Android Auto will soon be getting a bunch of new features in a future update. Post the update, users will get an option to send quick replies to messages using the touchscreen in their vehicles. Android Auto users earlier only had the option to reply to messages using their voice. In addition, Google also announced that Android Auto can now be set to launch automatically and users can lock, unlock, and even switch on their compatible BMW cars using their Android smartphones. The changes were announced on Wednesday alongside other new features for the Android platform as a whole.
In the latest post on Android-based updates on the Keyword blog, Google announced that it will add a few features to Android Auto to improve its in-car app. One of them includes the ability to reply to text messages through message prompts on the screen or by creating a custom response. This smart reply feature will be rolling out soon and will employ Google Assistant to make responses better.
Furthermore, Android Auto will also be getting an always-on play button for music. This will always be visible and will be placed on the home screen. Another feature that Google will soon be adding to its in-car app is the ability to search for music with a user's voice from any of the media apps in Android Auto. "Just tap the new search icon and say your favorite artist or song for easy listening," mentions the blog post.
Another feature that Android Auto users in some countries will appreciate is the ability to lock, unlock, and start their compatible BMW cars. Called digital car key, it is currently only available on Google Pixel 6, Google Pixel 6 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S21. Notably, Apple also introduced the digital car keys feature for iPhone last year and it started rolling out for newer iPhone models earlier this year. At the moment, Apple's digital car key is also limited to certain luxury cars.
As mentioned, the latest Android Auto features were announced alongside other new features for the Android platform, including Family Bell alerts via Google Assistant, new Google Photos features, and more.