Android Auto 2019 Major Update (My Opinion)

The new 2019 Android Auto update
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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.

  1. When not connected to the car, I opened the Android Auto app
  2. Click the Hamburger icon in the top left to reveal the Android Auto menu.
  3. Click Settings
  4. The first toggle is a "Try the new Android Auto" (For car screen only. Update now or wait for automatic update, coming soon).
  5. 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.

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