How will you replace Android Auto on phone screens?
This week, we learned Android Auto’s long-delayed death on phone screens was back on the calendar. It’s been a long time coming, but that hasn’t stopped fans of Google’s driver-friendly app from feeling frustrated by the transition. It’s also left users up in the air over where to go next for all their driving needs.
Originally scheduled to be discontinued and replaced in 2019, Auto gained a new lease on life after Google delayed Assistant Driving Mode. With that service slowly becoming more available, it’s finally time to say goodbye to the legacy app. Auto is getting left behind in the days of Android 11, and while it’ll still function on devices that don’t receive an update to Android 12, it’ll eventually be phased out entirely as more users update and upgrade their devices.
If you ask Google, the natural successor to Android Auto is Assistant Driving Mode. After all, it uses a similar car-friendly interface designed with large buttons and voice controls in mind. However, Assistant Driving Mode has plenty of drawbacks, from a lack of landscape support to missing third-party navigation apps outside of Google Maps. You can’t even use the service without starting with a destination in mind, which isn’t necessary for Android Auto.
This change won’t affect drivers with in-dash Auto receivers, but if you’re currently using the phone interface to get from place to place, you’ll want to start considering your options for a replacement. Assistant Driving Mode feels like the obvious choice, but it lacks features some may deem essential. In-dash units will let you keep using Android Auto, but they’re costly. Meanwhile, dedicated GPS devices often require monthly subscriptions, and you’ll still need a way to control your music in the car. There’s also a selection of third-party driving apps on Google Play which could be worth a look, even without the polish a company like Google can afford to apply to its apps.
It’s a tough choice, though you’ll probably have a few months to try out a couple of options before your phone receives an update. But for now, if you’re an Android Auto on phone screens user, how are you planning to replace it?