Android Auto updates bring new look and adaptable layout

·2-min read

Google has announced updates to Android Auto that will make it more user-friendly, as well as adaptable to all screen sizes.

The technology allows owners of Android smartphones to use features such as maps, media and various third-party apps through their car’s infotainment system.

The tech giant says its software is now supported in 150 million vehicles, but a new update being rolled out over the summer will bring a new look and improved compatibility.

Google infotainment in Volvo
(Volvo)

With a huge variety of infotainment display sizes and orientations, creating a layout that works for everything is a tricky task. However, Google is introducing a new responsive display that adapts to each display’s resolution.

Google says its data shows that navigation, media and communication apps are by far the most-used in Android Auto, so these three tiles will form a new default ‘split screen’ design.

Describing the layout, the firm wrote: “With split screen mode, now standard across all screen types and sizes, you’ll have access to your most-used features all in one place — no need to return to your home screen or scroll through a list of apps,” hinting that the tiles could be customised to display different apps if preferred by the driver.

As well as design updates, there are new features, such as contextual suggestions from Google Assistant. These can include suggested replies to messages, sharing arrival times with friends, and using voice to operate the system.

Suggested responses to incoming calls and messages will allow you to quickly respond to messages with one tap, to help keep your attention on the road.

Some cars, including new Volvo models, have Google built into their infotainment systems. These systems are also getting updates, with video streaming services such as YouTube being added. These can only be accessed when the car is parked.

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