Last year, Google confirmed that it will stop supporting the standalone “Android Auto for Phone Screens” app from Android 12 onwards. The tech giant also said that customers who use the Android Auto app on their smartphones will be transitioned to Google Assistant Driving Mode.
While the company pulled the plug on Android Auto for Phone Screens on devices running Android 12, it did not specify when the app would actually stop working on older releases.
Now, according to a new report from 9to5Google, Google has finally shut down the mobile version of the Android Auto app for users on Android 11 and prior. This feature was available for both car displays and phone screens.
However, going forward, the application will be compatible only with car displays and is no longer available on any version of the Android operating system. The app has also been removed from the Google Play Store.
According to 9to5Google, earlier this month, some users were noticing a message advising that “Android Auto for phone screens will stop working soon.” However, starting early this week, when users tried to launch the Android Auto for Phone Screens app installed on their Android smartphones running 11 and prior were redirected to the Android Auto settings page that greeted them with a message which read, “Android Auto is now only available for car screens”.
The reason for retiring the Android Auto app for phone screens is an attempt to move its users to use the Google Assistant Drive Mode feature, which was first announced at I/O 2019. Google calls the Driving Mode as a built-in mobile driving experience.
The Google Assistant Driving Mode started rolling out widely last year and it runs on devices running Android 9 or higher. It has most of the core features that were available on the now-defunct Android Auto for Phone Screens. It helps you complete actions while you drive using voice commands that let you read and send messages, make calls, and control media.
Currently, the Google Assistant Driving Mode only works in portrait mode. You can access it by simply asking the Assistant to “launch Driving Mode” or saying, “Hey Google, let’s drive.”
With the Android Auto for Phone Screens no longer available, you will have to either buy a vehicle with Android Auto as a built-in feature or switch to the Google Assistant driving mode.