Google has said it is shutting down its standalone Assistant-powered Driving Mode feature because users prefer the version with Google Maps.
In fact, you likely didn’t know that there is a different feature strictly for navigation while driving. And you are not alone.
The Assistant Driving Mode creates an Android Auto-lite experience, as Engadget explained in its report. The feature has a page that contains the Google Assistant button, a music player with volume controls, and call or message buttons. To launch it, you simply say, “Hey Google, launch Driving Mode” to the voice Assistant. Additionally, you can pin the feature to your home screen and launch it with a single tap.
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The issue with the feature is that it is seeing less and less use because more people instinctively go to Maps when they need directions and from there, they move to its own Driving Mode. This other Driving Mode can be launched from the four-dot menu at the bottom right of the navigation mode.
Its home screen is slightly different as it shows row of large icons for making calls, sending messages and other media apps.
Google has made it a point of duty to either merge apps that look alike or upgrade one with additional functions while shutting down the other. We saw this in its Play Store revamping phase and even the YouTube Music feature replacing its former Google Music app.
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