Facebook just updated its Messenger app so that it is now seamlessly integrated into Android Auto. The patch, which should be rolling out as of this writing, will enable one's car dashboard to display Facebook conversations.
Facebook On The Dashboard
Android Auto users should expect an interface that fits perfectly with the design language of the dashboard navigating system. It is also focused on the so-called quick-glance UI to ensure a safer operation.
"Android Auto allows drivers to easily and safely access features like navigation, music and messaging while on the road, through a mobile app or a supported built-in vehicle display," the Messenger team said in a Facebook post. "The Messenger integration enables people with Android Auto to listen to and reply to messages using voice commands."
How It Works
If the user has a Facebook Messenger in his Android device, then its notifications will show up in the Android Auto interface. The user can then opt to have the system read the messages by quickly tapping the speaker icon. If the user wants to send a reply, it is also possible via voice command — no typing involved.
Users can also send a canned reply such as "I am driving right now" by tapping a dedicated button.
Messenger notifications and the ability to reply will only work if the Android device is connected to the car or through Android Auto's standalone mode. The Facebook Messenger app should also be updated to its latest version.
As of this writing, Facebook is reportedly implementing a major update targeting cars without compatible radio technology. This update is expected to allow their owners to enjoy the same functionality.
Android And Driving Safely
Facebook Messenger's integration into Android Auto is expected to minimize the risk of accidents due to the use of mobile devices and messaging applications. There could be those who would argue that drivers should not be using any voice, call or messaging devices while on the road in the first place. However, the fact remains that many motorists cannot help themselves from doing so.
With the latest Facebook Messenger support, Android Auto now boasts of a growing stable of apps, which includes Skype, WhatsApp, Spotify and Pandora, along with native Google products such as Maps and Hangouts.
Presently, it is not yet known if Facebook is also working to implement the same feature on Messenger installed in iOS devices. Apple also has a proprietary CarPlay navigation system currently used by around 50 car brands.