A few years ago, Google announced a new experience for drivers who wish to use their mobile phones hands-free without endangering others. It’s called “assisted driving mode” and is designed to replace the outdated screen of Android Auto—until suddenly, it wasn’t. Instead, Google developed a shortcut for Android 10 devices designed to keep the old automatic interface alive while continuing to work in assisted driving mode. As the latest applications slowly arrive in various parts of the world, the old user interface is disappearing. Some users opened the dedicated Android Auto application for mobile phone screens today but found that it no longer works. As the XDA developers discovered, some Pixel devices running the Android 12 beta will receive a pop-up notification that redirects the user to try assisted driving mode. Specifically, the warning states that Android Auto no longer supports mobile phone screens and now requires a dedicated car screen to use it. Now, it’s worth noting that only one available XDA device actually displays this notification. AP staff tested multiple devices but were unable to replicate the same warning.
We’re talking about Google, so this may be a server-side change that hasn’t affected most users yet. Although this banner may just be a strange behavior brought by the Android 12 beta, frankly, these texts have been hanging on the wall for years. Although the dedicated user interface of the car has been updated and updated, the automatic layout on the phone screen remains unchanged. The shortcut Google developed in 2019 has not even been updated, which may be another sign that it has been considered a stopgap measure. The assisted driving mode feels like a more modern experience, including support for higher screens, but this is not all good news.
To activate the driving mode, you need to enter your destination in Google Maps, which is not always necessary if you are going to a known location. After the navigation starts, you can switch between calls, messages, media applications, or even cancel your route completely, but this is still an extra step that is not required in Android Auto. Continue to use Android Auto in areas where assisted driving mode is not available. We have seen this feature reach various countries/regions in the past year, although it is not yet available in all places.
For now, enjoy Android Auto as much as you can, it may not last long. In a statement sent to 9to5Google, Google confirmed that Android Auto will disappear with the release of Android 12 this fall. Here is the full statement: Google Assistant Driving Mode is the next evolution of our mobile driving experience. For users who use Android Auto in compatible vehicles, this experience will not disappear. Those who use the experience on a mobile phone (Android Automobile app), will switch to Google Assistant driving mode. Starting from Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode will become a built-in mobile driving experience. We currently have no more details to share.
If your current phone has not received the Android 12 update, you can continue to use the mobile experience until you switch devices. For everyone else, you must switch to assisted driving mode to meet your navigation needs. This shift explains why only users running the Android 12 beta can see in-app banner notifications. As we emphasized earlier, there are some real concerns about the current state of assisted driving modes. Some of our readers made additional points in the comments, including the lack of horizontal support, the issue of some Android Auto apps not working with assistants, and the inaccessibility even in areas where the feature should be active. Hopefully, some of these issues will be resolved in the next few months. Before that, please enjoy the remaining time of Android Auto on your phone screen, because your time in this world is running out.
The assisted driving mode feels like a more modern experience, including support for higher screens, but this is not all good news. To activate the driving mode, you need to enter your destination in Google Maps, which is not always necessary if you are going to a known location. After the navigation starts, you can switch between calls, messages, media applications, or even cancel your route completely, but this is still an extra step that is not required in Android Auto. Continue to use Android Auto in areas where assisted driving mode is not available.
We’ve seen this feature launched in multiple countries/regions in the past year, but it’s not yet available in all countries/regions. For now, please enjoy Android Auto as much as possible; it may not last long. Google launched Android Auto in 2014 as a way for smartphones to interact with car stereos. When your phone is connected to a compatible car stereo, it will project a car-optimized launcher that can be quickly accessed to select the appropriate navigation and multimedia applications to use while driving. At the end of 2016, Google introduced a new way to use Android Auto: on the phone screen.
The Android Auto app on smartphones has large icons, quick access to voice assistants, large cards for notifications, and integration with Google Maps, markers, and selected multimedia apps, but has since been replaced by a new Google experience, Assistant. Now, Google is preparing to cancel Android Auto on the phone screen. In 2019, Google announced a new driving mode built into Google Assistant. At the same time, the company initially stated that it would delete Android Auto on the phone screen, but they backtracked a bit and released a dedicated application, which is just a shortcut to the previous experience in the Android Auto application and is now pre-installed in all applications In the process. Android devices. 10 or more.
The app’s name is aptly named “Android Auto for Phone Displays”. After its launch today, some users noticed that it completely bypassed the phone screen experience and displayed notifications that Android Auto is now only available for car displays. I only see reports of this announcement appearing on Pixel phones running Android 12, which indicates that the disapproval may be operating-system-specific. However, the app is marked on Google Play as “incompatible” with the Pixel phones we own, which means we can only launch the “Android Auto for phone screen” app by downloading or if we have installed it. On Pixel 3 XL running Android 12, I received the above message, but Rich’s Pixel 5 and Beta 4 did not show up after downloading. The deactivation warning may slowly spread to users because we have not seen many reports about it on the Internet.
The Google support page that mentions the Android Auto app for phone screens has also not been updated to reflect the disabling notification. The Google Assistant driving mode, an alternative to this feature, was first introduced to users in October last year. In April, this feature was extended to users outside the United States. Most users should now be able to access this feature when starting to navigate Google Maps, so it’s no wonder that Google will end support for the Android Auto phone screen experience.
Google has confirmed to 9to5Google that once Android 12 is released later this year, the “Android Auto for phone display” experience will not be available. It will continue to work on the old version of the operating system, but in Android 12, the assisted driving mode will be “built-in mobile driving experience.” This is the full statement shared by Google in the post: “Google Assistant Driving Mode is the next evolution of our mobile driving experience. For those using Android Auto in compatible vehicles, this experience will not disappear. For those on mobile phones, Those who use the experience (Android Automobile app) will switch to the Google Assistant driving mode. Starting from Android 12, the Google Assistant driving mode will become a built-in mobile driving experience. We currently have no more details to share. “