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Google Shutters Android Auto for Phone Screens

Google says Android Auto will now become exclusive to vehicle infotainment systems, with mobile users getting Google Assistant driving mode.


Android Auto has been with us since 2014. A lot has happened since launched the in-car infotainment platform, not least it being widely adopted across the automotive industry. That wasn't the case in the early days, where you would rarely find a vehicle with Android Auto. At the time, Google released an app for phones so people could use the platform on their handsets.

The company now says this app is unnecessary and will be closing it. While Android Auto may not have the proliferation of CarPlay, it is included on most new models (support for both rival platforms). Android Auto for phone screens was something of a placeholder that allowed users to use the platform on their smartphone.

Now most people can do that in their vehicle infotainment system, the need for the smartphone app has gone. Especially as Google has been increasingly building out Android Auto. In 2020, the company brought Google Assistant driving mode to the United States and globally in April. This is important because it means Google Assistant driving mode essentially replaces Android Auto for phone screens.

Moving On

And that is exactly what Google is telling people in a prompt when they fire up Android Auto on their smartphone:

“Android Auto is now only available for car screens. On your phone, try Google Assistant driving mode instead.”

It seems this message is only appearing on Google's own Pixel Phones, and only those running Android 12. It is unclear what happens on older versions of the OS, but the message seems clear enough… no more Android Auto on smartphones.

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Last Updated on February 14, 2022 8:22 pm CET

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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