Earlier this year, ahead of its I/O developer event, Google revealed a new update for Android Auto, featuring many improvements to the interface. Today, the Mountain View giant has announced that the update will begin rolling out to cars with support for Android Auto over the coming weeks.
The new Android Auto experience includes a series of improvements, starting with a new app drawer that makes it easier to get to your favorite apps faster. You'll also notice the Google Assistant badge next to some apps, which means you can tap them and interact with the app using your voice. For example, you can add a calendar event using the Assistant.
Android Auto will do a better job of resuming your experiences, too, so whenever you start the car, you'll be right back where you left off, so you can continue listening to a podcast or a specific playlist. it can also present you your preferred navigation app as soon as you connect to your car, and if you already have directions ready to go on your phone, your car's display will show you those, too, and start guiding you to your destination.
Other UI improvements include the new navigation bar at the bottom, providing quick access to playback controls or navigation directions, while also giving you access to your notifications, app drawer, and Google Assistant. Speaking of notifications, there's a new place to view and manage them, and you can use voice activation to send messages, make calls, or ask to hear your notifications. Finally, the UI will also adapt to wider in-car screens, using the additional space to house playback controls, for instance.
Most of these enhancements had been announced already, and the real news is that it's rolling out in the coming weeks. Additionally, Google has revealed that this Android Auto experience won't be on your phone's screen. Instead, Android Auto on your phone is evolving into the new driving mode for Google Assistant, which was also announced at I/O this year.