Revisions include a new dark theme, a redesigned navigation bar, and easier access to apps and common functions.
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UPDATE: We now have a tour of the new Android Auto in CarAdvice's Kia Stinger. Catch the video above!


May 7, 2019: Android Auto, Google's smartphone mirroring system, has been given its first major makeover since it was introduced in 2015.

The key change is a revised navigation bar across the bottom of the screen, which will soon feature a home button on the left side, and notification and voice command buttons on the right.

In between is a dynamic section displaying audio or phone controls when you're in the navigation screen, and navigation instructions everywhere else.

Currently the navigation bar has static buttons to jump to mapping, phone, home, audio and exit screens. So, to pause a track while on the navigation screen requires pressing the audio button before you can get to the pause button.

With the new layout, there should be significantly less screen switching.

Another big difference is the home button, which now brings up a list of available apps. The notification tiles, including messages and weather details (previously accessed via the home button) now live under the notification button.

Plug an Android phone into a compatible vehicle, and the revised Android Auto system will automatically play audio where you left off and start up your favourite navigation app.

Other changes include a new dark theme, and better support for widescreen displays with more information displayed.

The updated interface will begin rolling out from the beginning of the third quarter of 2019.