Android Auto is getting a big redesign with simplified controls and dark theme
Google’s I/O 2019 developer conference is officially kicking up tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean announcements aren’t already rolling in. While all of our eyes will be on Android Q and Google’s upcoming midrange smartphones, the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL, Google will also be taking some time to announce improvements/polishments to some of their current services, and maybe even announce some new services. One of the Google services that will be receiving a much-needed polishment is Android Auto, the automobile-focused interface of Android, which is receiving a facelift in an attempt to improve user experience.
The new Android Auto interface is loosely based on Google’s new Material Theme guidelines rather than the older Material Design UI elements. With “loosely” being the keyword here: while design elements like outlined icons and Google’s Google Sans font are present in the redesigned Android Auto, they’re not as predominant as in other Google apps or the main Android interface. Instead, the new Android Auto redesign focuses on improving other elements, introducing things such as a reworked navigation bar, a dark theme to avoid eye strain on the road, a maximized display, a reworked notification center, and more.
The new Android Auto interface. Source: Google
The new navigation bar keeps things simple, showing contextual bubbles such as directions and music controls while you’re in other apps so you’re aware of everything at all times. 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. Everything is tied together under a dark theme, in line with Google’s new Material guidelines.
This redesigned Android Auto design won’t be immediately available, though. Google says you should be expecting this update to come to your car—or your phone, if you use it on your phone—sometime later this summer. Google I/O attendants will be able to try it out earlier, though.
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