A few weeks ago the news broke: Android Auto would stop working on mobiles from Android 12, to be replaced by the driving mode of the Google Assistant. However, Android Auto is still very much alive, at least for now.
If you use Android Auto frequently and are worried about what might happen to this version of Android for cars in the near future, we will tell you everything we know about the changes coming to Android Auto in the near future.
Just change the mobile version
Android Auto is an application that runs on mobile and streamed to the car screen using a cable or wireless connection. This is the main difference with Android Automotive, which is a complete operating system that is installed in the car.
From the beginning, Android Auto could be used both on the mobile screen and on the screen of a car that supports Android Auto. In this way, you could continue accessing many of its functions even if your car does not have an infotainment system, using a mobile phone or tablet and a car holder. Android Auto changes will affect only to the mobile version.
While Google has updated the Android Auto experience optimized for car displays, Android Auto for phones has been stuck for a few years. Not in vain, already in 2019 it was intuited that the driving mode of the Google Assistant would end up replacing the interface for mobile phones. It took a little longer than expected, but finally it has been.
Google has announced that starting with Android 12, the Google Assistant driving mode – accessible from Google Maps – will be the preferred driving experience for mobile phones. As a consequence, at some point Android Auto mobile version will display a warning stating that “Android Auto is available for car displays only” and urging you to test drive mode.
At some point the Android Auto app will show a warning that it only works on the car screen
Does this mean that Android Auto will stop working on mobiles as soon as the official version of Android 12 is released? No, the exact words of Google are that as of Android 12, Android Auto users in the car will be migrated to driving mode, which means that even in Android 12 there will be a transition period in which it should continue to work.
Not only this, but the change should not affect older versions, At least for the moment. Keep in mind that the Google Assistant driving mode is not available in all countries or for all mobiles: it needs Android 9.0 and 4 GB of RAM or higher. Meanwhile, Android Auto for phones works as of Android 6.0.
The driving mode of the Google Assistant is the spiritual heir to Android Auto for mobile
Keep in mind that Google has already given up on the Android Auto experience on mobile phones, so it is a matter of time before it stops working. Google has not shared all the details at the moment and there could always be changes, but this is the summary of the situation Today:
- On Android 12 and higher, Android Auto for phone users will be migrated to Google Assistant driving mode. After a certain point, the Android Auto app for phones will show a warning and it will not be possible to continue using it.
- From Android 9 to Android 11, and in the places where the driving mode of the Google Assistant is available, it is foreseeable that this migration will also end up producing at some point, although possibly later.
- Android 6.0 to Android 8.0, the Assistant’s driving mode is not supported, so it would be normal to keep Android Auto for phones for a longer period, although this is not confirmed.
Although it officially disappears, there will always be the applications to achieve something similar, such as HeadUnit Reloaded (paid)
This refers to Google’s official plans, although there is always the possibility that the developer community will find some way to recover Android Auto for phones in an official or unofficial way. Without going any further, applications like Headunit Reloaded pretend to be an Android Auto screenSo you can have the best of both worlds – the full new Android Auto experience on a tablet you have out there.