Android Auto is getting an excellent free update drivers will love

The new feature aims to improve safety, letting you keep your eyes on the road for longer

Android Auto
(Image credit: Google)

It was announced months ago but a new feature is finally available for Android Auto which lets drivers reply to messages with a quick tap of the display. It will no doubt come as a relief to users who dislike using Google Assistant voice control.

Quick Replies was originally announced at the end of last year, alongside automatic launching, a digital car key, and an Amazon Music app. These features were slated as 'coming soon'.

Up until today, the only way to reply to messages in Android Auto was to use voice control, dictating messages to Google Assistant. I find this useful as it allows me to reply to messages without taking my eyes off the road, but it's not an ideal solution, as Google Assistant can sometimes mishear what's been said – especially if you have a strong accent.

Now Android Auto will offer a few contextually relevant responses and allow you to choose them with a quick tap of your car's infotainment display. It's similar to how Smart Replies work on Android and Gmail.

Android Auto will offer at least one suggested reply and range in length from three words down to a single emoji.

Android Auto

(Image credit: Google)

The update was spotted by 9to5 Google , and has started to roll out to drivers using the latest beta version of the app.

As you can see in the above screenshot from 9to5 Google, Android Auto also offers a 'Custom Reply”' option that allows you to reply by voice instead.

It's worth noting that, even if you're parked, Android Auto doesn't give you an option to type out a reply on-screen – instead you can use your smartphone – which is probably faster anyway.

Will you be using the new Android Auto Smart Replies, or will you stick to Google Assistant? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter…

Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.