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New Android Auto update brings enhanced media and messaging services

Google is updating Android Auto to enable a better messaging and media playback experience for drivers. Here's what's new!

Published onNovember 29, 2018

Android Auto

Back in May of this year, we had the opportunity to preview a new version of Android Auto that’s built right into the car. This allowed for things like music and messaging independent of the user’s phone, with an embedded SIM specific to that vehicle.

That version of Auto isn’t here quite yet, but Google is still issuing updates to the traditional Android Auto app to make the user’s experience more enjoyable and much more useful.

Video: Here's what the future of Android Auto looks like

Today, Google is pushing updates to media and messaging on the Auto platform. Here are the four big changes:

Android Auto

Media browse

Google has shifted media content to the top of the app browser. This helps to keep your focus point on the media and not what you’re switching to.

Media search

You can now ask the Google Assistant to search for a song, artist, podcast or book. If it doesn’t come up with the results you need initially, it will narrow down results so you can select the content you want manually.

Messaging preview

In order to help keep you focused on the road, Android Auto can now show you your message preview when the vehicle comes to a stop. This is an opt-in setting, so it won’t be enabled by default.

Group messaging support

Android Auto now supports MMS and RCS messages in addition to SMS, meaning you can take part in group conversations in apps like Android Messages and WhatsApp.

Android Auto

It’s nice to see Google focused on bringing a stellar Auto experience for users, and these updates should make the whole experience better and safer for users. With Apple CarPlay becoming an enticing reason to use iOS for a lot of users, Google needs to ensure it has one of the best services on the market for the integrated car.

Is there anything you’d like to see Google bring to Android Auto in the future? Let us know!

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