Google is releasing a new update to Android Auto that allows the car software to recover some of its smartphones. This includes restoring the Calendar app, which lets you view information about your next appointment and get directions if you would like to add a location to your calendar entry. Google previously removed the Calendar app from its latest redesign in 2019, replacing it with a button that simply read your appointments aloud using Google Assistant instead of showing you anything on screen.
The new update also adds relevant shortcuts to the Calendar app – so if you need to pick a birthday cake, for example, you will have the option to either call the bakery or get directions to get there. Apple introduced a similar calendar feature in 2019 that allowed its CarPlay users to pull instructions and view appointments as part of its iOS 13 update.
In addition to returning smartphones to its Calendar app, Google also announced today that it is working with “early access partners” to help create new Android Auto apps and categories, including navigation, parking and charging of electric vehicles. Google has not said how those applications will be distributed. If the tests are successful, Google will make those APIs available to the public, so other software developers can start building new applications for its in-car program.