Android Auto gets a makeover, with messages and music now easier to access

Spend more time looking at the road, Jack

Android Auto gets a design upgrade

Android Auto is in line for a refresh, with Google adding features that make it easier for the driver to access music and messages.

The company indicates that third-party giants Spotify, WhatsApp and iHeartRadio have complete integration, while its own Google Play Music and Hangouts are also fully supported (Pandora is coming soon). The changes come as Google looks to move the apps section to the top of the dock, meaning drivers will hopefully spend less time browsing and, then, more time concentrating on the road.

Of course, this is also helped by voice search, with users able to ask Assistant to play a specific song, album, artist, playlist, podcast or book. On the dock, a selection of additional results will also pop up.

In terms of messaging, things have also been simplified. When new messages arrive, Android Auto will now show a preview of the text, but only when the vehicle is stopped. And it's not just about your standard SMS messages, either - MMS and RCS (that's your picture and video messages, kids) are also supported, and naturally, group messages from the likes of WhatsApp are fully on board with the new changes.

With Google previewing these changes back in May, and recently cleaning up their interface of the Assistant and Home mobile apps, it comes as no real surprise that Android Auto has now finally been given some attention, too. The changes are being rolled out now and will be made available the next few days, so you'll soon be able to take them for a spin.


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