Google will shut down the standalone ‘Android Auto for Phone Screens’ app from Android 12 onwards. This will help anyone looking for a driving-friendly interface for their Android phone. According to 9to5Google, instead, anyone who wants a driving-friendly interface for their Android phone should use the Google Assistant driving mode, which is available within Google Maps, or the native Android Auto interface available in select cars.
Google has issued a statement which said, “For those who use them 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.”
Google’s announcement to replace Android Auto with Google Assistant came after reports that some users were seeing a message in the ‘Android Auto for Phone Screens’ app that said the service is “now only available for car screens” and pointed phone users towards Google Assistant driving mode as a replacement. There have also been reports that the ‘Android Auto for Phone Screens’ app has become incompatible with Pixel devices running on Android 12.
Google’s plan for these users was a new Google Assistant driving mode, but this software was delayed, and despite being announced in 2019, it only started rolling out late last year.
The new app is likely to get automatically updated on cars that come with the Android Auto app installed. However, for people using old cars which does not have a built-in Android Auto app, they will lose access to the driving-friendly interface available directly on their phone after the updates take place.