According to a recent Google blog, the Northern Hemisphere is now entering the season of darker days, rubbish weather and irritating school drop-offs. So, why not make those inevitable extra hours in the car more productive?
Riffing on that mantra, the tech giant has rolled out an update for Android Auto and cars with Google built-in that sees Webex by Cisco and Zoom now available on compatible infotainment systems.
This allows users to join scheduled meetings in audio-only format (safety first, people), without fumbling for a phone, locating a link and praying that it all works.
Those in the Google ecosystem will find it all now runs smoothly, with the ability to join conference calls and meetings on the fly.
Moving away from the boring work stuff for a minute, Google is also continuing to expand its video apps in cars with Google built-in.
Prime Video is now available on Google Play for select Renault, Polestar and Volvo Cars, with other brands to follow, allowing users to binge on their favourite shows or enjoy movies when parked waiting for the kids to pile out of school.
In addition to this, Google has also rolled out Vivaldi, a Chromium-based internet browser, that allows car drivers and passengers to browse the web while parked.
New driving features have also been made available, such as the addition of the The Weather Channel app. This will now keep drivers up-to-date with the latest weather conditions and even warn of adverse weather on-route, giving an answer as to why the traffic has inevitably ground to a halt... again.
Finally, and perhaps coolest for those that like to use a smartphone for absolutely everything, is increasing support for digital car key. It’s already widely available in Europe, where owners can unlock their vehicle with just a phone and even share unlock codes with family and friends.
But it is now rolling out on select Hyundai, Genesis and Kia models in the US, Canada and Korea, for drivers with compatible Pixel and Samsung devices like the Pixel 7 Pro and Samsung S23+.