Tech giant Google is discontinuing the Android Auto app for smartphones, pushing users instead to use the Google Assistant. As reported by TheVerge, the company will shut down the Android Auto for Phone Screens app from Android 12 onwards and users will instead have to use the driving mode on the Google Assistant, which works with both Google Maps and Android Auto enabled cards.
“For those who use the 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,” the company told TheVerge in a statement.
Google has been informing users about the change through the app. Users of the Android Auto for Phone Screens app have reported that the app has been showing a notification to them saying it is only available for car screens now. It points users to the Google Assistant’s driving mode instead, as an alternative.
To be clear, Android Auto for Phone Screens wasn’t the most widely used app for Google in the first place. The app was launched in 2019 and has been downloaded over 5 million times, according to the Play Store listing, which isn’t the highest number anyway. Android Auto is built to be part of in-car systems, and Google has been working with auto companies to establish the same. Cars manufactured by Nissan, Kia, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra and several others already come with Android Auto built in, in India.
Google had also announced the driving mode for the Google Assistant in 2019, but the feature started rolling out to users only last year.
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