Android Auto redesign adds split-screen mode to all displays

At Google I/O 2022, Android Auto is getting a split-screen mode that lets you always see navigation and media controls, while this redesign can adapt to any screen size and is particularly ideal for those with older cars that have smaller displays. It comes as Android Auto is now available on over 150 million cars worldwide.

Android Auto Redesign

This redesign — which is codenamed “Coolwalk” — adapts to whatever screen size is in your Android Auto-compatible vehicle. Making use of three cards, the largest is dedicated to mapping and navigation. You always see music, podcasts, and other audio controls, while the third window offers contextual suggestions from Assistant that can be swiped through.

It can show anything from an analog Material You clock with the date, trip ETAs that can be quickly shared with contacts, incoming text notifications (though they still appear as a top banner), and missed calls. When you receive messages, Google will let you reply with on-screen response suggestions, including emoji, or your voice.

The other core component of this UI is a bar that notes the time, your phone’s signal, and battery status, as well as buttons for opening the app grid, notifications, and Assistant. This strip appears either at the bottom of your screen or docked to the left. The map favors the right side or at the top on portrait displays.

Available this summer, the adaptable interface lets those with 5- or 6-inch displays on older vehicles experience split-screen mode, and does not limit multitasking to widescreens like before. Meanwhile, Google gets to future-proof Android Auto with this redesign as screens in cars become even more ubiquitous.

Android Automotive OS

On the dedicated Android Automotive front, Google reiterated that YouTube is coming, while Tubi TV and Epix also plan to release video streaming apps. You’ll also be able to Cast content from your phone to the in-car screen, with Google positioning this as ideal when charging or waiting for curbside pickup.

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