When Android Auto finally expanded to be able to run directly on phones we were excited about the prospects of how many apps would expand to the platform, and Facebook is one of the latest to do so with its Messenger service. With the latest updates to Facebook Messenger, you'll now be notified of messages from your friends and families while in the car with Android Auto.
Just like SMS and Hangouts messages before, messages that arrive through Facebook Messenger will provide a simple popover notification on your dashboard or phone. The notification simply shows who sent the message, and you'll have three options: play a voice transcription of the message, press a button to reply with a canned message, or record and send a message in return.
It's important that more messaging services — particularly those as popular as Facebook Messenger — integrate with Android Auto to enable safer use of phones while driving, but I wouldn't blame you if you were of the cynical mind to say we shouldn't be messaging like this in our cars at all. Facebook Messenger chats can have several people in a single group constantly chatting, and the number of messages you could potentially receive on your dashboard while driving could really get out of hand. The possibility of distraction with any messaging app in the car is high, but it could potentially go overboard with a group chat app like Facebook Messenger.
No matter what you're doing in the car or what interface you choose to use, consider just letting those messages stream on by without your attention — they'll still be there for you to reply when you arrive at your destination.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.