Google Secretly Working on Android Auto Interface for Messaging Apps

WhatsApp GUI on Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: reddit user shmykelsa
Google doesn’t provide too many specifics when it rolls out new Android Auto updates, so the whole thing of figuring out what’s been changed comes down to each and every one of us.
Fortunately, teardowns and other advanced hacks allow the skilled developers out there to provide us with an early look at what’s to come in the world of Android Auto, and as it turns out, the most recent releases are paving the way for another welcome improvement.

According to findings shared on reddit by the developer of AA AIO Tweaker, an advanced Android Auto tool providing access to features that haven’t been enabled by Google, the search giant is working on a graphical user interface for messaging apps in the car.

In other words, Android Auto will soon display dedicated icons for select messaging apps, and tapping them would launch a dedicated user interface with a completely new purpose.

WhatsApp and the Google Messages apps are two of the first that could be supported, though right now, enabling their GUI doesn’t seem to make any difference, as the feature is not yet functional.

So what is this GUI supposed to when it’s finally enabled in Android Auto?

Once launched, Android Auto should start showing notifications of messages coming from that app. But really, no. It doesn't do that. Any SMS or WhatsApp message will still be shown in the notification center, and not inside the own app,” the developer explains.

In other words, these dedicated GUIs would still display notifications, only they’ll now be grouped per each app and not in a central hub like the notification center.

Does this mean Google would at one point kill off the notification center in Android Auto? That’s hard to anticipate at this point, but the next few Android Auto updates should provide us with a clearer picture of how this feature is supposed to evolve in the long term.
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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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