Android Auto Just Got a New Face From Google
Changes include a dark interface and a handful of other tweaksby Tudor Rus, on
Google’s Android Auto is getting a facelift that’s set to roll out on compatible vehicles towards the end of the summer.
Android Auto 2019 Update
After five years of market presence, Android Auto will finally receive a revamp that will hopefully keep its chances crisp in the battle with Apple CarPlay.
Perhaps the most significant bit of information that comes with Google’s announcement has to do with the addition of a dark skin created to give your eyes a less tiring experience.
We can easily spot a couple of advantages here: firstly, it’s a useful feature to have when driving at night or passing through long tunnels – the only question is, will the system know when natural light is at a low and make the switch automatically?
Secondly, you might consider using it for those parts of the trip when your eyes are getting fatigued and on a more subjective note, it does look cooler than the standard color scheme – this is coming from someone who uses dark themes on pretty much every device and app that supports it.
Another feature that comes in handy is the one that allows you to see turn-by-turn guidance while using other apps. Google says it also simplified the notification flow which now shows recent calls, messages, and other alerts.
Moreover, in case your car is fitted with a larger infotainment screen, Android Auto will do its best to use the extra inches by displaying more information accordingly.
In all fairness, the new interface does resemble Apple’s CarPlay and we believe this is not a coincidence. A study carried out in 2018 by JD Power revealed that in the US, drivers are happier with Apple CarPlay than they are with Android Auto. Therefore, is this Google’s way of closing the gap? Could very well be.
It must be noted, though, that the difference is marginal – on a 1,000-point scale, the score was 777 to 748 in favor of Apple CarPlay. Google Maps, however, is the most used navigation solution.
To put things into perspective, the same study also found out that 19% of new vehicle owners completely ignore the car’s built-in navigation and 70% of them use smartphone mirroring instead.
What’s your go-to smartphone mirroring choice – Apple CarPlay or Android Auto?