Android Auto for smartphones is being killed off in favor of Google Assistant’s Driving mode

It’s been a while since Google first stated that Android Auto would cease supporting smartphones and be exclusively available on car displays, and it seems that the end is nigh. If you don’t own a car with a built-in display that supports Android Auto, you’ll need to start using the Google Assistant’s Driving mode feature on your Android handset to access basic functions such as Maps or make calls via voice commands.

Some users are seeing the message “Android Auto is only available for car screens” (as noted by 9to5Google) when they open up the Android Auto app on their Android 11 smartphones. But what of it’s ‘replacement’?

Well, the Google Assistant Driving mode only works in portrait mode at the moment, and is somewhat rudimentary when compared to Android Auto. It can be used from any screen with users also able to access it in the Google Maps app. Once connected, it can be used to access navigation, make calls or send messages by issuing voice commands to the Google Assistant. It’s seemingly part of Google’s plan to make the Google Assistant an essential part of your life although this may not come as a welcome surprise to those who aren’t comfortable issuing voice commands to perform functions, but it’s the way that Google is heading.

If you’ve already switched to using the Google Assistant Driving mode, what features are you missing from Android Auto?

He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Realme GT Neo 2 in his pockets, a Lenovo Yoga Tab 11 in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

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