After all the big hardware and software announcements during the I/O 2022 keynote presentation, today Google is sharing some updates for cars with Android Auto and vehicles with infotainment systems based on Android Automotive.
Detailed as part of Google’s “What’s New with Android for Cars” session, the most important upcoming change is a refreshed UI for Android Auto focused on making it easier to navigate, control media and communicate with others while driving. To accommodate the larger displays in new cars, the company is making split screen view standard across all devices so that you can see directions, music and texts all at the same time. That means you’ll be able to quickly pause a song or see a new message without having to navigate through a bunch of menus and settings.
On top of that, Google is also improving support for adaptive layouts that can more easily adjust to the growing variety of displays in new cars. So regardless of if you have a sweeping extra-wide display on your dash or a tall portrait-orientated screen, the Android Auto UI can still show all your pertinent info. Meanwhile, to improve hands-free controls, the Google Assistant is better contextual suggestions for things like returning missed calls, texting arrival times and more.
Finally, for owners of cars with systems based on Android Automotive (such as new vehicles from Ford, Volvo and others), Google is expanding your in-car entertainment options with wider support for video streaming apps. Earlier this year at CES, Google announced the ability to stream clips from YouTube, and now the Tubi TV and Epix Now apps will be added soon. Just remember, you can only watch videos while the car is parked, so don’t try to stream and drive. And in the future, the company says it also has plans to let passengers stream content from their phones to their vehicle’s built-in display, though there isn’t a concrete timeline for when that will be available yet.