Google released Android Auto more than four years ago, and what we have today looks and works almost the same. That will change this summer, though. Google has just announced a massive redesign for Android Auto that makes it easier to manage notifications, access apps, and control media.
As you can see in the animation above, Android Auto is going to look completely different very soon. Google also provided a handy list of changes. Here are all the headlining features of the new Auto.
- Get on the road faster: As soon as you start your car, Android Auto will continue playing your media and show your navigation app of choice. Simply tap on a suggested location or say “Hey Google” to navigate to a new place.
- Stay on top of your apps: With the new navigation bar, you’ll be able to see your turn-by-turn directions and control your apps and phone on the same screen.
- Do more with less taps: With the new navigation bar, you'll be able to easily control your apps with one tap. Get turn-by-turn directions, rewind your podcast or take incoming call all on the same screen.
- Easily manage communications: The new notification center shows recent calls, messages and alerts, so you can choose to view, listen and respond at a time that’s convenient and safe for you.
- A color palette that’s easy on the eyes: We’re evolving Android Auto’s design to fit in better with your car’s interior. A dark theme, coupled with colorful accents and easier to read fonts, also helps improve visibility.
- A screen fit for more cars: If you have a car with a wider screen, Android Auto now maximizes your display to show you more information, like next-turn directions, playback controls and ongoing calls.
Google has recognized that most cars have dark-colored dashboards. So the new Auto UI is darker with accent colors and more readable fonts. Those of you with larger in-car displays will also be happy to know that Auto will finally expand to fill the entire screen.
The new navigation bar looks like a smart way to handle an infotainment system with multiple functions. If you've got a music player up, you can still see navigation info at the bottom. In maps, you've got a persistent playback control down there. The new launcher is now a list of apps rather than a list of notifications. Notifications are now all together inside the new notification center—something I've wanted in Android Auto for ages.
Google doesn't have a specific launch date for the new Android Auto. All we know is it will come to your phone "later this summer."