If you missed it, Google has replaced the Android Auto app with the driving mode of Google Assistant. You can use the driving mode in Google Assistant as long as you have a relatively recent Android smartphone—and unlike Android Auto, you don’t need to download it from the Play Store.
If you’re not acquainted with Google Assistant’s driving mode, keep reading to learn how to utilize it.
What Is Google Assistant Driving Mode?
Google Assistant driving mode was initially unveiled at the Google I/O conference in 2019 and would be available globally in 2021. According to Google, in order to utilize the driving mode in Google Assistant, you must have a smartphone with 4GB of RAM and Android 9.0 or above installed.
Unlike Android Auto, which requires certain automobiles and stereos, Google Assistant driving mode works with any vehicle. This is because when you use Google Assistant’s driving mode, you don’t need to mirror your smartphone’s display to your vehicle’s infotainment screen. You may, however, enable that option if you like.
Another advantage of driving mode is the ability to manage the interface using voice commands, which aids in avoiding distracted driving. Even if you get a text message or an incoming call, Google Assistant will read it to you without interfering with your navigation.
When utilizing Google Assistant driving mode, you may also access media applications such as YouTube, Spotify, VLC, and Google Podcasts. However, as compared to Android Auto, the applications in Google Assistant driving mode are fewer (less crowded) and have larger cards, so you are less likely to get distracted. Driving mode is only one of several things in Google Assistant worth investigating.
There are a couple different approaches you may use to enable driving mode in Google Assistant. Let us look at three of them.
How to Launch Driving Mode Using a Voice Command
A voice command can be used to activate driving mode in Google Assistant. Here’s what you have to do.
- On your Android phone, launch the Google Assistant app.
- “Hey Google, let’s go for a drive,” you say. You may also say, “Hey Google, start driving mode.”
- After you’ve activated driving mode in Google Assistant, go to the app area and hit the shortcut icon. Add Driving Mode to Home Screen should be the text.
- After you’ve configured it, you’ll be able to access Google Assistant’s driving mode right from your home screen.
How to Launch Driving Mode Automatically
You can also set driving mode to start as soon as you connect your phone to your car’s Bluetooth system, or when you start driving.
- On your Android phone, launch the Google Assistant app.
- “Hey Google, go me to Assistant settings,” you say.
- You may also access your phone’s settings, scroll down, and pick Google.
- Next, choose Settings for Google applications and then press Search, Assistant & Voice to access Google Assistant settings.
Besides that, the driving mode settings give you the option to allow or ignore incoming calls and text notifications when you’re driving.
How to Launch Driving Mode Through Google Maps
Your third option for using driving mode is if you’re navigating in Google Maps. You need to activate this feature first.
- Go to Settings > Navigation settings > Google Assistant settings in Google Maps and turn on When Navigating in Google Maps.
- Open Google Maps and enter your desired location in the search box.
- When you choose the Start navigation option, Google Assistant driving mode will be activated.
How to Use Google Assistant Driving Mode
When you launch Google Assistant driving mode, you will notice it has three icons at the bottom of the screen. If you want to initiate a voice command, you can tap the microphone icon at the bottom left. The icon at the center takes you back to the home screen, and the icon in the bottom right (the four boxes) lets you access the apps available in driving mode.
Since the app’s objective is to avoid distracted driving, it has a minimalist user interface. More succinctly, the apps supported on driving mode are limited to calls, messages, Google Maps, and media (Spotify, VLC, YouTube Music, Podcasts, etc). (Spotify, VLC, YouTube Music, Podcasts, etc.).This means that you can’t access all of your favorite apps while you’re using the interface, but you can always exit the driving mode to access any app on your Android smartphone.
If you want to make a phone call, you can say “Hey Google, I want to make a call”. Similarly, you can say “Hey Google, I want to send a message”, or “Hey Google, play (your favorite song) on Spotify”. Basically, you can control everything in Google Assistant driving mode through voice commands without getting your hands off the steering wheel. If it doesn’t respond automatically, you can still tap the microphone icon.
Once you’re done driving, you can exit the driving mode by tapping the vehicle icon at the top right of your screen.
Here is how you can learn how to set up Google Assistant on Android and iOS.
Google Assistant Driving Mode Is Here to Stay
We tried driving mode in Google Assistant and found it to be incredibly straightforward to use while driving. Furthermore, the fact that you don’t have to mirror it to your car’s infotainment display makes it much more handy, particularly if you’re driving a vehicle that isn’t Android Auto compatible.
Not to mention that Google has dropped Android Auto for phone displays in favor of Google Assistant’s driving mode. The sooner you understand how to utilize it, the simpler it will be.
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