Android Auto phone app to cease, Google Assistant driving mode to replace it

2 months ago 18
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(Pocket-lint) - The Android Auto standalone phone app is set to close. With Google ushering in the era of its Android 12 software, support for the app will cease, with the company offering Google Assistant for the on-phone driving experience instead.

This is only really going to affect those who use a phone mounted onto a stand when driving, much like a sat nav alternative system, rather than as the source device to communicate with an in-car system.

Those who use Android Auto on an in-car system via their phone won't notice any difference: the handshake between the two is the same, maintaining Android Auto's prominence as a hand-off from phone to car.

That said, as not all vehicles have a screen available, nor the availability of connectors to make Android Auto feasible anyway, that's why Google Assistant will continue to deliver an alternative in-car experience for navigation and the like.

"Starting with Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode will be the built-in mobile driving experience," Google said in a statement. And as that operating system is brand new, very few phones support it at the time of writing. But for those who are running it, it's the first glimpse of what Google sees as a more voice-controlled driving experience.

Writing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 23 August 2021.

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