Google is shutting down its Android Auto for Phone Screens app and replacing it with Google Assistant Driving Mode in its upcoming Android 12 update.
The company has confirmed this in response to a query from 9to5Google after the publication discovered the app had stopped working on certain smartphones.
After trying to open the app, some of the users on Google’s own Pixel smartphones were presented with the following message:
“Android Auto is now only available for car screens. On your phone, try Google Assistant driving mode instead.”
Google told 9to5 Google that Google Assistant driving mode will be the built-in mobile driving experience starting from Android 12.
“Google Assistant driving mode is our next evolution of the mobile driving experience,” the company said.
“Those who use the on-phone experience — the Android Auto mobile app — will be transitioned to Google Assistant driving mode.”
Google emphasised that built-in support for Android Auto in vehicles will not be going anywhere.
Android Auto for Phone Screens will remain available for smartphones running older Android versions.
Google first launched Android Auto for Phone Screens in 2019, following delays in the development of Google Assistant Driving Mode.
The app is for users who don’t have Android Auto support built into their car’s infotainment system.
The app provides a simplified interface with large buttons that provide easy access to apps often used on the road, such as Google Maps for navigation or YouTube Music for music playback.
This allows for safer usage of voice and touch controls while driving.
Google has been rolling out Google Assistant Driving Mode to replace Android Auto on phones since late 2020.
The preview version first became available in the US and has gradually expanded to more locations in 2021.
It is now also available in Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, India, and Singapore to devices running Android 9.0 or later and with a minimum of 4GB RAM.
The following video gives an overview of how Google Assistant Driving Mode works.