Google unveils new Android Auto features and more at CES 2023

Google unveils new Android Auto features and more at CES 2023
Google’s booth at CES officially opened today and highlighted some of the progress that has been made to make the Android ecosystem more helpful across multiple devices. Some of the apps and features that have driven this include the media player, seamless switching between Android and ChromeOS and a brand new Android Auto.

Uninterrupted listening across devices

At CES, Google is showing how its technology already helps devices work better together and how we as users can enjoy entertainment in new ways, like by expanding its work with Spotify so we can listen without interruptions.

With Android 13, Google added a new media player to the lock screen and notification area of your Android phone that lets you quickly choose which Bluetooth or Chromecast-enabled devices to play your content on. This year, Google is working closely with Spotify to make it easy for users to switch between any Spotify Connect device and the media player on Android.

Google is also making it possible for you to take your audio content with you as you go about your day. This will be accomplished via notifications on your devices, which will allow you to tap to start listening to a podcast in the car, continue on your phone and headphones, and finish on your TV at home. As you move around, your phone or other devices will send you media notifications asking if you want to move the audio to a nearby device.

Google is working with Spotify to use these notifications to help users enjoy the content they're streaming on the best device they have. This notification experience will also be available on YouTube Music.

Android and ChromeOS

Designed to be adaptable, open, and compatible with one another, Android and Chrome OS were made to function hand in hand. This trend continues with Android's three-layer technology stack that understands your proximity to another device and context in how you use it, bringing you a new level of convenience and ease-of-use.

To bridge these devices together, Google has integrated tools like Fast Pair, Nearby Share, Phone Hub, and Chromecast to make switching between devices faster and less cumbersome. Google has also expanded on Android's rich heritage of customization and AI to bring a range of individualized features, such as seamless audio switching to cross-device copy and paste.

These and other features be found on the latest Chromebooks, such as the ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip and the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, both of which were revealed at CES.

The new Android Auto

Google has been hard at work perfecting the newest features of Android Auto and picked CES as the best place to first showcase them. This includes a new Android Auto experience that begins rolling out to everyone starting today. This experience was first previewed at Google I/O and focuses on a design update and feature improvements.

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The new design prioritizes navigation, communication, and music/podcasts. Maps is now closer to the driver's seat so you can see your route. The redesigned media card features Material You's greatest album graphics and a fast launcher for recently-used apps. Android Auto is compatible with all major carmakers, so the split-screen arrangement looks fantastic on widescreen, portrait, and other screen widths.

With the new look, it's also now easier to perform tasks with the help of Google Assistant. The Assistant now offers missed call reminders, easy arrival time sharing, and instant music/podcast access. Shortcuts speed up message replies and calling favorites. Later on, Google will also add a seekable progress indicator for music and podcasts so you can skip forward. WhatsApp will now also be available within Android Audio starting with Pixel and Samsung phones.

Finally, digital car key sharing will be soon be expanded to work with Samsung phones, as well as Pixel and iPhones. Xiaomi users will also be able to use and exchange digital auto keys later this year. Digital car keys, already supported by BMW, will expand to more automakers.

All of these new features and more are showcased at CES this week at Google’s booth at Central Plaza-1. If you happen to be at CES, drop by and check it out, otherwise stay tuned to this site for all of the latest coming from the CES floor.

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