Google Is Finally Retiring Android Auto for Phones, Not as Tragic as It Sounds

Users now told to try out the driving mode 6 photos
Photo: XDA
New Google Maps driving modeNew Google Maps driving modeNew Google Maps driving modeNew Google Maps driving modeNew Google Maps driving mode
Everybody knew this was supposed to happen sooner or later, and while no official announcement has been provided, it looks like Google has finally kicked off the retirement of Android Auto for phone screens.
Some two years ago, Google rolled out what was developed as an alternative to the phone version of Android Auto from the very beginning. It was the Google Assistant driving mode, a new phone experience that turned the mobile screen into a car-optimized UI similar to Android Auto.

With Google Maps as the core app, the driving mode comes with everything a driver would need, including one-tap access to the installed apps (and compatible with the car experience), phone calls, messages, and media.

It was pretty clear that once the driving mode is finalized, Android Auto for phones would get the ax, though nobody knew when exactly the whole thing was supposed to happen. The driving mode is still in preview in the United States and a series of other countries, but now that Android Auto for phones is being retired, there’s a chance we’re getting closer to its launch for everybody out there.

The demise of the phone version of Android Auto is still in its early phases though, as XDA noticed that a message pointing users to the Google Assistant driving mode when launching the app only shows up on Pixel phones running Android 12.

On the other hand, some users can no longer get Android Auto for phone screens from the Google Play Store, and the app can launch only on devices where it’s already installed or by just sideloading it with the help of the standalone APK installer.

With all these changes going on, it’s pretty clear the demise of Android Auto for phone screens is just around the corner, so it’s all just a matter of time until Google releases an announcement in this regard.
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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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