By default, Android Auto runs in a landscape mode, and while it can very well work on a vertical display too, its interface is typically centered as the app is unable to take full advantage of the available screen estate unless Google specifically works with the manufacturer to make this happen.
Several Subaru owners are complaining about the whole thing on Google’s forums, and many are now claiming they’re ready to switch to Apple’s CarPlay (which does come with a portrait mode) unless the Mountain View-based search giant finds a way to work with carmakers more efficiently in this regard.
“I am contemplating switching to Apple for this exact reason. Google Maps can still be used on CarPlay and it is much easier to see than the tiny Google Maps through Android Auto,” someone says on the forums.
“I can't agree more what makes more sense? Spend $1,000 on competitor's phone, or buy a different $40,000 vehicle with a landscape screen instead of portrait screen? Or should Google just step up and solve the problem? Seems pretty simple...” someone else continues.
Unfortunately, Google has remained tight-lipped on the whole thing, and a community specialist explained the way Android Auto is displayed in cars with vertical screens is the intended behavior by the manufacturer. So what drivers should do is just contact the carmaker and request the feature, the post reads.
Some say they’ve already reached out to automakers, but most often, they were told Google needs to make it happen. So users themselves are caught right in the middle, obviously, with absolutely no official response currently available and without the feature they want anywhere on the radar.