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Unannounced Android Auto Feature Quietly Launches for a Handful of Users

While Google has already acknowledged a series of Android Auto problems, and the company is now working on fixing them, it looks like other improvements are already on their way, including a mysterious button that’s now showing up out of nowhere for a handful of users.
New Android Auto button showing up for some 6 photos
Photo: reddit user sccabrian
Android Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interface
As some people on reddit revealed, the button is called “suggested media,” and when tapped, it displays content that you can listen to, not necessarily powered by a music service like Spotify.

In other words, what this feature does is to suggest things to listen to while driving, including music, podcasts, and even news powered by Google News.

When tapped, the button launches a dedicated new UI that uses the entire screen, with large thumbnails to let you easily choose content to listen to. A single tap on any of the thumbnails is enough to begin playing, and you can also revert to the previous screen by tapping the button again.

Worth knowing is this feature isn’t yet available for everybody out there running Android Auto, and most likely, it’s powered by a server-side switch. This means the suggested media feature is still in the experimental phase and Google just slowly rolls it out to users out there in an attempt to determine its overall reliability before bringing it to everyone.

The Android Auto version that you are running doesn’t make any difference, given Google itself decides who gets the new button and who doesn’t. Someone claims they’re running Android Auto 6.6, so it’s not the latest version of the app, and they still got the suggested media feature.

Unfortunately, this new button doesn’t seem to come with a dedicated setting to turn it off, so if you don’t find it useful, there’s no way to get rid of it. It remains to be seen if Google introduces such settings by the time the general availability is reached though.
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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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