Google Maps' new vehicle mode experience for Android users leaks out

Ruben Fields
September 30, 2020

Google is introducing a new interface for its Google Maps app which will resemble the car-mode interface of Android Auto, to make it easier for you to use the app while you're driving, reports Android Police.

Google has silently started rolling out a full dark mode for Android devices earlier today, and by the looks of things, the first wave of devices is getting this update right now.

The Google Maps for Android app seems to be testing a new vehicle mode UI reminiscent of the Google Maps for Android Auto app. See why I'm confused? When you're not on the navigation screen, the bottom bar gets a third Maps button which helps you quickly return to the navigation screen.

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On the other hand, the Voice Assistant button will do exactly what you'd expect it to - launch the Google Assistant so you can control your phone with your voice.

This new interface's presence is somewhat bewildering; it appears to serve for all intents and purposes a similar capacity as the Android Auto telephone UI, short the capacity to utilize Waze as the navigator. In total, there are three tabs - one for voice, another for home screen with the set of applications as mentioned above, and a Maps icon to select navigation. The rest of the navigation screen remains the same.

From the mini home screen, you can have quick access to apps such as YouTube Music, Spotify, Podcasts, messages and you can also access call functions. There's no word on when (or if) Google will roll it out widely.

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