One of the great things about technology is that it is constantly evolving: newer, faster phones are introduced and various apps are launched to make navigating life easier. But with these advantages come disadvantages, such as sometimes technical features that we have come to know and love phased out† Android users may be disappointed to hear that one phone feature has been disabled with immediate effect. Read on to find out what you can no longer do on your Android and what to use instead.
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So far this year, Android users have faced several updates and changes thanks to Google, which owns and manages the operating system (OS) for these devices. The tech giant removed the YouTube Go app from the Google Play Store, with plans to get started shutting down completely in August. And bookworms were stunned in April when it was announced that they could no longer buy digital books in the Barnes & Noble NOOK Android app. By doubling this, Google also eliminated the ability to purchase audiobook titles from Amazon’s Audible for Google Play Android app using a credit or debit card.
And while it can be frustrating not to stream videos or buy new ebooks, Google has now decided to do away with one of Android’s more convenient and useful capabilities.
With Android Auto, you can access all of your phone’s capabilities while stay safe on the road† When you connect your smartphone to a dedicated port in your car, the system populates your Android apps on the screen in the center console. Lets you play music, get directions or make phone calls, with voice commands and stay hands-free. Unfortunately, this feature is limited to cars equipped with Android Auto, meaning your car probably won’t have this feature if it was made before 2015, when the system was introduced.
Previously, Android users without a newer, compatible car could access this handy feature directly on their smartphones, but this option is no longer. now you are nothing but able to use Android Auto when it is connected to a carreported 9to5Google, meaning people with older vehicles are out of luck.
According to 9to5Google, this shift has been going on for a long time. Google originally announced plans to Remove Android Auto of phones in 2019, with the introduction of the temporary Android Auto for phone screens. And earlier this month, users started seeing a message that read “Android Auto for phone screens will soon stop working” when opening the app, the outlet reported.
Android Auto for phone screens wasn’t available on anything higher than the Android 12 operating system, but if you had an earlier version, you could still use it. However, this week, users received a new message in the app, stating that “Android Auto is now only available for car screens.”
While Android users may feel cheated by their ability to access Android Auto directly on their phones, Google actually has a reason behind this decision.
The tech giant is pushing for a shift to Google Assistant Driving Mode, a new user interface (UI) announced in 2019 and rolling out in 2021, 9to5Google reported. And while it won’t replace Android Auto for cars, people without compatible vehicles can use the Google Assistant Driving Mode themselves on their smartphone.
But 9to5Google compared the two user interfaces, find that the new UI has some drawbacks. For starters, a voice command is the easiest way to start driving mode initially, before adding a shortcut to your home screen. In comparison, Android Auto for phone screens was simply downloaded from the Google Play Store and opened from your home screen. Google Assistant driving mode also doesn’t work in landscape (when you rotate your phone horizontally), displays limited media options, and is only available in select countries, unlike its predecessor.
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