Google has released a new standalone Android Auto app for Android 10 users. Named "Android Auto for phone screens", the app restores the "broken" Android Auto experience on smartphones running Android 10. This app is a stopgap solution until Google's revamped Assistant Driving Mode for smartphones becomes available.
Android Auto has seen several major shifts over the past few months. At I/O 2019 in May, Google announced that it would be replacing Android Auto on phones with a new Assistant Driving Mode. However, this Assistant-based feature is still in the works and there's no telling as to when it'll be available.
In the meantime, Google integrated Android Auto with the Android 10 operating system. While this eliminates the need for a separate app, the move apparently broke Android Auto for some users. The Android Auto icon reportedly disappears from the app drawer on phones powered by the latest iteration of the Android OS. People have no way of accessing Android Auto despite it being built-in on their phones. The new "Android Auto for phone screens" app is Google's answer to this issue. This app acts as a shortcut for the system's built-in Android Auto features.
Meanwhile, those who own an Android 10-powered phone and a car with an Android Auto-compatible head unit don't need this app at all. They can simply plug their phone in and enjoy the drive.
"This app lets you use Android Auto on your phone screen with a phone running Android 10. If you have Android 10 and an Android Auto compatible car, you can project to your car display without downloading this app. Simply plug in your phone to get started," Google Play description for the app reads.
Assistant Driving Mode
Google's plan for Android in cars is to make it completely hands-free so you're focused on driving and not tapping on your phone screen. The Google Assistant-powered Driving Mode will seamlessly handle apps for you. However, Google can't say for sure how long will it take for the Assistant Driving Mode to arrive. Once it arrives, the newly launched "Android Auto for phone screens" app should no longer be required.
For the time being, affected Android 10 users can download the app from the Google Play Store to make Android Auto work flawlessly on their devices. Note that this app is only available for select Android 10 devices. If the app isn't available for your device, you can try sideloading it from APK Mirror.