Google Updates Android Auto: 4 New Features to Try

Android Auto is getting some useful new features this holiday season that are definitely worth checking out.

Android Auto has grown in popularity since it was first introduced, with the feature now being an essential factor for people looking to buy a car. Ahead of the holiday season, Google has announced the rollout of several new features for Android Auto that aim to make your next road trip a bit more convenient than before. If you use Android Auto regularly, you’ll appreciate the new improvements coming to it.

Below is a look at all the new features coming to Android Auto on your Android device.

1. Automatically Launch Android Auto

The next time you get in your car, you won’t have to launch Android Auto on your vehicle manually. Instead, you can set it up to automatically launch as soon as it connects to your car’s Bluetooth system.

2. Smart Reply for Messages

Image Credit: Google

Android Auto and Google Assistant make it easy to reply to incoming messages. However, Google is making this even more accessible with smart replies.

Android Auto will show you suggested replies for incoming messages, just like your phone. You can simply tap on the reply you want to send or use Google Assistant to transcribe your voice into text quickly.

3. Quickly Play Music

Google is also adding a new always-on play button to Android Auto, so you can quickly start playing music from your favorite app without having to open it first. Additionally, you’ll also be able to use your voice to search for music in the music app of your choice by simply saying the artist’s name or song.

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4. Digital Car Key

If you own a compatible BMW car and the Galaxy S21 or Pixel 6, you will be able to use your phone to start, lock, and unlock your vehicle. This is made possible due to the UWB chip found inside these phones.

It has been possible to use your iPhone as a digital car key for quite some time now, and Google is playing catch-up with Apple in this department. As Google notes in its announcement, the feature will only be available in select countries on the phones mentioned above.

Android Auto Becomes Smarter

While all the four new features might seem minor, they further refine the experience of using Android Auto if you look at the bigger picture. In particular, the addition of Smart Reply and Digital car keys will improve Android Auto’s usability and make it an indispensable part of people’s life.