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Nov302018

Google Adds New Media and Messaging Features to Android Auto

Google has rolled out several new features in Android Auto, making it quicker to stay connected, focused and entertained on the go.

These updates mainly focus on two main functionality messaging and media, in addition to making more convenience features available without sacrificing safety.

Users can now easily access favorite content, improved media browse and search features.

Google also now offer visual message previews and group messaging.

New Media UI

Google has given media user interface several changes, the most obvious is the new album layout. The improved layout now brings content to the forefront with a small thumbnail of the album art view next to the artist and song information.

This will help in quickly identifying and selecting a song to play.

Here is an image of the new media layout:

Google Android Auto New Media UI

Messaging Preview

Google now offer message previews in the Auto UI, so users can see all important messages while safely stay connected.

The message previewing capability is optional and need to be enabled from the Auto’s settings menu.

Once it’s enabled, Android Auto will show a short preview of the text when the vehicle is standby.

Here is an image of the new message preview feature:

Google Android Auto Messaging

In addition message preview, Google now supports more message types in Android Auto with today’s update.

Along with SMS, Google has now added support for MMS (multimedia messaging service), RCS (rich communication services), and group messaging.

In the browsing experience improvement, the arrow at the top now opens a more visual user interface for scrolling through media options. The option selected in the navigation menu determines the set of suggestions to appear in the browser UI.

Searching for music with Google Assistant has also received improvements — voice search now allows users to simply ask Assistant, “OK Google, play 80s music,” will respond with more categorized search results right on the screen.

Here is an image of Assistant:

Android Auto improved Google Assistant Search

Third-party developers will have to make their apps take advantage of these features. Google has added a initial support to the following apps:

Media apps that support above feature include Google Play Books, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, and Spotify.

Messaging apps such as Hangouts, Messages, and WhatsApp work with new messaging features.

Google says it will be adding more apps to support these new features in the coming months.

The new features will fully become available in the next several days.

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