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Google has finally release a major update to Android Auto... and on August 7, 2019, I finally got the update. And since I enjoy exploring new software, I was thrilled when I got the update and gave it a spin on my 2018 Honda Accord.
How I Enabled Android Auto
I read many reviews from major sites regarding the Android Auto update for awhile. And day after day, I patiently checking Google Play Store for an update. But it never showed up. For whatever reason, I decided to check the settings and noticed a new button. Here's how I enabled the major 2019 Android Auto on my Google Pixel 2.
- When not connected to the car, I opened the Android Auto app
- Click the Hamburger icon in the top left to reveal the Android Auto menu.
- Click Settings
- The first toggle is a "Try the new Android Auto" (For car screen only. Update now or wait for automatic update, coming soon).
- Then, connect your smartphone to your car and start Android Auto like normal.
For your note, the Android Auto version at the bottom of the settings screen is 4.5.592854-release.
My Opinion on Android Auto 2019 Update
Change isn't always easy. And as much as I like the "refreshed" look of Android Auto to closer resemble a smartphone, I'm still not accustomed to it. Here are some of my comments (and I hope Google releases additional updates to resolve some of the issues).
The biggest and most noticeable change is the new home screen with a grid of icons. But in addition to the pros, there are definite cons to the new design.
- The grid of icon give Android Auto a great first impression.
- The grid makes it easy to one-touch to the right app. In the old Android Auto, if I wanted a new audio app, I would have to switch to the audio category, then click the switch audio app, and finally scroll to your audio app.
- From the navigation app, you have easy access to audio settings (play/pause/skip) at the bottom of the screen. From the audio app, you have quick access to navigation settings.
- The Android Auto grid contains more icons than before. Some of those icons have a smaller embedded Google Assistant icon in the bottom right. These icon are audible only icons, which especially while driving is useless. And there's no way to hide them.
- The old Android Auto homescreen shows time relevant navigation notifications. So when I have a calendar event with an address, I could one-touch to start navigation. In the new Android Auto, I doesn't seem possible anymore.