Google Maps in Android Auto is no longer anti-British

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Google has updated its Android Auto in-car infotainment system to make life a little more convenient for UK drivers.

The company says Google Maps has now been optimised for right-hand drive vehicles – ie. the vast majority of cars on British roads – by placing the key features closer to the driver’s reach and eyeline.

It’ll mean drivers won’t have to reach across to the far side of their car’s display in order to tap the navigation bar. It’s only a few inches, but it’s significant given Android Auto is designed to ensure drivers can keep their eyes on the road.

The new feature is being integrated automatically, Google says, but there will be an opportunity for users to choose the orientation of the Maps interface in a future update, Google says.

It’s a small change, but a welcome one for those who live in nations like the UK that drive on the left hand side of the road. Those nations include India, Japan and Australia, but there’s loads more too.

In a newly-updated support document, (via Engadget) Google writes: “Users across the world using Android Auto in their vehicles will now see the user interface orient itself optimally, in layout and language, depending on whether you drive a left-hand drive vehicle or right-hand drive vehicle. Worry no more about struggling to use hard-to-reach buttons.”

This minor update also corrects an issue with right-to-left languages, so it’s a very orientation focused chanrge for Android Auto overall.

Android Auto is Google’s answer to Apple’s CarPlay. It enables drivers to access many of the key features on their phone, safely, by using voice Google Assistant voice controls and the car’s main touchscreen display. Drivers can easily answer calls, listen to music, have messages read aloud and, of course, see turn-by-turn navigations on the display.

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