Google has recently integrated Android Auto with the Android 10 operating system, eliminating the need for a separate app. But this meant that Android 10 users who own a car with an incompatible head unit could no longer use Android Auto on their phones, which was possible in the past. So in September, Google promised it would release one new standalone Android Auto app specifically for Android 10 users, and today, that app finally to the Play Store.
The new app is bluntly & # 39; Android Auto for phone screens & # 39; and is only compatible with certain Android 10 devices, although it is available on APK Mirror, as AndroidPolice points out. It is exactly what you expect because it performs the full Android Auto experience on the screen of your smartphone. Simple right?
Well, the reason Google was okay in the first place to get rid of the stand-alone Android Auto app was that it should be replaced with a Google Driving mode that the company had viewed earlier this year. But the Google Assistant driving mode is still not available, and a spokesperson said The edge on Tuesday that there is still "no update at the moment" about when it will be released.
So until that happens, this new standalone app is how Android 10 users can survive without an Android Auto-compatible head unit. If and when the new Google Assistant driving mode is doing finally dropped, Android Auto for phone screens will probably disappear. If The Verge & # 39; s Executive editor Dieter Bohn said it in September:
Android 10 can remove the phone interface for Android Auto, but there are some solutions to get it back. In the medium term, Google is going to place something in the Google Play Store to bring it back. In the long term, however, it is intended that Google Assistant take over.
That explains what happens, but it doesn't explain what happens at Google. There is a vision here where interaction with your phone means that Assistant processes apps seamlessly for you, so you don't have to tap when you have to drive. The upcoming Pixel 4 with its native Assistant capabilities can even come close.
By the way, Google is also work on an embedded Android Automotive operating system that will appear in Volvo, Renault-Nissan and General Motors cars in the coming years, completely eliminating the need for a smartphone – which, given the current state of affairs, sounds as bliss.