Android Auto Gets UI Tune-Up, Expanded Google Assistant Integration

Android Auto update improves media browsing, adds MMS and RCS group chat support

Android Auto adds media and messaging features

With the latest update, things are getting easier. Google is updating the system with new features to make it even faster to find music and check messages. You now have an improved layout, featuring large album art views, allowing you to quickly identify and select something to play. MMS and group messaging are now supported, and if you opt in, you can even get an onscreen preview of text messages - assuming the vehicle is stopped.

Meanwhile, the app bar in "My apps & games" is now stark white - matching Google's broader design language - with the previous green accent only present to note what tab you're currently viewing. The new media browsing interface can be seen in media apps such as Google Play Books, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts and Spotify.

Next is messaging. Using Messages, WhatsApp, or Hangouts and others, you can now get a preview of the text when you're stopped on the drive. With Prime, you get Prime Music for free, meaning you have on-demand access to 50 million songs, all ad free.

Here's the list of compatible apps for Android Auto, including all those music, media, and messaging apps.

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Today, Google is pushing updates to media and messaging on the Auto platform.

Next, Google has also added some improvements to the whole messaging experience. The messaging features are now available for Messages, Hangouts, and WhatsApp, with more supported apps on the way. This message previewing capability is optional and you can enable it via Android Auto's settings menu.

If you know what you want to listen to but you're driving and didn't queue up the right playlist, you can use voice.

The updates will become available in the next few days.

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