Google is distributing an update to selected smartphones with Android 12, which turn the cell phone into a car key: the cell phone can lock, unlock and even start compatible cars via NFC and Ultrawide Broadband (UWB). This should work first with selected BMW models, announced Google.
For now, the feature works according to the Google blog entry with the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S21. The new function is now to be distributed “in selected markets”. Google had already announced the mobile phone car key at the developer conference I / O in May.
Android Auto is also getting a few new features: For example, the Auto OS can now start automatically when you connect the Android phone to the car. A “Smart Reply” feature is to follow soon, with which one can react more quickly to incoming text messages via the Google Assistant. In addition, Google places a permanent play button on the home screen of Android Auto, which controls the music playback. A new search icon, on the other hand, activates speech recognition in order to browse for specific artists or songs by command.
Google does not explicitly state when which of these functions will come to Germany. The new features come for the version of Android Auto that runs on infotainment systems. Google buried the Android Auto version for mobile phone displays with Android 12.
Family Bells und Widgets
Aside from the car innovations, Google has announced a few little things about Android: With “Family Bells”, for example, you can set up notifications for the entire family as reminders on the mobile phone.
There are also new widgets for various Google apps, including Google Play Books. Youtube Music also gets a new widget with which the playback of tracks can be controlled directly from the home screen. These new widgets should be available on Android devices at Christmas time, Google writes in the blog entry.