If you missed APK Teardown yesterday, Google has made several new features official in Android Auto today. Preview of the message and new media user interface from the teardown is on the dock, but Google has also made some tweaks to media search and group messages in the car. As always, Google says it has worked to add more convenience features without sacrificing security. I've been using the updated Android Auto for the past week, and while it's a minor update, there are a few nice additions.
The media interface changes in several ways, the most obvious that is the new album art setup. There is now a small thumbnail next to the artist and song information ̵
Searching for music with assistant has come with its share of irritations since launch. The most prominent problem is that the assistant can not always analyze unusual names or understand if you request a particular song or album. The new search function should help here. When you ask an assistant to play something, you will get a new "Search Results" element in the navigation panel. Note: The new browsing features require app updates already in Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Play Music.
On the message page, you get optional preview of messages in Auto UI. You must enable this feature in the settings, though. Because Google will restrict distractions, these previews will only appear (on the home screen and in the popup window) when the car is stopped. They are just the first 10 words so it will not take you a long time to read. You can also handle multiple message types in Android Auto with this update. Google has supported MMS, RCS, and group messaging. Again, developers must take advantage of these features. Hangouts and Whatsapp are apparently already set up.
The latest Android Auto update rolls out in the Play Store now. However, you can download the latest version from the APK Mirror right now.