A few weeks ago, the news fell: Android Auto would stop working on mobiles from Android 12, to be replaced by the driving mode of the Google Assistant. Now Android Auto is still alive and well, at least for now.
If you use Android Auto frequently and are worried about what might happen to this version of Android for cars in the near future, we’ll tell you everything we know about the upcoming changes to Android Auto in the near future. .
Just change the mobile version
Android Auto is an application that runs on the mobile and is transmitted to the car screen via cable or wireless connection. This is the main difference with Android Automotive, which is a full operating system installed in the car.
From the start, Android Auto could be used both on the mobile screen and on the screen of a car that supported Android Auto. This way, you can continue to access many of its functions even if your car does not have an infotainment system, using a cell phone or tablet and a car holder. Changes to Android Auto will only affect the mobile version.
Google is ditching Android Auto for mobile, but it won’t suddenly go away. It will be gradually replaced by the Google Assistant driving mode, starting with Android 12
While Google updated the Android Auto experience optimized for car screens, Android Auto for phones has been stalling for a few years now. Not in vain, already in 2019, we had the intuition that the driving mode of the Google Assistant would eventually replace the interface for the mobile. It took a little longer than expected, but it ended up being.
Google has announced that starting with Android 12, the Google Assistant driving mode – accessible from Google Maps – will be the preferred driving experience for mobile phones. As a result, at some point, the mobile version of Android Auto will display a warning stating that “Android Auto is only available for car screens” and prompting you to test the driving mode.
At some point, the Android Auto app will show a warning that it only works on the car screen.
Does this mean that Android Auto will stop working on mobiles as soon as the official version of Android 12 is released? No, Google’s exact words are that from Android 12, Android Auto users in the car will be migrated to driving mode, which means that even in Android 12 there will be a transition period during which it should continue to function.
Not only that, but the change shouldn’t affect previous versions, at least for now. Keep in mind that the Google Assistant driving mode is not available in all countries or for all mobiles: it requires Android 9.0 and 4 GB of RAM or more. Meanwhile, Android Auto for phones is running from Android 6.0.
Google Assistant driving mode is the spiritual heir to Android Auto for mobile
Keep in mind that Google has already ditched the Android Auto experience on mobile phones, so it’s just a matter of time before it stops working. Google hasn’t shared all the details yet and there could always be changes, but here’s the rundown of the situation today:
On Android 12 and later, Android Auto for phone users will be migrated to Google Assistant driving mode. After a certain point, the Android Auto app for phones will display a warning and it will not be possible to continue using it.
From Android 9 to Android 11, and in places where the Google Assistant driving mode is available, it’s predictable that this migration will eventually happen at some point as well, but maybe later.
From Android 6.0 to Android 8.0, assistant driving mode is not supported, so it would be normal to keep Android Auto for phones for a longer period, although this is unconfirmed.
Although it’s officially gone, there will still be apps to do something similar, like HeadUnit Reloaded (paid)
This refers to Google’s official plans, although there is always the possibility that the developer community will find a way to get Android Auto for phones officially or unofficially. Without going any further, apps like Headunit Reloaded simulate being an Android Auto display, so you can have the best of both worlds – the new and complete Android Auto experience on a tablet that you have there.