Google today has three car experiences, and all of them are seeing updates. The biggest is an upcoming “Hey Google, pay for gas” command, while Android Auto is getting new media and connectivity features.
Once live, you can pull up to a gas station and say “Hey Google, pay for gas” to Android Auto, your Android phone, or — in the future — Assistant Driving Mode. Select your pump number and then use Google Pay for the transaction. After selecting a fuel grade, you can start fueling.
This is currently being piloted at Exxon and Mobil stations in the US. Support at Shell, Conoco, Phillips 66, and 76 is “coming soon.” People will, of course, still be physically interacting with the pump, but this is a step towards reducing physical interactions at a high-touch area. Google says the past year helped drive this feature with support expected at over 32,500 gas stations stateside.
Meanwhile, Android Auto is getting a handful of features. On the entertainment front, Google will show personalized media recommendations. They can be accessed by a new music icon that’s next to the existing player controls in the bottom bar. This opens a carousel of “Media picks for your device” from streaming apps, Assistant news, podcasts, and more.
Additionally, users will be able to choose what app opens when Android Auto launches. Google Maps or other navigation applications are currently the default, but any experience can be selected in the future.
Connectivity improvements to Android Auto start with being able to choose between SIMs when making calls and sending messages. Meanwhile, “Work Profile” support will let you see messages and calendar events from both the personal and work silo on your phone.
More on Android Auto:
- Google Maps can now adjust its Android Auto UI for right-hand drive cars
- Android Auto preparing slick redesign with quicker notification access [Gallery]
- Android Auto expands to more countries — here’s the full list [Update: Indonesia, Thailand]
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