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driving mode


Update Notes for Gboard, YouTube, Android Auto, and more (Sept 14, 2019)

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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Android Auto phone interface gone for many on Android Q Beta 5

Quite a while ago, along announcing the new Android Auto experience, Google also said that it would deprecate the interface for phones completely. It encourages its customers to use Assistant Driving Mode instead, which is poised to come out "this summer." Android Q is apparently already preparing for this, as some users on the latest beta report that the Android Auto app icon is disappearing for them, with no option to start the app from their phones anymore.

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Google Voice v2019.28 prepares Driving Mode support, updates account switcher [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Google Voice is available and it's bringing both cosmetic changes and making preparations for new features. For those that use Voice with multiple accounts, the account switcher has been repositioned to a more convenient location. A teardown also shows upcoming support for vCard attachments and Android's Car Mode, which will make it easier for users to make calls with Google Voice while driving.

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[Update: Replacing Auto app mode] Assistant Driving Mode comes to Android this summer, making Auto on the phone obsolete

Not everyone has a vehicle with Android Auto included, but Google's on-phone Auto UI has been a capable substitute. However, it looks like Google is getting ready to make Auto for phones obsolete with Assistant Driving Mode. It has many features from Auto, but it's less restrictive. It's coming to all Assistant-enabled phones this summer.

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[Update: Now on 3a] 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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Spotify is testing an updated Car View mode suitable for driving

For the past few years, Spotify has been doing its best to make it easier and safer for you to control your music while driving. You can use Android Auto (in the car, or standalone on your phone) to manage Spotify in a driving-friendly way, as well as the simpler controls integrated with Waze and Google Maps, but Spotify has also been working on its own in-app driving mode. We spotted it more than a year ago, but the interface never rolled out widely. Spotify has now revived it under "Car View," which is beginning to show up on some devices.

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Spotify is testing a new driving mode that focuses on voice dictation and commands

Boring car drives can be made more interesting by having something like music or a podcast playing in the background. However, they can also get more dangerous if you take your eyes off the road to fiddle with the screen. For that reason, Spotify is internally testing a new driving mode that aims to make listening to music on the go a little safer.

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Google Maps v9.26.1 Adds Search Along Route For Walking And Bicycling, Changes Driving Mode FABs, Adds New Settings, And More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google began rolling out an update to Maps v9.26.1 a few days ago, and it's sporting a handful of new features. Like so many versions of maps, there are quite a few well-hidden changes in this one, far more than the single item written in the official changelog. Most of the changes are subtle enough that you won't notice them if you're not comparing side-by-side, but they are improvements all the same. There are even a few things from the teardown that don't appear to have made this version, but should be things to watch out for in the future.

What's New

Official Changelog:

  • Search along the route in bicycling and walking navigation.
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Google Maps Driving Mode Appears To Be Rolling Out Worldwide

Google Maps Navigation has existed for almost seven years (and it's still beta), but Driving Mode is new. This feature was added early this year, but it was only available in a few countries. Google Maps Driving Mode now seems to be expanding across the globe.

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Google Maps v9.21 Adds Notifications For User Edits, 'Explore Around You' Comes To Five New Countries [APK Download]

A late-night update to Google Maps on Tuesday brought the version up to 9.21. Despite a moderate bump to the version number, this appears to be a relatively minor release. Of course, knowing the Maps team, we'll end up with an update in a few days with an official changelog that includes at least a couple more interesting additions. In the meantime, there's a new setting to control notifications about responses to your edits. Maps has also expanded its list of supported countries for the recently released Driving Mode and the "Explore around you" feature.

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