Google recently made a raft of new Android announcements, including a number of new upgrades coming to Android Auto. These upgrades will be rolling out soon, with support for touchscreen-based quick replies for message notifications, digital car keys, and a permanent shortcut to the music streamer of your choice.
First of all, you can now ask Android Auto to launch automatically as soon as your phone connects to your car.
Android Auto has supported multiple message services since launch, but until now you've only been able to reply to messages using Google Assistant voice control. Now, though, Android Auto has added support for Smart Reply, a feature that allows you to reply to messages by quickly tapping pre-written replies on the touchscreen, similar to Google Messages, Gmail, Chat and more.
Finding your music is also getting easier, with a new voice to search function and a new music button that appears on the Android Auto home screen and will play music with a single tap.
Lastly, Google is introducing a “Digital car key” feature that lets you lock, unlock, or start your compatible vehicle right from your phone. So, if you have a Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S21, and live in select countries, you'll be able to use this feature straight away.
As well as the updates to Android Auto, Android Automotive is also getting an upgrade thanks to a new app.
Amazon has launched a dedicated Android Automotive version of Amazon Music, available to download now from the Google Play Store on Android Automotive.
Unfortunately, Amazon Music is currently only available in the United States – sorry UK and Aus readers.