Google is set to axe the Android Auto mobile app, which is bad news for those of us with an older model car that isn’t fitted with a fancy compatible dashboard unit.
For those unfamiliar, Android Auto allows eligible users to access their phone via the car dashboard — making it easier to access the important stuff like Google Maps and Spotify without the distraction of actually using your phone (which is illegal).
But for users who don’t have a compatible car, Google has previously offered the service directly on your mobile device — not unlike Spotify’s ‘Car Mode’, which limits functionality while driving.
However, Google is now set to remove its Android Auto app in favour of the highly anticipated ‘Assistant Driving Mode’ that arrived earlier this year.
“Google Assistant driving mode is our next evolution of the mobile driving experience,” Google said in a statement provided to 9to5Google. “For the people who use Android Auto in supported vehicles, that experience isn’t going away. For those who use the on phone experience (Android Auto mobile app), they will be transitioned to Google Assistant driving mode.
“Starting with Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode will be the built-in mobile driving experience. We have no further details to share at this time.”
Android Auto for phone screens will cease service with the introduction of Android 12. Users operating on older versions of the Android OS will still be able to use the service until they update.
Basically, once you update to Android 12, you should be able to use the new and improved Assistant Driving Mode, which is “the built-in mobile driving experience”.
The news comes after some Google Pixel owners received an alert while trying to run the app which said it was now “only available for car screens” and recommended Google Assistant instead.