Google Assistant Driving Mode is stopping its services in November 2022.
Google’s announcement in October 2022 caused a lot of commotion on the internet. The shutdown surprised many, as the tech giant announced the Assistant Driving Mode’s launch only in 2019.
While the Assistant has generally been well-received, there have been complaints about how it handles driving. Some people are happy with the decision, but others are not so sure. Read on to learn more about what led Google to sunset this service.
Overview of Google Assistant Driving Mode
Google announced that the Assistant Driving Mode would start with Android 12. It would replace the original Android Auto interface, which many found difficult to use and not visually appealing. The expectation was that the new Assistant driving app would fix these issues.
Developers designed the Google Assistant Driving Mode app to keep drivers safe and distraction-free while on the road. The app automatically activated when connected to the car’s Bluetooth. Users could also add a shortcut to the home screen.
In true Assistant fashion, you could use your voice to complete actions like sending personal or work messages and making calls. You could also control media playback without taking focus away from the road. The Assistant helped keep your hands and eyes on where they should be.
The card-based Driving Mode interface can help reduce driver distraction. Drivers can quickly glance at a card to see information such as the song playing or the name of the person calling. That helps to keep the driver’s attention on the road and reduces the risk of getting into an accident.
However, the app was off to a bad start. While Google announced its launch in 2019, it took more than a year to finally roll out to some Android users. It rolled out in other countries in 2021, a little over a year ago. Even then, some users complained it was glitchy and difficult to use. Still, some users thought it was the bee’s knees when it came out.
The Driving Mode dashboard is shutting down
Shutting down the Google Assistant Driving Mode dashboard on November 21, 2022, means drivers can no longer access its many features. Google Assistant will still be available to drivers but without the dashboard functionalities.
The announcement resulted in mixed reactions from users. Some people are happy that they will no longer have to deal with the distractions of the dashboard. Others are upset that they will no longer have access to these features.
Why is this change happening?
So what prompted the shutdown? There are a couple of reasons why Google might be making this change. One is its similarity in function and name with Google Maps Driving Mode. Most people may not have realized at all that there was such a thing as Assistant Driving Mode. Maintaining two services that are practically the same makes no sense.
Another is Google Maps offers better navigation features than the Assistant Driving Mode dashboard. Many users criticized the Assistant Driving Mode as being hard to use and somewhat unappealing. There has also been a suggestion that there was never the intention of making it a permanent feature. It merely served to transition Android users from Android Auto to Google Maps.
Did you know?
The Google Assistant Driving Mode and the Driving Mode that activates on Google Maps are different. The Assistant Driving Mode uses a tile format, while Driving Mode uses a grid and tab layout.
What will remain?
Google Assistant will continue to provide information and assistance. However, drivers can no longer access the media or communication features offered by the Assistant Driving Mode. Users will have to say goodbye to the convenience that the app used to provide. Finally, Google has confirmed that the Driving Mode in Google Maps will continue providing hands-free navigation.
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The news that Google was shutting down the Assistant Driving Mode service surprised many. However, despite being short-lived, many users found it helpful in reducing distracted driving.
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