Earlier this year, Google teased some new media experience for both the car display and mobile app versions of Android Auto. Today, the search giant announced a number of new updates for the application that mainly improves its media, search, and messaging capabilities.
Android Auto has tweaked its media interface, introducing large album art views so that you will be able to choose a song to play more quickly. Google says the improved layout is meant to make content easier to access on your car screen.
The update improves the way you search for media using your voice. With Google Assistant now available on Android Auto in the U.S., you will be able to listen to your favorite songs by just saying “OK Google, play 80s music” or by requesting more specific titles and albums. This capability currently supports popular media apps including Google Play Books, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, and Spotify, with more to be added in the coming months.
Android Auto also adds the option to display a short preview of text messages, provided your vehicle is in full stop. You can enable this capability from its menu, although you can also switch it off anytime. This messaging feature supports SMS, MMS, and RCS. That means it's compatible with Messages, Hangouts, and WhatsApp, with more support expansion being planned in the future.
Google says it will roll out these new enhancements in the next few days. The updates will be available to download from the Google Play Store.