Google Maps’ Driving Mode could be killed off, because Google

Google Maps Driving Mode on Android.

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Google could be planning to kill Driving Mode in Google Maps in early 2024, according to an APK teardown.
  • The teardown suggests that you might need to use Google Assistant for your driving needs instead.

Google currently offers a Driving Mode in Google Maps for Android, delivering a safer, more convenient experience when navigating. Unfortunately, it looks like this feature might be removed early next year.

9to5Google spotted two curious strings in version 14.52 of the Google app, and we were subsequently able to spot them as well. The outlet believes that these strings relate to the Driving Mode in Google Maps for Android. The first string notes that an unspecified “view” is going away in February 2024.

“To call, message, or play media while navigating, tap the mic to use Assistant,” reads the second string. In other words, it seems like Google is pushing people to use Assistant while driving instead of the Driving Mode within Google Maps.

Audio-only interactions are safer in theory, but this still seems like a downgrade in terms of functionality. For one, there are people who simply don’t like using voice assistants in the first place. I’d also imagine that people might be forced to use the screen view anyway in the event that Assistant either makes a mistake or isn’t able to handle a specific task.

We therefore hope Google is working on a revised driving mode for Android as it would give people more options for safely navigating and interacting with their phone.

Do you use the Driving Mode in Google Maps?

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