Google’s New Flagship Music App Silently Updated with New Features for Drivers

Google will soon kill off Google Play Music, and users are migrated to YouTube Music, the company’s new flagship media app that’s already angering some of those running Android Auto.
YouTube Music recommended playlists 1 photo
Photo: Google Play Store
But on the other hand, it looks like the Mountain View-based search giant is working on refining the experience behind the wheel, so YouTube Music has recently been updated with new features in this regard.

First and foremost, as some users on reddit discovered, YouTube Music now supports Bluetooth playback controls, which means that your car’s Bluetooth system can connect to the app wirelessly and allow you to adjust the volume, change songs, and things like that.

There’s a new toggle in the settings screen that’s called “Allow external devices to start playback,” and it must be set to on for the new feature to work. Some say this still doesn’t make any difference in their cars, so there’s a chance that Google’s still trying to fine-tune the experience with the Bluetooth controls.

Then, YouTube Music is getting improved Assistant support. More specifically, beginning with the latest update, you can just ask the Google Assistant to play the recommended music on YouTube Music. The command is as simple as it could be: “Hey, Google, play recommended music on YouTube Music.” If everything is working properly, the assistant should then instruct YouTube Music to launch (if it’s not running already) and load a recommended music playlist within the app.

And last but not least, Google is adding YouTube Music media controls in Google Maps. As you probably know already, if you’re navigating with Google Maps (on the phone screen, not in Android Auto), you can see playback controls for some popular media apps, such as Spotify.

More recently, the search giant has also introduced YouTube Music controls, so you can skip to the next song without actually leaving Google Maps.

You can download the latest versions of Google Maps and YouTube Music using the respective links.
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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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