Google to discontinue Android Auto for Phone Screens app
Google is doing away with Android Auto for Phone Screens app that works via an in-app pop-up message, the Verge reported. This feature is used by people who do not have cars with latest Android Auto versions that run on the infotainment screen as the app offers an in-car interface of Android that is safer to use while mounting the phone on a car dashboard. The move was already anticipated when Google removed the app last year from newer Android 12 devices.
So far, users with older smartphones could still access the app, but now Google if finally doing away with the app on all devices. The Android Auto for Phone Screens app is an affordable and accessible solution that every vehicle owner can use to get all of the benefits of Android Auto. However, now, they will have to either purchase a costly new head unit that supports Android Auto or buy a newer car to experience Android Auto.
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The report states that this move is a part of a debacle happening because of Google's “confusing plans" from 2019, when the tech giant wanted its users to switch from an on-phone Android Auto experience to the then-upcoming Google Assistant driving mode. But then, the latter got delayed and did not release until 2020.
It is during that delay that the Android Auto for Phone Screens app became the stop-gap solution for using Android while driving despite not owning the latest car that supports Android Auto.
The report notes that the Google Assistant driving mode is not a one-to-one replacement solution either because the linear approach of the app gets prompts that could get distracting when compared to the Android Auto interface. It could also lead users to fumble with a hand-held phone while driving if Google Assistant gets a voice request wrong.