During the past 2023 Android Auto established itself as the favourite option for drivers, serving as a preamble for everything beneficial that will come this 2024, where the North American company will bet on numerous changes to continue improving its already popular application.
Precisely one of those improvements we are going to talk about today, as it will introduce important changes to the interface; in fact, although ‘Coolwalk’, the new interface, has been on Android Auto for barely a year, Google is already preparing some modifications. It won’t be a revolution, but an evolution starting with small changes.
One of those changes has already been discovered by 9to5Google in Android Auto 11.2, and it affects an important part of the system: the Google Assistant. With the new design, the assistant will now appear in the Android Auto bar, where the system’s multitasking apps normally appear. This ignores one of the changes made last year, whereby the Google Assistant started appearing in a floating window when invoked with a voice command. The problem with that method is that it could obscure important elements of the apps we were running, such as Google Maps, especially on smaller screens.
With the new interface, the Google Assistant now occupies the reserved place that apps cannot use, which normally shows the bar of open apps.
When we call the assistant with “Ok Google”, the apps will disappear and the typical phrase asking how it can help us will appear. When it’s finished, the assistant will disappear and the apps will return to their usual display. In this way, we will never lose sight of the app we have open, even if the assistant is started.
In addition to this visual change, Google is also changing the way voice feedback works in Android Auto. Google Assistant allows you to send replies in instant messaging apps such as Google Chat or Telegram, using just your voice; this way, you don’t have the distraction of having to type the message. With the latest version of Android Auto, these replies will now be displayed in a lower window that will occupy only the space that is free and that is not being used by Google Maps; this window will show the user and the app we are using, and a message indicating that we can speak and showing what it has captured from our voice. A button will allow us to cancel this function, or send the captured message.