Those who use Android Auto on an in-car system via their phone won’t notice any difference: the handshake between the two is the same, maintaining Android Auto’s prominence as a hand-off from phone to car. That said, as not all vehicles have a screen available, nor the availability of connectors to make Android Auto feasible anyway, that’s why Google Assistant will continue to deliver an alternative in-car experience for navigation and the like.
The Android Auto standalone phone app is scheduled to be retired. With the release of Google’s Android 12 software, support for the app will be discontinued, and the firm will instead provide Google Assistant for the on-phone driving experience. This will mostly effect users who drive with a phone placed on a stand, similar to a sat nav alternative system, rather than as the source device to connect with an in-car system.
“Starting with Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode will be the built-in mobile driving experience,” Google said in a statement. And as that operating system is brand new, very few phones support it at the time of writing. But for those who are running it, it’s the first glimpse of what Google sees as a more voice-controlled driving experience.