Google Updates Android Auto to Better Fit All Different-Sized Touchscreens in Today’s Cars

Android Auto is getting another refresh, this time with a focus on the evolutionary nature of vehicle touchscreens.

Google says the new split-screen will be standard for all Android Auto users, allowing them to access key features like navigation, media player and messages, all from one screen. Previously, split-screen viewing was only available to owners of certain vehicles. Now this will be the default user experience for all Android Auto clients.

“We used to have a different screen mode that was available in a very limited number of cars,” said Rod Lopez, senior product manager at Android Auto. “Now it’s available no matter what kind of screen you have, what size, what form factor, and it’s a really, really exciting update. »

Android Auto will also adapt to any type of touch screen, regardless of its size. Automakers are starting to get creative with their infotainment screen size, installing everything from large portrait-style screens to long vertical screens shaped like surfboards. Google says Android Auto will now seamlessly comply with all of these varieties.

“We’ve seen some really cool industry innovations, going to these very large portrait screens going into these extremely wide landscape displays,” Lopez said. “And you know, the cool thing is that Android Auto will now support them all and be able to adapt, giving you all those features at your fingertips as a user. »

Lopez acknowledged that screens in cars are getting bigger and bigger, especially in luxury vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz EQS, with its 56-inch-wide Hyperscreen (which is actually three separate screens built into one window). , or the Cadillac Lyriq’s 33-inch LED infotainment screen. He said Google has partnered with automakers to better adapt Android Auto to this trend.

“That was part of the new motivation behind this redesign, was to be able to better tailor our product to these vehicles that are coming out with these massive portrait screens and these massive widescreens,” Lopez said. “And so our approach has worked closely with these OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] to make sure things make sense and work.

As screens get bigger, the likelihood that drivers will be more distracted by their screens also increases. A recent study found that drivers who chose music with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto had slower reaction times than those who got high from smoking pot. Google has been trying to work their way through this problem for several years now, but they haven’t found a definitive solution yet.

Lopez said safety is “a priority” for the Android Auto product team, which motivates them to work closely with OEMs to ensure the experience is fully integrated into the car’s design to minimize distractions.

In addition to adapting to screens of different sizes, Google is also rolling out several other updates. Users will now be able to respond to text messages with canned replies that they can send with a single click.

There are also more entertainment options. Android Automotive, which is Google’s built-in Android Auto system, will now support Tubi TV and Epix Now streaming services. And Android phone owners can stream their own content directly to their car screen.

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