As helpful as Android Auto is, it’s hard to deny that it feels a bit dated when you can still see some of its 2014 roots. Thankfully, it’s about to get a serious makeover. Google has unveiled a new Android Auto interface that’s designed to keep more of your attention on the road and, ultimately, adapt to the reality of modern touchscreen-centric cars.
There’s a new navigation bar that lets you juggle turn-by-turn directions with app controls and calling tasks. It should take fewer taps to skip a song or call home. You’ll also find a new notification center — you don’t have to feel as compelled to return a call or reply to a message while you’re mid-route. Just picking up where you left off should be easier, too, as Android Auto can both resume media playback and launch your preferred navigation app when you start the car.
You’ll also be glad to hear that Android Auto should fit in more gracefully with your cabin, including a dark theme that won’t blind you quite so much when you’re driving at night. And if you have an extra-wide display, Google will make the most of it with more information.
The revised Android Auto should be available on all compatible cars “later this summer.” It might not be as big an update as Android Q, but it might just be more crucial for some. After all, this could be the primary way you experience Android during your commute, if not your entire day. Even a slight interface tweak could save time and help you focus on the drive.