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The company is updating two core parts of the Android Auto experience: communication and media.

Google this week unveiled a new series of features for Android Auto to make it easier to view messages or search for music, books and podcasts while you're on the move.

The update includes a new message preview feature, an updated media user interface, voice search tweaks, and group messaging. When you get messages, Android Auto will now show you a short preview of the text when your vehicle is stopped.

The new media features are now available for Google Play Books, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, Pocket Casts, and Spotify, with more supported apps coming soon. In fact, you can pre-register for the app right now on Google Play.

Android Auto
Android Auto adds media and messaging features

Like listening to music while you drive?

While these changes sound encouraging on paper, it's going to be some time before we really see Google's new vision for Android Auto take shape.

These new features will work with popular media (like Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, and Spotify) and messaging apps (Messages, Hangouts and WhatsApp). If that's not enough, voice searches can now return a list of all the matching media results.

After first clues last spring, Google has finally started the global deployment of the new Play Store interface on Android. It should be noted that this is optional and users will need to enable it in Settings. In addition to SMS messaging, Android Auto now supports apps that use MMS (multimedia messaging service) and RCS (rich communication services). Google says that this update is rolling out today and should be fully available to everyone over the next several days, so keep an eye out for it.

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