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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Upcoming Android Auto Update Improves Media Discovery and Messaging

Android Auto probably gets my vote for the best Android tool that often gets overlooked, and Google just announced some nifty features to make it even better—especially if you have a dedicated head unit for Auto in your car.

For starters, Auto will soon be able to offer up message preview when your vehicle isn’t moving. This way, you can quickly see what a message is without having to have it read aloud but it still continues to prevent distractions while you’re driving.

I already know what you’re thinking here: but I don’t want everyone else in the car seeing my messages! I’m with you on that—and this feature can be disabled. Phew.

What’s even better, however, is the improved media options. Google Play Music, Play Books, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, and Spotify will all benefit from larger album art and a more intuitive, touch-friendly layout when looking for something to listen to.

Search results when using your voice are also getting improvements. Currently, when you tell Google Assistant to play music, it just starts playing whatever you requested; for example, “Play Whiskey Myers” will simply shuffle all Whiskey Myers songs (which isn’t a bad thing—they don’t have a bad song).

With the new update, however, when you search for something, it will offer curated search results with that artist, genre, or album. That’s so much better.

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