Android Auto has been a helpful interface that abridges Google’s operating system to use while driving, but it’s had some limitations, like preventing Google Maps from displaying on a phone as it’s being used on a car dashboard. Now Android Auto users on Reddit are reporting that the limitation has been lifted and Google Maps can be used on phones and car displays simultaneously.
The restriction was as odd as it was frustrating, with Google Maps showing less information on a car dashboard than in its phone app and displaying only turn-by-turn navigation, ETA, distance remaining and music controls, as Android Police pointed out. This simultaneous-use feature had been briefly available to users in February before being pulled from Google Maps, so hopefully it’s now here to stay.
Presumably, Google had wanted to restrict Google Maps for safety reasons while Android Auto was engaged, keeping you focused on minimal information on the car display rather than distracted by a mobile interface. The tech giant my have accepted what drivers have known for some time: that passengers can use the Android Auto-connected phone during the ride to give more nuanced directions, so you can benefit from having a fully functional Google Maps app while on the road.
Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
By comparison, Apple Maps offers slightly more information on road trips: While CarPlay is engaged and the Maps app is navigating to a destination, the connected phone will display a list of turn-by-turn directions. That’s helpful, but it’s still limiting, especially for passengers who want to engage Maps’ additional features.
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