game changing for in-car use

The updates coming to Android Auto not only make the platform look better on-screen but they make it more useable too

Android Auto
(Image credit: Google)

Android Auto is about to get some neat changes that will improve not only how it looks on your car's touchscreen but also how it functions. You'd be forgiven for missing the automotive updates among the huge list of new features that came out of Google I/O 2022 but if you already use Android Auto in your car, you'll appreciate them. 

Google describes the main change as a brand new look, which in essence it is. The new design is fully adaptive to different car screens – whether they are portrait, landscape, ultra-wide or something in between. Not only does this mean that the OS will make use of the whole screen, rather than just a section of it (for those portrait or ultra-wide options) but you'll be able to do more without coming out of the navigation view. 

The split-screen setup means that you get either a side or bottom bar next to the map that can display other app functions. So you can show incoming messages, your music player, or even browse through all apps, while the navigation view stays in place.

The Google Assistant functionality is also getting an upgrade. Contextual suggestions  will allow you to pick from suggested replies to messages, share your arrival time or get recommendations on music, all without having to touch the screen. 

Android Automotive – the version of Android Auto that's built into vehicles like the Polestar – is also getting some new features. Building on the features announced at CES in January, this will include the ability to watch movies on your screen while the car is parked, through YouTube, Tubi and Epix Now.  There will also be a web browser, so in theory, you will be able to watch content from other streaming platforms too. 

You can read more about that here: Android Auto got an amazing new feature that no one is talking about.

Android Automotive video in car

(Image credit: Google)

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing and Hong Kong, is now based in Chicago. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.