Google had launched Android Auto for cars in 2015 to provide users turn-by-turn voice navigation assistance, calling functionality, and SMS readouts for a distraction-free driving experience. Hyundai was the first auto manufacturer to offer Android Auto support in its cars, and other car manufacturers soon followed the suit. Android Auto now has a presence in 44 countries around the globe. It received its first major overhaul in 2019 with a major UI design overhaul, an app drawer, the ability to get voice navigations while being inside other apps, and much more. Now, two years later, it is receiving yet another design overhaul and a couple of feature additions.
Android Auto Gets New Features, More Voice Commands, Expanded Availability
Google has partnered with 76, Conoco, Exxon Mobil, and Phillips 66, gas station firms to provide Google Pay support at over 32,500 outlets in the U.S. Now, users can simply say, “Hey Google, pay for the gas” to make payments at gas stations. Similarly, for electric vehicles, users can say, “Hey Google, find me a charging station” to instantly search for suitable charging stations nearby. It also provides real-time charger availability to users to avoid inconvenience. It gets a thermal battery management feature, which heats up or cools down the car’s battery before you charge, reducing the amount of time you will need to spend at a charging station.
Waiting for long hours while your car charges up won’t be boring anymore as Android Auto will allow its users to play games on the car’s display. The GameSnacks app provides gaming titles such as Carrom Clash, Solitaire Classic, Tiger Run, and Chess Classic, to name a few.
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Android Auto now offers dual-SIM compatibility for calling. It also supports ‘Work” and ‘Personal’ profiles on connected smartphones, allowing the user to receive information and messages specific to the profile selected while on the move.
Google has already announced that Android Auto for smartphones will be discontinued, starting with Android 12. So, folks with older cars without touchscreen systems will have to rely on the revamped Google Assistant feature in their smartphones to use the Android Auto functionality. As for the availability, the redesigned Android Auto update should be available for download in a few weeks from now.