While Android 12 is right around the corner, Google is busy with some other stuff as well. In a recent development, the Google Assistant Driving Mode interface is getting its long-overdue home screen makeover.
For those who don’t know, Google Assistant Driving Mode is a replacement for Android Auto on Android devices. After being unveiled around two years ago, Google is finally updating the interface of the Driving Mode.
According to a new report by 9To5Google, the refreshed UI brings a host of new home screen improvements, especially in terms of a design overhaul.
Back at the Google I/O event in 2019, Google showcased the Google Assistant Driving Mode to users. In order to activate Driving Mode, all you needed to do is say the trigger words “Hey Google, launch Driving Mode” or “Let’s drive.”
Fast forward to now, the revamped UI for the Google Assistant Driving Mode is far better and cleaner than what was introduced in the U.S. back in 2020.
When you say the trigger words, the Google Assistant Driving Mode will now show a home screen, which it did not show previously. The upper portion of the home screen has a faux map background.
This new UI is live on Android 12 with the latest Google app beta version 12.35
There is an “I’m not driving’ button on the top of the home screen, which gets you out of the Driving Mode. If you have a recent or an ongoing trip, then the home screen will show a dedicated card.
It will show you details such as ETA and directions. There is a search bar that includes options to open recent destinations, Maps, and voice entry.
Below the search bar, there is a media card that will display media suggestions from popular podcast services, YouTube Music, and news streams. You need to simply tap on any of them to begin playing.
The Voice command button sits at the bottom for quick access. There is a big ‘Send a message’ and a ‘Make a call’ button resting at the bottom as well. Overall, the Driving Mode looks like an actual screen related to driving mode and not just a normal voice assistant’s screen.
For some users, the new user interface is visible on Android 12 with the latest Google app beta version 12.35. However, there are user reports claiming the feature is also live for some Android 11 also.
These changes seem to be in line with Google’s decision of shutting down Android Auto for Android phones, when the next OS, i.e. Android 12, goes official.