It’s a simple addition, but it fixes one of the biggest issues I spotted with Assistant Driving Mode when I tested its full UI out a few months ago. Although there are a handful of issues with the actual experience itself — namely, the lack of landscape support and the inability to use third-party mapping apps — this solution is a great first step to eventually solving these issues. In October, Google did add Bluetooth auto-launch to the list of methods for activating Driving Mode, but an actual shortcut is obviously a much better solution. The shortcut prompt is available from the apps page in Assistant Driving Mode. If you accidentally clear it from your home screen, the prompt reappears unless manually dismissed, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally losing access.
With Android 12, Google eventually discontinued its legacy Android Auto for phone screens, which took longer than planned. You’re not out of luck if you use your smartphone in the car for navigation, media, and other functions. The company’s official equivalent is Assistant Driving Mode, but getting to it can be a pain. A new shortcut makes it much easier for drivers to get started on their journey. Using a voice command to “start driving” whenever you wanted to switch to a car-friendly UI was formerly the most reliable way to access Assistant Driving Mode. Most customers consider this a big downgrade, given that Android Auto had its own icon in the app drawer. Drivers using Assistant have noticed a request to add a shortcut to the home screen in the last few days, avoiding the requirement for voice actions entirely .
Will has been an Android enthusiast since he got his first smartphone in 2011. He loves watching movies, has a never-ending backlog of video games, and produces a comedy podcast in his spare time. He lives in Buffalo, NY and is willing to give you chicken wing recommendations at any time. Just ask. Subscribe to Android Police’s weekly newsletter, with the biggest stories, latest deals, and insight on the week’s news. Just enter your email below.
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- With a shortcut, you can now access Wizard Driving Mode from the home screen
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