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Weekend poll: do you use Android Auto?

Google’s car-friendly UI is more important than ever

Source: Google

It’s been a long road for the new Android Auto redesign. After a few unofficial revelations earlier this year, Google finally took the stage to unveil an updated dashboard user interface for cars that promising drivers would have access to by summer. Six months later, Auto’s new look – codenamed Coolwalk – has only just reached public beta. Considering some of the improvements Google has made, it’s hard to say the wait wasn’t worth it. After all, with Android Auto becoming the primary means of interacting with their car while driving, this update has a lot going for it.


Over the past few years, Google’s relationship with cars has been constantly evolving. In 2019, the company announced Assistant Driving Mode, a new service to replace Auto’s phone screen mode. It took over two years for the app to launch with its dedicated home screen, but even then it wasn’t long for this world. Google effectively killed it in October, keeping the Google Maps-based wrapper while dropping everything else. Android Auto for phone screens, meanwhile, is dead twice – first for phones running Android 12, then for all others.


Source: Google

Aside from various alternatives for phone screens, it remains Android Auto – the original car-based version – as the primary means for drivers to safely interact with their phone on the road. Since its last redesign in 2019, Google has continued to evolve its look, all leading up to this year’s UI redesign.

Android Auto has also evolved technologically. Wireless capabilities are now available in more cars than ever, allowing users to skip the rush for a USB-C cable every time they crawl into the driver’s seat. Aftermarket dongles have made it possible to add wireless support to your existing vehicle, just as dash units continue to give older vehicles a gateway to Auto. Android Automotive, while not the same thing, is also powering more cars from companies like GM and Volvo, bringing an Android experience to drivers no matter what phone they’re using.

When we last conducted this survey three years ago, the way we interacted with our cars was vastly different than it is today. The phone app is gone, Auto has become near-standard in all new vehicles – and more readily available in used cars – and its design has continued to evolve. In 2019, nearly half of respondents used Android Auto in their car; I wouldn’t be surprised to see that number even higher this time around.

So, are you an Android Auto user? Does your car come with it or do you rely on an aftermarket unit? Or maybe your vehicle uses Android Automotive — I’ve added options for users who continue to connect their phones and for those who don’t. Personally, I’ve been using Auto built into my car since 2019 and couldn’t imagine driving without it. I’d bet a lot of our readers feel the same way, so let us know in the poll below.

#Weekend #poll #Android #Auto

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