Google Announces Android Auto Widgets, Makes CarPlay Look Outdated

Android Auto widgets 1 photo
Photo: Google
The upcoming Android 12 operating system update, which is projected to land later this year, will obviously come with a plethora of new features, including at least one that is specifically aimed at Android Auto users.
Detailed at I/O 2021 earlier this week, the widget integration for Google Assistant is a feature that also improves the experience on Android Auto, eventually making CarPlay look old-school and outdated.

More specifically, what Google wants to do is provide Google Assistant with access to information stored by widgets. In other words, the assistant will be able to pull information from the widgets on your phone and then perform a series of actions according to the found data.

For example, if you’re using a widget from your favorite restaurant, Google Assistant would be able to order food using the information it finds in the widget, such as the menu you previously marked as favorite. The same for groceries and to-do lists, with Google Assistant to therefore be able to read all of these and then act accordingly.

So how is this improving the experience on Android Auto? It’s pretty simple, actually, as Google wants these widgets to make their debut in the car, making it easier for drivers to perform more actions without taking their eyes off the road.

In theory, Android Auto users would also be allowed to rely on Google Assistant for more actions, such as the ones mentioned above, as widget information would be displayed right on their head units.

Google has also announced other important changes for Android Auto, including Fast Pair support that would make setting up the app a more seamless process. When Fast Pair is used, your Android device pairs with the head unit in the car automatically, therefore setting up Android Auto wireless and getting it ready for your next drive. However, the feature would only be available with compatible head units.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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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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