While Android Auto has seen some significant announcements at Google I/O this year, there’s one aspect of it that has been neglected for a while — its phone-based interface. Now, Google tells us it has decided to do away with the dated Android Auto app-based experience in favor of Assistant in the car…
To be clear, the Android Auto experience on car infotainment systems isn’t going anywhere. That should be obvious given that Google just gave it a complete overhaul.
“If you use the Android Auto with a compatible car, that experience we’re still investing in and still building,” Deanna Chang, the product marketing manager for Google Assistant in auto, told us at Google I/O 2019.
“But this [Assistant in the car UI] is going to be the new mobile experience,” she told us. I asked directly if the Android Auto experience on the phone would be developed further or get updates in the future, to which she responded, clearly, “no.”
As we wrote earlier today, Google announced during the main keynote at I/O 2019 that Assistant is getting an optimized driving mode. The new driving mode is a feed of suggestions that offers easy road access to things like directions and music. Much like the current Android Auto app experience, it offers large, touch-friendly shortcuts for many of these common actions, like navigation, calls, and playing music.
In other Android Auto news, the main Android Auto interface that’s infotainment system-based is getting a huge design overhaul with a dark theme, better media controls and autoplay. That, and this new Assistant in the car experience, are both rolling out sometime later this Summer.