Google has officially started to roll out the new-look Android Auto experience, which introduces an improved split-screen experience akin to Apple CarPlay.
Announced at Google I/O in the spring, the new experience has been in public beta for the last few months. Now Google has announced its ready for the off.
In a blog post published during CES 2023, Google says there are three priorities for drivers; navigation, audio and communication. All facets are viewable within the new UI.
Maps, for example, is now closer to the driver’s side, while there’s a new media card showing album art and a progress bar. There’s also a quick launcher that makes it easy to launch compatible and recently used apps.
The new capabilities include shortcuts for one-touch replies to messages, smart calling suggestions, missed call reminders and the ability to quickly share the ETA while you’re on the road. Users will also be able to make WhatsApp calls with Android Auto on Samsung or Pixel phones.
Google also says the new experience is compatible with all of the major car manufacturers and compatible with various aspect ratios for the in-car display. You can see some of the new and improved options in the video from Google below.
Elsewhere, Google has announced it is expanding the ability for drivers to share their car’s digital key to Samsung and Xioami phones. It was already available for Pixel phones and iPhone. The feature is also expanding beyond BMW cars to other automakers in the near future.
Both Apple and Google are working towards full integration within our vehicles, from digital keys to phone-powered infotainment. Both companies have been working on their own self-driving, electric cars for years, while Apple has also announced its own future vision for CarPlay, with displays spanning the entire dashboard.