Google Updates Android Auto Again, Focusing On Behind The Scenes Improvements


Just a few months after Google announced a major visual and functional upgrade to Android Auto, it has released a new update called Android Auto 13.

The new features are largely focused on behind-the-scenes functions and, therefore, won’t be as impressive to users as the last revision, which introduced a new look that made information more visible.

Android Automotive 13, meanwhile, brings improvements to the camera, framework, privacy, sensors, telemetry, user management, and more. The updates include, for instance, allowing third party apps to access the camera without affecting the implementation of the backup camera.

Read More: Google Updates Android Auto With New Look, Optimized For Information

Developers of third party apps will now also be able to specify “driving safety regions,” allowing them to announce which jurisdictions their programs are and are not legal in. The system now supports ultra-wideband and Bluetooth mainline integration, which makes security updates easier to push and implement.

The updated system also adds an API to include VendorElements. In essence, that allows Android Auto to project from a phone to the vehicle’s head unit better.

As for privacy improvements, users will now get a reminder of what permissions they allowed while driving. If an app needed, say, access to your microphone, and you allowed it while you were driving, your phone will push a notification that says “while driving, you gave access to <permission[s]>” when you park. That should allow you to make up your mind about app permissions when you’re stopped and can focus on the subtleties of that decision.

In addition, a privacy dashboard has been added to Android Auto 13. First introduced on smart devices in Android 12, the privacy dashboard gives users a timeline of events for sensors (location, microphone, and camera).

The updates aren’t likely to make a huge difference to users’ experience of Android Auto, but should make the system smoother and do offer some nice privacy features. You can read the full list of updates on Android’s website.


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