New Android Auto adapts to any screen size through a split screen interface

In context: In addition to announcing a new smartphone, earbuds and a smartwatch at Google I/O 2022 this week, Google also confirmed major updates to its car infotainment software. Android Auto is getting a new interface designed to speed up access to its most popular features.

The new interface of Android Auto is expected later this summer. The biggest change is a new split screen that simultaneously displays windows for navigation, messages, and audio controls.

This allows users to view a navigation map, control their music or podcasts and communicate with contacts without switching between different apps. Google chose those three features for multitasking after feedback indicated they were the most popular. These windows can be rearranged to accommodate the different screen orientations in different cars.

Google plans to add more to this interface in the coming months. This can include contextual suggestions for messages and choosing what music to play.

Users can also send the estimated arrival times of the navigation system to their contacts. The company hopes that this will allow users to look less at the infotainment system instead of at the road.

Enabling video streaming apps sounds contradictory to reducing distractions, but soon Google’s built-in infotainment system will allow them while the car is parked. These include YouTube, Tubi, Epix Now, web browsers, and content streamed from phones.

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