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Android Auto now allows access to Google Maps using both car display and smartphone simultaneously

Android Auto, the interface that brings Google’s operating system to your car, has been a convenient tool for drivers. However, it has had its limitations, such as the inability to use Google Maps simultaneously on both the car display and the phone. This restriction has been a source of frustration for many users, but recent reports on Reddit suggest that Google has lifted this limitation, allowing users to access Google Maps on both platforms at the same time.

Previously, when using Android Auto to display directions, the Google Maps app would refuse to open on the phone, displaying a message stating that it cannot be used while Android Auto is running. This restriction seemed odd considering that the car dashboard version of Google Maps provided less information compared to the phone app, offering only turn-by-turn navigation, ETA, distance remaining, and music controls. The limitation was initially introduced in February but was quickly removed after two days, likely due to unintentional malfunction. However, several users have recently reported the widespread rollout of the feature, indicating that it is now a permanent addition.

One can speculate that Google initially imposed this restriction for safety reasons, aiming to keep drivers focused on minimal information displayed on the car screen to prevent distractions from the mobile interface. However, it seems that Google has recognized that passengers can utilize the connected phone to access more detailed directions through the Android Auto interface, providing a fully functional Google Maps experience while on the road.

In comparison, Apple Maps on CarPlay offers slightly more information during road trips. While navigating to a destination with the Maps app, the connected iPhone displays a list of turn-by-turn directions. Although this is helpful, it still limits access to Maps’ additional features, particularly for passengers who may benefit from utilizing those features.

Overall, the lifting of the restriction on using Google Maps simultaneously on both the phone and car display in Android Auto is a welcome change for users, allowing for a more flexible and comprehensive navigation experience while on the go.