Google Assistant Driving Mode is Shutting Down

A ton of Google Assistant features will be discontinued this month. One of the first casualties is Google Assistant Driving Mode, which will be shut down on February 7th alongside the Nest Hub’s “Commute to Work” tile, Google confirms.

This is a big moment for longtime Android users. Years ago, you could run Android Auto on a smartphone screen. You didn’t need to connect your phone to a vehicle infotainment system. But Google slowly chopped away at the “phone-only” Android Auto experience, and it was finally put to death in 2022.

Most people knew that Android Auto for Phone Screens was on its way out. Its replacement, Google Assistant Driving Mode, was introduced way back in 2019. Google Assistant Driving Mode offered all the basic functionality of “phone-only” Android Auto, including media app control, big shortcut buttons for calling and texting, and hands-free voice control. The only major difference, at least from a layman’s point of view, is that Google Assistant Driving Mode lived inside of Google Maps.

In any case, Google Assistant Driving Mode never got a lot of attention. Very few people know that the feature exists. And when it comes up in conversation, Google Assistant Driving Mode is often mistaken for Assistant Driving Mode Dashboard—another “phone-only” Android Auto successor that was discontinued last year.

There aren’t any direct replacements for Google Assistant Driving Mode or Android Auto for Phone Screens. You can still use voice commands to control media or make calls in Google Maps, and the Waze navigation app has on-screen controls for music. But if you want big buttons and app tiles, you need to buy a new car or install an Android Auto receiver in your current vehicle.

A total of 17 Google Assistant features will be discontinued in February 2024. By the end of the month, Google smart speakers will no longer show caller ID (except for Google Duo calls), you won’t be able to write social media posts through Assistant, and Google Calendar won’t accept voice-controlled event rescheduling. Some of the discontinued features may return as Google Assistant integrates with the Bard AI.

Source: Google via 9to5Google

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