Skip to main content

Android Auto just got a much-requested new feature

Android Auto is an excellent platform that helps bridge the gap between a driver’s phone and their car’s control center, and now it’s getting even better.

The latest update for the Android Auto beta adds an exciting amount of customization to the interface’s widgets. Now, instead of the usual fixed layout that users have grown accustomed to, the widgets are interchangeable and able to be customized to best accommodate a driver’s needs.

A render of Android Auto running in a car.

This means that if a driver wants the navigation menu to be on the right side as opposed to its usual left configuration (as seen in the photo above), they can do that. Similarly, the music player and other widgets can be switched from one side to the other in just a few taps. Overall, the change is absolutely welcome and makes Android Auto an even better resource to rely on while driving.

Changing your Android Auto layout is, luckily, very simple and can be done either on your Android smartphone or the Android Auto display in your car. To change the display configuration on your Android Auto display, select the app screen icon (the nine dots forming a square) in the bottom-left corner. Then, open the Settings app and select Change Layout. In the layout menu, you can select which widgets you want to be closest to the driver, the media widgets or the navigation one.

While the update isn’t anything huge, it’s a frequently requested quality-of-life change that makes the Android experience that much more customizable and accommodating. It’s worth noting that you won’t have the option to customize your widget placements if you aren’t an Android Auto beta tester. Hopefully, the feature will be coming to all Android Auto users soon since it seems like it’s already a very welcome change. If you want to make sure that your device and car get the feature as soon as it becomes publicly available, make sure to have auto-updates turned on.

Peter Hunt Szpytek
A podcast host and journalist, Peter covers mobile news with Digital Trends and gaming news, reviews, and guides for sites…
Apple just admitted defeat to Android phones
A Google Pixel 8 Pro in Porcelain (left) with an iPhone 15 Pro in Blue Titanium held in hand.

For years, Apple’s smartphones have held a decisive upper hand over Android devices in one crucial aspect: the longevity of the software support cycle. In a nutshell, as long as your phone keeps getting updates, it will run just about fine.

Brand assurances play a crucial role in buyer behavior, as long-term update support means your phone will not only get new tricks but also security flaws patched. Notably, Apple is not into the habit of quoting how many years it will offer software support for each device, but it has held the crown for a while.

Read more
This new Android feature isn’t coming to your Samsung phone after all
Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.

A screenshot of the Instant Hotspot feature Google

Google has announced seven new features rolling out to Android phones soon, including message editing in Google messages, improved cross-device services, and perhaps most notably Instant Hotspot. This feature streamlines hotspot creation and tethering between your Android phone and tablet or Chromebook, letting you create hotspots without having to deal with passwords and QR codes.

Read more
This Android phone has a camera feature I’ve never used before, and I love it
Gray Vivo V30 Pro Aura fill Light held in hand.

We have all had some amazing moments ruined by flash. That is why the flash's utility on our phones has largely stayed out of photography and been limited to ensure that we don't stub our pinky toes while grabbing a snack from the kitchen in the middle of the night.

But as we know from large studio setups, good lighting is vital for images; high-end cameras aim to address the limitation of low light with larger camera sensors and lenses with wider apertures. For phones, unfortunately, the physical dimensions of a camera module do not facilitate that liberty to a great extent. Vivo, which is known for some prodigious phone cameras, has an intuitive solution to the problem -- and it involves using a smarter and refined version of the flash.

Read more