“OK Google,” the voice command that can be used with everything from Google Home to the Pixel smartphone, is finally coming to Android Auto — albeit very slowly. As reported by Engadget, the search giant is in the process of rolling out the hands-free, hot word-based command for its in-car infotainment software.
Android Auto, like Apple’s CarPlay, is software that runs either on your vehicle’s dash display or on your smartphone that brings all of your apps into your car. But until now, those apps needed to be controlled by touch, which can be dangerous and distracting for drivers.
When Android Auto eventually surfaces for compatible vehicles, drivers will be able to use the voice command “OK Google” to get directions, check the weather, or change their music. A spokesperson for Google confirmed that the feature was being rolled out, but noted that it will take some time for the update to reach all supported Android phones and systems.
During Google’s annual developers conference this past spring, the company teased a version of its Android Auto software that would run entirely on an Android phone and not require a new car or aftermarket dashboard display. That capability started popping up for Android users last month.
The new Android Auto app, which is an updated version of the existing app, offers a completely streamlined, easy-to-navigate phone interface for when you’re driving in a car. It also limits the amount of notification alerts you see, and includes the options to have your text messages read aloud to you and to respond to them using voice. And with the “OK Google” function soon to be enabled you can imagine how much easier, and safer, these features are going to be use.