Goodbye, Google Assistant driving mode

When Google announced that Android Auto for phones was going away, we weren’t so upset because Android Auto was baked into more cars than ever before and Google also gave us a replacement that worked through Google Assistant. Called Google Assistant Driving Mode, this in-car experience is built to start with a simple voice command and then do much of what Android Auto could.

For those who have actually adopted Google Assistant driving mode, I have some bad news: Driving mode will be shutting down in November. More specifically, November 21 is the last day, according to 9to5Google who received the confirmation from Google.

Google recognized that most people just use Google Maps for all their driving needs. When you start a navigation session, Google Maps has its own “Driving Mode” that walks you through step-by-step directions and also provides shortcuts to Google Assistant and an app drawer. Personally speaking, I’ve never considered launching Assistant’s driving mode and just using Google Maps when needed during car journeys. The only times I think about Assistant’s driving experience is when Google announces a new feature and we write it down. Apparently I’m not the only one.

Without the driving mode of Assistant and Android Auto for phones, Google Maps driving mode is now the only option for those who need a car experience on a phone.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, assuming Android Auto isn’t built into your car. Is Google Maps enough for what you need or are you wondering what the heck you can replace Assistant’s driving experience with?

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