If you want to navigate while driving, your Android smartphone supports applications that could make things easier for you. Google's apps for vehicle navigation on your smartphone are Android Auto and Google Assistant driving mode. Both applications have the same objective, but are designed differently. Unfortunately, Google has replaced the Android Auto app mode with the Google Assistant driving mode in Android 12.
Assistant driving modeincludes a panel with Google Assistant, a music player, volume controls and buttons for making a call or sending a message.
As long as Google deactivates assistant driving mode, the driving mode with the same name will be maintained on Google Maps. Driving mode should definitely have an exit button, but labeling it as the home screen is unnecessarily confusing. In short, apps compatible with driving mode are limited to calls, messages, Google Maps and multimedia content (Spotify, VLC, YouTube Music, podcasts, etc.). Unlike Android Auto, there's no need to download and install Google Assistant driving mode from the Play Store, as it's a standard feature on Android 12 and later.
To change how Google Assistant's driving mode works, you can return to the same screen you used to activate it. However, compared to Android Auto, Google Assistant's driving mode apps are few (less cluttered) and have larger cards, so you're not easily distracted. By comparison, the driving mode of the Google Assistant is less distracting for the driver, since the driver can control everything using voice commands. It's also designed with a minimalist user interface that includes basic applications that won't distract the driver.
The driving mode of the Google Assistant can also be viewed in horizontal mode, but you must first activate automatic rotation in the Android settings and put the phone in a horizontal position after opening Google Maps. Google is also focusing on Android Automotive, which comes pre-installed with the vehicle and allows car manufacturers to customize it.