Android Auto is a way to access your phone through a car’s dashboard which lets you easily access things like Google Maps, music apps, and data without needing to physically use your phone. But for a while now, Google has also offered an Android Auto experience directly on a phone, for people who don’t have a compatible dashboard unit. And also, Google has been working on an “Assistant driving mode” that arrived earlier in the year. So now that Google Assistant driving mode is ready, the company will stop offering the old Android Auto experience on phones running Android 12. All good things must end.
A statement from Google reads, “Google Assistant driving mode is our next evolution of the mobile driving experience,” And it goes on to say, “For the people who use Android Auto in supported vehicles, that experience isn’t going away. For those who use the on phone experience (Android Auto mobile app), they will be transitioned to Google Assistant driving mode. Starting with Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode will be the built-in mobile driving experience. We have no further details to share at this time.”
Before Google had officially confirmed the change, some Pixel owners running Android 12 got a notification when trying to run the Android Auto app on their phones. It warned that Android Auto was now “only available for car screens” and recommended that users try the Google Assistant driving experience. Since the new Google Assistant experience will be the focus going forward, switching over is probably not that big of a deal for most people. However, if you don’t upgrade your phone to Android 12, you will be able to keep running the Android Auto app, at least for now. Otherwise, you will have to switch.
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