You may have recently read that Google is discontinuing a version of Android Auto in favor of making Assistant Driving Mode the default driving experience on devices. For the avoidance of doubt, Android Auto is not going away.
Android Auto WON’T BE DISAPPEARING SOON Since we initially reported on Google’s intention to discontinue Android Auto for Phone Screens, we’ve heard from a few confused individuals who believe the platform itself is completely disappearing. That is thankfully not the case.
Currently, Auto is offered in two versions. The Android Auto version you use in your car on a head unit from a third party or the built-in display is the standard version. Everything actually manifests in the car but is fueled by your phone, either through a cable or using a wireless signal.
The other version is known as Android Auto for Phone Screens. Although it has theoretically been accessible for some time, the experience was finally removed from the default Android Auto app in 2019 in conjunction with the platform revamp. This is due to the significant delay in the release of Assistant Driving Mode, which compelled Google to release the Phone Screens app as a workaround in order to prevent users from being left without any means to simultaneously use maps and media on their phones in a driving-friendly UI.
Yes, that can all be a little complicated, but the fact is that Android Auto won’t completely disappear.
ONE EXPERIENCE IS ALL THAT THE ASSISTANT DRIVING MODE IS TAKING OVER FOR. Not the Android Auto you use in your car, but rather the Android Auto for Phone Screens, is being replaced with Google Assistant Driving Mode.
A decent generalization is that if Android Auto is present on your car’s screen, it won’t go away.
In theory, Assistant Driving Mode should have replaced Auto for Phone Screens in 2019; however, there were many significant delays that prevented a widespread distribution until 2021. On Android 12 and later-running smartphones, it gained control the same year. Google is currently getting ready to permanently kill off Android Auto for Phone Screens by deleting feature from earlier Android versions. But once more, this has absolutely no bearing on the version of Android Auto you use on a car’s display.
THE FUTURE LOOKS GOOD If the fact that Google has more planned for Android Auto in the future isn’t proof enough that the platform won’t go, then nothing should be.
Google introduced a new design for the platform at Google I/O 2022 that better utilizes wider and taller panels and adds new features, including some multitasking, to displays of all sizes. It has a fantastic appearance, and you can see it in use below.
Then there is Android Automotive, which might end up being more significant in the long run. This new platform works natively on cars rather than being powered by your phone because it was built on the experience that many people already have today. Although the user interface can be customized to meet each automaker’s unique vision, Android is used across the entire system. Ford, Honda, and other automakers will eventually offer Android Automotive, which is now available on cars from Polestar and Volvo.