New Google Maps Navigation Interface Now Available for More Android Auto Users

New Google Maps 3D update coming to more users 16 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google
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Google keeps polishing Google Maps and Android Auto with new features, and one of the most important additions concerns the navigation interface when the turn-by-turn guidance is enabled.
If you're a long-time Google Maps user, you probably know already that the application offers a 3D building layer on mobile devices. With 3D buildings, following the route and figuring out where you are is more convenient, especially as Google has designed a simple UI that doesn't allow the buildings to become intrusive to the navigation experience.

The same interface with 3D buildings debuted on Android Auto a couple of months ago (in late December), but the rollout started slowly, with only a handful of users getting it. Google has reportedly accelerated the rollout, now enabling the 3D buildings for more users on Android Auto.

Interestingly, the new layer is enabled by default on Android Auto. On mobile devices, the 3D buildings are disabled by default, and users can enable it via the layers interface by toggling the "3D buildings" entry on and off. A new toggle is also available on Android Auto, and users can disable the 3D buildings from the settings screen.

Some users claim that the 3D buildings are only live in the dark mode, while others claim they're exclusively enabled when they use the light mode. However, the new layer should eventually land in Google Maps for Android Auto regardless of the visual mode.

Google Maps 3D buildings on Android Auto
Photo: 9to5Google
Google hasn't officially announced the new 3D buildings, but I guess a blog post will land when the company completes the rollout.

Meanwhile, the 3D buildings layer isn't the only update coming to Google Maps for Android Auto. The search giant is also working on other refinements, including support for saving the parking location when navigating with Google Maps on Android Auto.

The feature has been available on mobile devices for several years, but Google now brings it to Android Auto specifically to help users whose navigation address is different from the parking location. With this feature, users can continue using Google Maps for step-by-step guidance after they park their cars, turning the application into an all-in-one navigation solution.

The feature is slowly rolling out to users worldwide, but Google has also remained tight-lipped on this update.

Android Auto also keeps evolving with new capabilities, including AI-powered replies. Google Assistant can create summaries of long conversations or busy group chats, allowing users to reply with different answers according to the received text. For example, Google Assistant can suggest sharing the ETA via Google Maps when the contact asks for the arrival time at a destination. The feature has already started rolling out in the latest Android Auto updates but has yet to reach the broad availability phase. Google only announced the feature without an ETA for completing the rollout.
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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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