The battle of the smartphones has found its way into car infotainment systems over the past few years. As more and more manufacturers are integrating our mobile devices, developers are taking notice and have been updating their platforms to conform with the latest trends and user feedback. Late last month, it was Waze that brought its app into seamless connectivity with Apple CarPlay.
Google also updated its Android Auto application recently, and it aimed at making the interface easier and more efficient to navigate while driving, cutting down on the likelihood that any notifications or on screen elements that are mirrored on your car’s infotainment screen become distracting. These slight changes are also to improve the user experience when playing music and receiving messages.
While music is playing in your car via Android Auto, you can now select new artists, albums, and tracks quickly because of a larger album art design and a slightly tweaked, easier-to-maneuver interface layout. Google Assistant-powered search results when browsing music have also been improved, so you can be more genre or time period specific when utilizing voice commands, getting better categorized results.
For messaging, Google is adding a new feature that will preview a snippet of a new text overlaid over an existing app like the music playback or Google Maps apps, but only when the car has come to a complete stop. When driving or in the event you don’t want to pick up your phone or cycle through a different app manually using the car’s console, you can just see the message pop up without a preview text. For those worried about sensitive messages appearing for everyone in the car to see, Google is making this notification feature optional through the Android Auto settings menu.
It’s cool to see how car manufacturers and app developers have realized the importance of being connected at all times, and factor in a user experience that’s safer and easier to manage.