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Google Maps Simultaneous Display on Android Auto Dashboards and Connected Phones: A New Reality?

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Google Maps made an unexpected appearance on Android Auto dashboards and connected Android and Samsung phones in February of this year. However, this useful feature was short-lived, being withdrawn in mere days due to its accidental introduction. According to numerous Reddit users, the feature has reemerged, potentially as a planned and permanent inclusion.

Google Maps Update and The Simultaneous Use Feature

This change might be associated with the recent Maps update that was implemented by Google on June 28. The update enhanced the application to version 11.85.0300. The official changelog subtly indicated this adjustment without direct mention, describing that the update offers bug fixes to improve the product and enhance user navigation to new places. Consequently, it’s hoped that this latest change isn’t another temporary glitch but a long-lasting improvement. This feature is particularly helpful for drivers whose vehicles support Android Auto but lack touch controls on their dashboards, as using Google Maps on their phone screens provides a more convenient navigation option.

Why This Feature is a Game-changer

This simultaneous use feature offers drivers much-needed flexibility by allowing Google Maps to be used on both phones and car displays at the same time. Google Maps had been previously limited on car dashboards, displaying only turn-by-turn navigation, ETA, remaining distance, and music controls. With this update, drivers and passengers can take advantage of the full functionality of Google Maps, benefiting from more nuanced directions and better situational awareness. This brings Google in line with its competitor, Apple Maps, which offers a list of turn-by-turn directions on the connected phone while the CarPlay is active.

Android Auto: Google’s Competitor to Apple CarPlay

Android Auto is Google’s equivalent to Apple CarPlay and a highly sought-after feature in new vehicles. It allows users to access smartphone features via the car’s infotainment screen, creating an integrated, user-friendly driving experience. Apps such as Google Maps, Waze Navigation, Google Play Music, and Spotify are all available through Android Auto, making it a desirable add-on.

Integration with Android

The Android Auto system is compatible with Android 9 and later and is built directly into Android 10 and subsequent versions. Connecting your phone is as simple as using a USB cable or, in some cases, via Bluetooth for wireless Android Auto capability.

Controls and Features

Android Auto leverages your car’s input device for interaction, such as a touchscreen or steering wheel buttons. It also includes voice control to navigate through apps and control the entire system without compromising driver safety. For instance, the ‘Hey Google’ command activates the voice recognition feature, allowing hands-free operation. Google also recently incorporated calendar integration into Android Auto, enabling users to view their events and appointments.

App Selection and Safety

With Android Auto, the operating system and familiar apps can easily be used in your car. All apps undergo a certification process to ensure their safe use while driving, thus, not all phone apps are available on the move. An example of this feature in action might be a reminder to buy sun cream if the navigation is set for a beach destination. With this latest update, , Google hopes to take another significant step forward in creating a seamless, integrated in-car experience for Android Auto users.

A Step Forward in User Experience

With this latest update, Android Auto is increasing the value it provides to drivers by creating an increasingly unified and user-friendly interface. The simultaneous use of Google Maps on both the smartphone and car dashboard expands the navigation functionality, adding an extra layer of convenience and efficiency to journeys. Drivers will now have the ability to easily alternate between checking their route on their phone or on their car’s infotainment screen. This becomes particularly useful in situations where the car’s dashboard lacks touch controls, making navigation on the phone screen a much more convenient option. Moreover, passengers can also take advantage of this feature, as they can assist with providing directions, altering routes, or searching for new destinations without interrupting the display on the car’s dashboard. This paves the way for smoother journeys with fewer distractions and interruptions.

A New Standard in Auto Technology?

While Google Maps’ simultaneous display on Android Auto and connected phones could be seen as a minor adjustment, it represents a much more significant shift in the evolution of automotive technology. By continually enhancing the connection between smartphones and vehicle systems, Google is making strides in improving the overall driving experience. In the larger picture, these advancements bring us a step closer to achieving a fully integrated digital ecosystem within vehicles. Whether this update will become a new standard across all navigation apps remains to be seen. However, it certainly sets a precedent for more interactive and simultaneous use features, potentially paving the way for a new standard in auto technology.

Conclusion

Whether you’re an Android user or a car enthusiast, this update brings a change that is likely to be welcomed by many. The simultaneous use feature allows a higher degree of freedom and flexibility for drivers and passengers alike, promoting safer and more enjoyable journeys. As technology continues to evolve, one thing is for certain – the road ahead is full of exciting possibilities.

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