Google unveiled a brand new design for Android Auto at Google I/O in May 2022. After waiting months, the company finally released the public beta version of the redesigned Android Auto app in November 2022. Now, at CES 2023, Google has finally announced the public rollout of the new version of Android Auto.
The new version of Android Auto brings a card-based split-screen UI layout that lets users see maps and media controls simultaneously. Since cards for apps can be displayed in various sizes, the new Android Auto redesign can work flawlessly on infotainment units of all shapes and sizes. On ultrawide infotainment systems, it can display maps on a big card and media and weather information on smaller cards. Android Auto can show the same on portrait screens with a taller orientation.
Moreover, the new Android Auto design features a taskbar, similar to what we’ve seen on Android 12L and Android 13 devices. The taskbar can be used to switch between apps or open apps in full-screen mode. It also displays the unread notifications count, and when you tap on that count, you can see all your notifications. The taskbar also features a button for the app drawer (similar to a phone) and a shortcut for Google Assistant. Recent apps appear at the center of the taskbar.
Android Auto can now also display contextual cards, including the ones for missed calls or messages. It displays smart replies for messages and a way to share your estimated arrival time with contacts. Google will also make the media playback progress bar seekable, which users have been asking for years.
If you use the latest Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy phones, Android Auto also lets you make WhatsApp calls. This is another example of the growing partnership between Google and Samsung. The new version of Android Auto also features Digital Car Key sharing, which is currently limited to Pixel, Samsung, and Xiaomi phones.