Google wants to turn your car into an Android tablet with wheels


  • Android Auto and Android Automotive are getting a handful of new applications, including Vivaldi, The Weather Channel, and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Auto users can take meetings in the car with Zoom and WebEx and, with the app now available in the Play Store, browse the web through Vivaldi when parked.
  • Vehicles running Android Automotive, meanwhile, will gain support for The Weather Channel and Amazon Prime Video, providing up-to-date weather alerts and entertainment while parked, respectively.

It’s shaping up to be a busy fall for Android. Just last week, we got our latest Quarterly Feature Drop for all phones, delivering some timely updates to apps like Wallet and a refreshed look for Assistant At a Glance. We’re also looking forward to Android 14, though considering its rumored October launch, we could be waiting a while longer. Thankfully, Android in cars is getting a fresh slate of upgrades in the coming weeks that could act as a distraction to this year’s delayed OS upgrade.


Source: Google

Google’s announcement concerns both Android Auto and Android Automotive, so whether it’s your phone powering your on-the-road experience, or it’s built into your car itself, you’ll see some changes coming to your vehicle very soon. First up is some additional details on Zoom and WebEx’s in-car availability. Google first teased this at I/O earlier this year, before reconfirming an upcoming launch last week, but today’s news brings some real launch windows into view. Zoom will start rolling out on Android Auto later today before reaching everyone in the coming days, while WebEx launches in beta today with broader availability over the next several weeks.


Source: Google

Those aren’t the only apps coming to your car. Vivaldi was already available through cars from Renault and Polestar, but later today, you can find it through the Play

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Android Auto Lets You Use Google Maps on Phone, Car Display Simultaneously

Android Auto has been a helpful interface that abridges Google’s operating system to use while driving, but it’s had some limitations, like preventing Google Maps from displaying on a phone as it’s being used on a car dashboard. Now Android Auto users on Reddit are reporting that the limitation has been lifted and Google Maps can be used on phones and car displays simultaneously. 

The restriction was as odd as it was frustrating, with Google Maps showing less information on a car dashboard than in its phone app and displaying only turn-by-turn navigation, ETA, distance remaining and music controls, as Android Police pointed out. This simultaneous-use feature had been briefly available to users in February before being pulled from Google Maps, so hopefully it’s now here to stay. 

Presumably, Google had wanted to restrict Google Maps for safety reasons while Android Auto was engaged, keeping you focused on minimal information on the car display rather than distracted by a mobile interface. The tech giant my have accepted what drivers have known for some time: that passengers can use the Android Auto-connected phone during the ride to give more nuanced directions, so you can benefit from having a fully functional Google Maps app while on the road. 

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

By comparison, Apple Maps offers slightly more information on road trips: While CarPlay is engaged and the Maps app is navigating to a destination, the connected phone will display a list of turn-by-turn directions. That’s helpful, but it’s still limiting, especially for passengers who want to engage Maps’ additional features.

Read more: Best Android Phone of 2023

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