Google Assistant is coming to Android Auto

Alongside the bigger news that there will be “smart display” Google Assistant speakers, Google is also announcing that Assistant is going to work in Android Auto. That might be a little confusing to people who have been using Android Auto, because they’ve been saying “OK Google” and issuing commands for directions and music for over a year now.

The difference, you see, is that before it was simply a Google Voice search. Going forward, it will be the actual Google Assistant.

Functionally, the difference is that a bunch of stuff that only Google Assistant can do will be possible in your car now. It can support actions like controlling your home lights, it will respect your music preferences (like defaulting to Spotify for music), and so on.

Google’s been putting more emphasis on Actions and how they’re becoming easier to use. In a demo ahead of CES, the company was particularly eager to preview the ability to reserve a parking spot and to order Starbucks directly with Google Assistant.

Truthfully, most people will be largely doing the same things with Google Assistant in Android Auto that they were doing before: asking for directions, responding to text messages, and the like. The main difference will mostly come down to the fact that the little Google Assistant bubbles will show up sometimes. Did you know that inside Google, the employees sometimes call those bubbles “the poodle?” It’s true! It looks like half a poodle, I guess, if you squint. Also, if you say “Hey Poodle” instead of “Hey Google” is mostly works about half the time — and it’s a lot more fun to say.

By Sagaciousphil - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26170077

Comments

This is great. I must say though that even though we haven’t had the full Assistant on Android Auto I have been able to turn lights off and on when in my 2017 CRV with my Pixel 2 XL hooked up to the car via Android Auto. But yeah more advanced things like ordering Starbucks wasn’t possible.

It can support actions like controlling your home lights

I have been controlling my Hue lights from Android Auto for a while now.

Agreed. Assistant has been in Android Auto for a while now, at least in some capacity. I can control my lights as you said and I often send Broadcast messages when I’m on my way home or leaving for work, etc. Just like this morning. As I was driving down the road I said hey google broadcast I love you [kid 1], I love you [kid 2], and I love you [wife]. Couldn’t be happier.

Any information on wireless Android Auto coming? I don’t want to buy a new car until then.

Wireless Android Auto sounds neat, but isn’t wired more practical? I mean, when your phone is running GPS navigation, streaming music, pushing notifications, and projecting to a remote display…wouldn’t you want it to also be charging the battery?

Now if they had wireless AA and a wireless charging pad in the center console, that would be pretty cool…

I don’t know about current implementations, but my friend has a GTI and I don’t think the USB port puts out much more than the phone is using. Hopefully that is fixed, but if not having the data connection wireless and using a newer DC charger would be better.

Also for short trips I might just leave the phone in my pocket. On longer trips I would want to plug it in.

When trying to find out when they started talking about wireless Android Auto I found another article from this CES. It looks like they also announced wireless Android Auto being available.

Yes, you have been able to turn on lights and stuff but some things were unavailable like stringify. I have to use stringify for certain actions. It will be nice when that works. I would also like to have a time frame. Also, will wireless android auto be available as an update? My sync 3 head unit has wifi for updates but I’m not sure if wireless android auto counts. (2017 explorer with sync 3)

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