According to a report we published last week, Google Assistant Driving Mode will be the only option moving forward for Android users seeking a user experience that is appropriate for a car. Android Auto for Phone Screens will eventually go away. Although Google frequently destroys products in order to create something better, it’s fairly difficult to buy into that justification in this case.

GOOGLE ASSISTANT DRIVING MODE: WHAT IS IT? Google Assistant Driving Mode, which was first announced in 2019, was created to take the place of the native Android Auto app on your smartphone. Since Google is continuously improving on that experience today, it was never meant to replace what you see in automobiles.

In January 2021, Google Assistant Driving Mode was eventually released. Later that year, it received an interface redesign. The standard user interface includes a Where to? search box for navigation, music suggestions, and voice-activated shortcuts for texting and making calls. The experience may display both navigation and music simultaneously thanks to Spotify, YouTube Music, and other music-supporting apps.

Google declared that Driving Mode would be the only interface for Android phones in the car just a few months after it became available to everyone. As a result, support for Android Auto for Phone Screens on Android 12 that year was discontinued. Google said in June 2022 that access to earlier iterations of the platform would shortly be discontinued.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT ANDROID AUTO FOR PHONE SCREENS IS? In the meantime, Android Auto for Phone Screens served as a stand-in as we awaited Assistants Driving Mode. The standalone app was released at a pivotal moment. This feature was once included into the main Android Auto app, however it was deleted as Assist Driving Mode emerged. Google gave in and put Android Auto for Phone Screens on the Play Store after realizing the new experience wouldn’t be ready on time.

Why launch a fresh app? mostly as a result of the time. Google began hiding the Android Auto app from the app drawer on Android phones with the release of Android 10, placing those features in the native settings menu instead. Additionally, Google has just shown a new user interface for Android Auto, which has been around for nearly three years. Google decided to merely leave the original UI in its own silo rather than creating a new one just for phone screens.

The Android Auto for Phone Screens experience was identical to the original Android Auto experience in that it had Google Maps integration for navigation, a touch-optimized app for phone calls, and a touch-optimized version of your audio apps like Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

Android Auto for phone screens

DO THEY HAVE THE SAME SPECIFICATIONS? Leaving the past behind, how do these two services contrast? They essentially have many of the same fundamental qualities, but there are some clear advantages to choosing one over the other. Let’s dissect it.

HOW TO USE ANDROID AUTO OR ACCESS ASSISTANT DRIVING MODE FOR PHONE These two sensations can be accessed in very different ways, which may be the biggest distinction between them. Installed from the Play Store, Android Auto for Phone Screens appears as an app on your homescreen or in your app drawer. The end. no fuss

While Google Assistant Driving Mode is a little trickier to use. One of the most dependable ways to achieve this is to say Hey Google, launch Driving Mode, which is the simplest way to do it. Once it has been launched for the first time, you may press on the icon in the lower-right corner and utilize the shortcut to add driving mode to the home screen to make future access quicker. You can also configure the experience to start when your phone senses that you are driving or when you pair your phone with your car’s Bluetooth, as Android Auto for Phone Screens does.

android auto for phone screens in app drawer

At the end of the day, both Google Assistant Driving Mode and Android Auto for Phone Screens are equally simple to use, but Android Auto for Phone Screens is undoubtedly a more user-friendly experience.

DRIVING MODE IS NOT AVAILABLE IN LANDSCAPE. The fact that you can’t use Google Assistant Driving Mode in landscape mode is perhaps its largest drawback when compared to Android Auto for Phone Screens. Driving Mode will not turn with your phone if you turn it to the side.

Despite a Google employee who pronounced it over a year ago that landscape support was in the works, it still hasnt arrived .

DO THEY SUPPORT A VARIETY OF MAPS OR MEDIA APPS? Multiple media apps are supported by both Google Assistant Driving Mode and Android Auto for Phone Screens, however Driving Mode is probably far more future-proof. Even so, implementation deserves considerable attention.

All apps only display a list of suggested albums, playlists, and other content while Assistant Driving Mode is enabled. In contrast, Android Auto offers a complete app environment where you may browse your whole library. This is a fairly constrained version of Driving Modes.

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Additionally, Waze is not supported by Android Auto for Phone Screens, while Assistant Driving Mode is only compatible with Google Maps (also Google-owned). However, neither one serves the larger navigation app market like Android Auto for automobiles does.

REGION-LOCKED DRIVING MODE. When comparing Android Auto for Phone Screens to Assistant Driving Mode, it’s vital to keep in mind that the newer version is region-locked. The newest experience is region-locked to a small number of nations, in a move that is distinctly Google, while Android Auto for Phone Screens is accessible in the majority of places.

In Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States, you can use the Assistant Driving Mode.

THE SITUATION COULD BE WORSE, BUT IT’S NOT IDEAL. The extremely unimpressive preview of Google Assistant Driving Mode that was released two years after its first introduction has greatly improved. Even though Google started down this road three years ago, it still feels like a shoddy alternative to Android Auto. There are conspicuous omissions and users that will lose access to everything as a result of this change.

Given that Android Auto is about to undergo another revision and is currently a generation behind, it makes logical for Google to want to shut down the Android Auto for Phone Screens app. But the majority of people didn’t want Assistant Driving Mode to replace it.

A simple, user-friendly tool called Android Auto for Phone Screens improved and made driving in cars safer. If Driving Mode doesn’t get its act together soon, it will be badly missed.

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