Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart ci Cate Lawrence is an Australian tech journo living in Berlin. She focuses on all things mobility: ebikes, autonomous vehicles, VTOL, smart cities, and the future of alternative energy sources like electric batteries, solar, and hydrogen.
It’s been a big week of updates on all things Google. Yesterday the company launched a bunch of handy updates for Android Auto, giving the in-car digital experience a much-needed refresh with added features and a far superior user interface. Let’s take a look.
Split screen for the win
Android’s making split screen mode standard across all screen types and sizes, including widescreen and portrait. This removes the need to fiddle through lists of apps. Navigation and media operate simultaneously, so you can get directions and enjoy your latest podcast.
Google gets more context with Android Auto
Google Assistant is bringing contextual suggestions to help increase in-car productivity. It can suggest replies to text messages, share arrival times, or play recommended music.
Google’s voice assistant makes it easy to message and call contacts and reply to messages without taking your eyes off the road.
YouTube was just the beginning
It’s probably not yet legal to watch videos while driving where you live. But don’t worry. Google’s got plenty to keep you entertained while parked. The company previously announced the addition of YouTube to cars with Google built-in with more video streaming apps will join the queue, including Tubi and Epix Now.
Soon, you’ll be able to not only browse the web directly from your car display but also cast your own content from your phone to your car screen. Handy.Android Auto is gradually rolling out features and functionalities to prepare us for a time when we are only riders, not drivers, in our cars. It’s fundamentally changing the in-car experience to become one where the vehicle traverses work, entertainment, and social spheres, and augments physical locations like work and home. And the digital realm will be with us all of the way.
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