As Google gears up to retire the Android Auto phone app and launch the brand new driving mode bundled in with Google Maps, the service is primed to receive some hefty new updates ahead of its public launch.
Chief amongst these new updates is one that grants users greater control over how you launch Android Auto from within your vehicle, plus a new voice command that keeps your eyes where they should be – i.e. the road.
- End of the road for Android Auto, but Google Maps powers a stellar replacement
- Third Android Auto update rolls out this month as Google accelerates its release schedule
- Apple Maps has won me over, and it just got even better
First, the folks over at Android Auto have introduced a delightfully handy new set of voice commands to start the all-new Google Assistant-driving mode. Plugging your phone into the car’s Bluetooth system is still one way to kick things off, but users can now simply say “Hey, Google, let’s drive.” This voice command is registered by Google Assistant, which will auto-start the driving assistant mode with its all-new dashboard view.
Auto Evolution (opens in new tab) notes that Google has overhauled the dashboard to provide "easy access to the most important things for a driver, including navigation, phone calls, and music apps." To achieve this, the firm has incorporated easily discernable, tappable cards to perform tasks with just a single click, plus a new “Hey, Google, turn on auto-read” voice command to read incoming messages as they reach your device. All of this keeps drivers’ eyes on the road and makes for a safer driving experience.
According to the most up-to-date information we have, Google's much-anticipated new driving mode will launch in the coming weeks, but it will initially only be available for the best Android phones configured to English, German, Spanish, French, and Italian languages.
Keep your eyes peeled for more essential new features as they arrive on the navigation platform, as Google is likely to continue refining the service as the app transitions into Google Maps' driving mode.