New Android Auto update expands messaging and media features

Google this week unveiled a new series of features for Android Auto to make it easier to view messages or search for music, books and podcasts while you’re on the move. As always Google says the new features add more convenience without sacrificing safety.

First off, the media library in Android Auto has a new look and layout with larger images for the album art, so you can easily identify what you songs you want to hear.

If you already know which song or artist you want to play, you can use the improved voice search feature. Simply can say “OK Google, play Linkin Park” and you’ll immediately be able to view more categorized search results from your app on your car’s screen.

Like listening to music while you drive? Then you’ll love the latest Android Auto update

Music apps such as Spotify, Google Play Music and iHeartRadio have full integration with the latest version of Android Auto. And Google says that it’s working to bring new updates to more music and media apps.

Next, Google has also added some improvements to the whole messaging experience. Android Auto will now display a preview of your texts from Messages, WhatsApp or Hangouts once you’ve stopped driving.

The messages will show up regardless of what app is in use. But note that you’ll need to turn on this preview feature manually via Settings. Once again Google says it will add support for other messaging apps in the near future.

Previously Android Auto could only display plain SMS messages, but Google has now added group messaging, along with MMS and RCS messaging support.

Check: A full list of Android Auto-compatible apps

The updates will become available in the next few days. To take advantage of the new features you’ll need to navigate to the Android Auto page on the Google Play Store and manually update the app from there.