Android Auto gets a new look, faster access, and a dark theme

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Google I/O isn't scheduled to kick off until tomorrow, but Google has announced an update for it Android Auto infotainment system ahead of schedule.

As before, you'll use Android Auto by connecting it to your car's infotainment system. Google also provided a handy list of changes.

This redesigned Android Auto design won't be immediately available, though.

Get on the road faster: As soon as you start your vehicle, Android Auto will continue playing your media and show your navigation app of choice. And while it might not seem as noteworthy of a release as something like the launch of Android Q, the fact that Google is giving it a comprehensive overhaul will be important to many users, for whom this is how they most often interact with Android if, say, their workdays include long commutes both ways.

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The new navigation bar keeps things simple, showing contextual bubbles such as directions and music controls while you're in other apps so you're aware of everything at all times. For example, if you have a navigation app open but Spotify is playing in the background, the bottom bar will contain audio playback controls. In a new notification center, drivers will get centralized information about all of their communications, including recent calls, messages and alerts. Google also says that it has enhanced the UI with colorful accents and new fonts which help improve visibility.

The updated Android Auto is much better adapted to cars with wider displays.

That new color palette, Google says, is created to be easier to see while you're driving, given the fact that most dashboards are made of darker materials.

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