Google Announces New Android Auto Feature to Quickly Reply to a Message

The Mountain View-based search giant Google has just announced that a future Android Auto update will include support for Smart Reply, a feature that allows users to quickly respond to a message.
Smart Reply coming to Android Auto 6 photos
Photo: Google
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Right now, users who want to reply to a message they just received can rely on voice input for the whole thing. Google Assistant can take care of the process, asking for input and then automatically sending the reply to the original sender.

However, the search company itself believes that replying to a message can be significantly streamlined, so Android Auto is now getting support for Smart Reply.

Thanks to this feature, Android Auto users will be provided with a series of generic responses when they receive a new message while they drive.

The whole thing is supposed to work exactly as you’d expect it to work. When receiving a new message, Google Assistant can read the text for you, with Android Auto then displaying several responses to let users quickly reply.

For example, if someone asks if you’re already on the way to a meeting, Android Auto lets you respond with yes, no, and On my way. All it takes is a single tap on a touch-capable screen, and the message is sent.

While some think this approach isn’t necessarily the best way to go, given users would be tempted to look at the screen to send a quick reply, it actually gets much more complex in cars without touch support. Some drivers might have to rely on a knob to select a quick reply, and this obviously increases the distraction significantly.

Google hasn’t shared any ETA as to when this feature is projected to launch, but it will probably be included in a future update to go live in early 2022. Most likely, it will first show up in the beta builds released as part of Google’s testing program.
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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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