Google announced that it will be updating Android Auto with a new look that fits more screens, includes more features, and makes it easier to stay entertained.
The marquee change is the new look, which will be rolled out this summer. Beyond being shiny and novel, the Android team has worked to make important information visible more of the time.
“Over the years, we’ve found there are three main functionalities that drivers prioritize in their cars: navigation, media, and communication,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Android Auto will roll out a brand new interface that will help you get directions faster, control your media more easily, and have more functionality at your fingertips.”
The new split-screen design seeks to keep the information most crucial to drivers visible at all times, reducing anxieties about missing your next turn while you change the song. That means that drivers have to search through menus less of the time, which reduces the need to look at the screen instead of the road.
Further reducing that need is Google Assistant, which will now make contextual suggestions to help you respond to messages with one touch, just like in Gmail. In addition to suggested replies, the system will also offer to share your arrival time with the person you’re texting and will even recommend music for your drive.
Furthermore, the split-screen function has been designed to fit more screen types. That means that whether you have a tablet-style screen, a square screen, or a widescreen all of the information is designed to fit.
Finally, vehicles with Google built-in will now get more entertainment options. In addition to YouTube, streaming apps Tubi and Epix Now have joined the system’s list of options, giving you more stuff to watch while your car charges. The team is also working to add the ability to cast directly from your phone to the screen to add even more streaming options in the future.