The Google Assistant will now auto-launch Driving Mode as soon as your phone connects to your car’s Bluetooth. As reported by the folks over at 9to5Google, the functionality has started rolling out as part of the Google app v12.39.
The new auto-launch option is set to “Do nothing” by default, so you’ll have to choose either “Ask before launching” or “Launch driving mode” for it to work. There’s also a second new option that can auto-launch Driving Mode on the best Android phones when driving is detected.
Both the new options can be accessed by heading over to Assistant settings > Transportation > Driving mode /Google Maps settings > Navigation settings > Google Assistant settings in the Google app.
As confirmed by Google earlier this year, Android Auto’s on phone experience is shutting down with Android 12. Google Assistant Driving Mode will now be the built-in mobile driving experience on all Android devices.
The latest Google app update also brings the new dashboard UI that Google unveiled last month. The new driving mode dashboard features glanceable, tappable cards with all the basics you need.
You’ll no longer have to scroll to do things like check who called you recently and resume media from services such as Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, and Pandora. Google is also improving the messaging experience while driving by allowing users to hear new messages read aloud and respond to them by voice. To enable the feature, just say “Hey Google, turn on auto read.”
Aside from the U.S., Driving Mode is also rolling out to Android phones in Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Mexico, France, Italy, and the UK.