Android Auto gets a dark theme, quicker startup, and an improved UI

While Microsoft has had a lot of major announcements today at its Build developer event, Google is gearing up for its own developer conference, Google I/O, which is set to begin tomorrow. Before it does, the Mountain View company announced a new and improved version of Android Auto, its platform for connected cars.

For starters, Android Auto will get you ready to go quicker. When the car turns on, music will automatically start playing, and your navigation app of choice will show up to give you the option to choose a driving destination.

Google is also updating the design of the UI to better fit into your car's interior with a new dark theme that's more in line with the inside of cars. To go along with the dark theme, there are new colored accents throughout the UI and fonts that should be easier to read. In general, these improvements should improve visibility and navigation of the interface.

There's a new navigation bar too, and that makes it easier to access more functionality from the same screen. This area will give you access to your current navigation directions, music playback controls, and the new notification center and app launcher. The new app launcher should make it easier to find and access your apps, while the notification center will house call and message notifications, giving you quick actions to interact with them. Speaking of calls, there's also a new incoming call pop-up that lets users answer calls without taking them away from the rest of the UI.

Finally, Google is also updating Android Auto to make better use of wider in-car screens. The additional space can show next-turn directions playback controls, and more.

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