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android auto

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Google rolls out new media and messaging features to Android Auto

In case you missed the APK Teardown yesterday, Google has made several new features official in Android Auto today. The message preview and new media UI from the teardown are on the docket, but Google also made some tweaks to media search and group messaging in the car. As always, Google says it has worked to add more convenience features without sacrificing safety. I've been using the updated Android Auto for the last week, and while it's a minor update, there are a few nice additions.

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Android Auto v3.8 adds optional message previews and revamps the music player [APK Teardown]

The latest Auto update is rolling out and it's making a couple of substantial changes, at least by the standards of an Auto update. You'll now have the option to see the first several words of incoming messages when they arrive, and the music player has been given a makeover that changes both its looks and a little bit of functionality. It seems this update is rolling out to a pretty small number of people right now.

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Android Auto is now available in additional Mazda models through a pricey dealer-installed upgrade

Manufacturer infotainment systems are, by and large, not good. More and more automakers are picking up the standardized solutions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is s step in the right direction. Mazda started shipping the interface in some new vehicles this year, and now dealerships will be able to install it in model year 2014 or newer Mazdas.

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Update Notes for the Google app, Gmail, Translate, Home, Play Books, and Fit (November 21, 2018)

Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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[Update: Supported models] Jaguar and Land Rover confirm 2019 vehicles will get Android Auto

Most automakers moved surprisingly fast to adopt Android Auto (and CarPlay) over the last couple years. That's in spite of the fact that Android Auto makes it harder to sell spendy navigation-enabled infotainment upgrades. Still, it's taken some longer than others to come around. Toyota is expected to roll out Android Auto next year, and now we have confirmation that both Jaguar and Land Rover will follow suit.

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[Update: Models] Android Auto is coming to Mazda cars with MZD Connect next month in Europe

Mazda said last year that Android Auto would be making its way to its vehicles — sometime. Now we now when: the automaker has announced that in August, an update is coming to its MZD Connect infotainment system that will allow for the use of Android Auto.

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Maps on Android Auto is getting a new layout and Material makeover

When you're hopping into your car and starting up navigation with Google Maps, you might be in for a surprise as the UI is getting some pretty significant changes. This isn't just about adding rounded corners or tweaking some colors, a few parts of the UI have been moved around and behave a bit differently, so your muscle memory might work against you for a little while as you get adjusted.

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Driving Mode on the Pixel 3 can automatically turn on Android Auto

It's no secret that driving and cellphones don't mix. On the Pixel 2, users can create a rule for automatically engaging Do Not Disturb. On the Pixel 3, there's a new option to open Android Auto automatically with Driving Mode.

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Toyota reportedly agrees to support Android Auto

Toyota is one of the few car major manufacturers that have refused to add support for Android Auto, along with BMW, MINI, and Lexus. However, that might finally be changing. According to Bloomberg, Toyota has reached an agreement with Google that may be officially announced as soon as October.

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[Update: Leaves beta, available for all] Apple Music is privately testing Android Auto integration in v2.6.0 beta

It may not be the most loved music service on Android, but Apple Music is certainly an appealing choice, especially for those who live in countries where YouTube Music (né Google Play Music) and Spotify aren't available. When I reviewed it back in 2015, I loved a lot of its features, but I eventually had to give up on it because it wasn't compatible with many other things I often use: Android Auto, Chromecast, and Google Home. But there's hope on the horizon, at least for the first one of those three.

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