Back in September, Google released several new features to make Android Auto and Driving Mode safer and less distracting. Since then, they’ve continued to add new features to Google Assistant’s Drive Mode and now they’re making it even easier to launch with a new home screen shortcut.
Drive Mode is essentially Android Auto for those that don’t have an updated stereo in their vehicle or who otherwise can’t access Android Auto but still want similar features on a phone.
In October, Google added the option to have Drive Mode launch automatically when your phone connects to your car Bluetooth, and now they’re taking it a step further with shortcuts. According to 9to5Google, Google has quietly added a home screen shortcut for Drive mode so people can keep their hands and eyes on the wheel rather than fumbling through the settings menu.
This new feature is only available as a beta, but we’re expecting it to roll out to all devices shortly. If you have the latest Google app beta installed on your phone, you should see the “Add driving mode to Home screen” pop-up at the bottom of the screen. Then, just add the shortcut to your home screen.
Creating a shortcut isn’t anything significant, and it’s not some big new feature, but this is one more way Google is making it faster, easier, and safer to use navigation and other features while in the car.
As a reminder, users can also say, “Hey Google, let’s drive,” or “start driving mode,” and it will instantly open without ever touching the phone.