Android Auto Split-Screen Is the CarPlay Dashboard Alternative Everybody Needed

The most recent update for Android Auto introduces several significant new features, including support for a new split-screen mode that allows users to run two separate apps side by side.
The new split-screen mode on Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: reddit user My_Name_Is_Taken
Apple used the release of iOS 13 to introduce a new feature for CarPlay users that allows them to keep multiple apps on the screen simultaneously, all in an attempt to eliminate the need for jumping from one app to another while driving.

Called the Dashboard, this new feature supports navigation apps, phone call information, music players, and calendar integration. In 2020, major apps like Waze and Google Maps have also been updated to run in the dedicated navigation card.

Needless to say, people loved this dashboard because they could get information from multiple apps with just a quick glance at the screen. As a result, many wondered if Google ever wants to bring such an alternative to the world of Android Auto.

And as it turns out, Google not only introduced something similar but made the whole thing much better in so many ways.

Android Auto 6.1 packs this new split-screen mode that makes it possible to run two different apps side by side, including Google Maps and media apps. So, in other words, you can have the navigation app and your music player on the screen at the same time, and given these two are the most popular tools we run in the car, there’s a chance the need for interacting with the head unit has been substantially reduced.

As compared to the CarPlay dashboard, which groups multiple apps in smaller cards on the same screen, Android Auto allows two apps side by side in larger panes, thus making the information much easier to seen by the driver.

The only shortcoming is the new split-screen mode is only available for cars with wider screens. Hopefully, Google will find a way to bring this CarPlay dashboard alternative to standard displays at some point in the future.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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