At CES 2023, Google showed up as an automotive company

In recent years, Google has used CES as a platform to demonstrate its “Better Together” vision, the idea that all devices work well together. Typically, this means making announcements about features like Fast Pair and extending Cast compatibility to more third-party products. At CES 2023, the company shared that it is working with Spotify to integrate its Connect streaming tool into the Android UI. We also previewed the audio his handoff feature that suggests different devices to move your music to depending on your habits and location.

But CES is a big auto show, and Google has products for cars, too. Today, the company also announced that its high-res maps will debut on Polestar 3 and unveiled its newest Android Auto interface for the first time since its announcement at I/O 2022.

The Google booth in the trailer lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center had two cars: a BMW i7 with the new Android Auto experience and a Volvo EX90 with Google built in. I’ll put up another hands-on bit about our experience with it. The focus of this story (and video) is the new Android Auto.

As we learned with I/O, the updated interface adapts to larger screen sizes and features a split-screen layout. Google has removed the status bar and placed the indicator he icon in a small square in the upper left, and added a row of shortcut keys below it. When I was in the car, I had the Spotify app on the left panel, and swiping from the right brought up a list of recommended playlists.

This left pane also acts as a container for alerts you don’t have time to deal with while driving. For example, if a notification arrives, you can swipe right to send it to your dock. The dock waits until it is ready to act.

Watch the video above to learn more about the revamped Android Auto on the BMW i7. Stay tuned for tons of news coming out of CES 2023 this week.

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