Google Maps to cancel “Driving Mode” for Android Users

In a recent development, it appears that Google is set to retire the “Driving Mode” feature on Google Maps for Android users. Following the introduction of the Assistant Driving Mode in 2022, integrated into the Google Assistant ecosystem, the latest updates from Google suggest that the “Driving Mode” on Google Maps will soon be phased out for all Android users, with an expected completion date of February 2024.

Two years ago, Google optimized the user interface in Google Maps for Android, replacing Android Auto with a native “Dashboard for Assisted Driving” (the screen displaying the map and multimedia suggestions, along with audio controls and shortcuts for calls and SMS that users see today).

So, what will users now rely on for navigation instructions?

The Update Removing Google Maps’ Driving Mode

It’s important to note that this information is not confirmed news but rather an insight provided by the specialized website 9to5google.com, which thoroughly examined the latest update of the Google app (version 14.52) on the Play Store. By analyzing APK files, 9to5google has identified code snippets that suggest potential future functionalities.

Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

However, it’s crucial to exercise caution as Google may choose to implement or discard these features, or they may remain unchanged for a longer period.

What Will Users Use Now?

In 2022, Google decided to focus on the driving mode of Maps after discovering that the majority of users preferred this feature over the Assistant. However, starting in March, users may be directed solely to the navigation mode of Google Maps, which, as of June, includes voice input. Users can activate it simply by saying, “Hey Google, start driving mode.”

It’s essential to keep an eye on further developments, as Google may unveil additional details or changes before the expected implementation date. Whether this move will enhance the user experience or not remains to be seen, and users may need to adapt to new ways of interacting with Google Maps for their navigation needs.

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