Take a call and keep Google Maps open with Assistant's 'driving mode'


Android is the world's most popular OS, but it's not just for phones or tablets. The aforementioned automakers have been working closely with Google to modify the system to mesh with their own brand design motifs as well, so in some instances, you might not even recognize Android Automotive from the outset. So here's all the new stuff coming to the Android ecosystem later this year.

The update features a darker color theme and new color accents that are claimed to make it quicker and easier for a driver to see content on a car's central display. Android Q has dark mode, better gestures, and an impressive new accessibility feature in live captions.

This is the new home screen, a grid of app icons. Drivers can tap a suggested location or use the "Hey Google" voice command to navigate somewhere new.

Thanks to the industry-wide support for Project Treble, Android Q Beta 3 is available for a long list of Android handsets; it's not just Pixel handsets this time.

Other niceties include the ability to get into your vehicle and immediately have your music playback continue and your default navigation of app of choice spring into action.

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Meanwhile, when it comes to digital wellbeing, Google has seen a huge improvement in its ability helping people wind down and get over the feeling of being addicted to tech using features and tools first introduced in Android 9 Pie.

The new Assistant driving mode takes the current Android Auto phone app and essentially renders it obsolete, while performing numerous same functions.

On-device machine learning also powers Smart Reply, which is now built into the notification system in Android, allowing any messaging app to suggest replies in notifications. No more sneaky marathon Fortnite sessions kids, sorry.

As expected, Android Q will also be featuring an updated gesture-based navigation experience. Google I/O attendants will be able to try it out earlier, though. "We want you to get these faster", Google Senior Director for Android Stephanie Cuthbertson said at Google I/O on Tuesday. Everything is tied together under a dark theme, in line with Google's new Material guidelines. Android Auto will also continue playing media and navigation app of the driver's choice without users having to restart them after connecting to the vehicle. It also brings a new, user-friendly app drawer more similar to what you'd find on your phone, and the new notification center shows all of your notifications at a glance.