The time is up for Google’s Android Auto for Phone Screens app. It has stopped working as of this week. If your car lacks a display, you will now have to rely on Google Assistant Driving Mode for navigation, media controls, and other necessary usages during driving. It’s not a like-for-like replacement but does a decent job. There are several third-party solutions as well.
This shutdown of Android Auto for Phone screens has been coming for a long
Introduced back in 2015, the phone version of Android Auto turned your smartphone into a driving companion with an optimized UI featuring larger touch targets and other elements. It was pretty useful, particularly if the car didn’t feature a screen or the head unit was not compatible with Android Auto.
Google wanted to improve the phone experience and developed Assistant Driving Mode in 2019. The plan was to replace the phone version of Android Auto with the new solution. But the rollout of Assistant Driving Mode was delayed and the company instead made a dedicated phone app called Android Auto for Phone Screens.
The app served the purpose efficiently but Google kept pushing for Assistant Driving Mode. Even though many people didn’t like the new solution because it wasn’t an ideal replacement, the company started forcing it last year.
If the launch of the Assistant Driving Mode was the first nail in the coffin of the Android Auto app for phones, the arrival of Android 12 put another nail in it. Google dropped support for the app on the new Android version. It left fewer compatible devices for the app — only those running Android 11 or older. Users with newer devices had to use Assistant Driving Mode or Android Auto on the car display, or switch to a solution from other brands.
But a few weeks back, those still having access to Android Auto for Phone Screens also started seeing warnings that the app will stop working soon. Google didn’t specify when the app will bite the dust. But the suspense didn’t last long. As of this week, it is officially dead, even though the new solution has yet to see a universal adoption.
You must now switch to Assitant Driving Mode or some other solution
Opening the Android Auto for Phone Screens app now redirects you to the Android Auto settings page. It contains a notice that reads: Android Auto is now only available for car screens (via). Whether you like it or not, you must now switch to Assistant Driving Mode or some other navigation app for Android.