If you have a car and use an Android smartphone, then you probably know about Google’s Android Auto app. With the release of Android 12, however, Google has decided to ditch the Android Auto app in favor of Google Assistant Car Mode.
- Starting with Android 12, the Android Auto app will be replaced by Google Assistant Car Mode;
- Android Auto for compatible vehicles will not be affected.
With Android Auto, it’s possible to access smartphone apps from the car’s infotainment system, or even create a navigation environment directly on the device itself, to use apps like Google Maps, Waze, Spotify and receive calls without taking your eyes off the road. However, Google also offers a similar experience with Google Assistant Car Mode.
Now, to avoid this overlap of features and focus on developing a single comprehensive Android experience for cars, Google has confirmed to 9to5Google that Android Auto will be dropped on smartphones running Android 12 in favor of Google Assistant Car Mode:
Personally, I think this decision by Google is pretty consistent, given that Google Assistant’s Car Mode is easier to use and is present on a much larger number of smartphones, since it is a native app, even having a dedicated button on some devices.
However, it’s a little worrying that Google Assistant is getting more and more attention from the company and will force even more people to use it for important daily actions, like driving from home to work every day.