Google Maps gets some new buttons in Android Auto

Android Auto 2
Android Auto 2 (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Maps is gaining some new buttons in Android Auto.
  • The new button row includes settings, alternate routes, search, locations, and a three-dot overflow menu.
  • The addition is rolling out in stages, so if you haven't received it already, you should soon.

A surprise has been popping up in Google Maps for Android Auto users recently. As first spotted on Reddit, there are now some additional buttons when using Google Maps. The new buttons include an alternate routes button, search button, locations button, and a three-dot overflow menu button.

Now, the most exciting of these is the alternate routes button, because it's one of the most frequently used buttons when navigating. Thanks to the new button on the main Maps screen, you'll no longer have to dig through menus when you find yourself stuck in traffic.

Before the new buttons joined the fray, there was only one lone settings button at the bottom left of the screen. Now, the one downside of the extra buttons is that it will cover up more of your map view. Granted, as small as the bar is down there with the buttons, you weren't seeing much of the map in that tiny space to begin with.

So far, the update doesn't appear to have popped up for everyone, but as is common with most staged rollouts, you should see it soon if you haven't gotten it already.

This new addition comes as the new Android Auto UI has finally reached most if not all users after a weeks-long rollout. That update brought a lot of fantastic changes to Android Auto, including starting up on the Maps screen and adding an improved app drawer.

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6 Comments
  • Still waiting for new AA layout.
  • I have the new interface and also have lost the ability to see or respond to text messages...
  • Enable it through the settings in the app. It's the top thing in settings.
  • I seem to have all kinds of problems with AA. I have used the original cable and a Anker cable but still have problems with AA not connecting. I am using a LG Q7+ phone (Android 8.1 / AA 4.5.5) W/ 2019 honda crv. When I first install the app it will work for a few days and then the phone will connect to the car but AA does not come up. I can reinstall the app and then it will work for a couple of days. I have to new AA interface when it does work. Trying to figure if it is the phone or car problem. any thoughts.
  • Try letting your cars navigation/radio system fully boot up before connecting your phone. It works for me in my Kia. I have to give it a good 30 seconds or so after starting the car for it to recognize AA. If I connect right away AA does not launch.
  • I had this same issue with my 2019 Honda civic. I bought in April. I had to go get a cord that was only 3ft long. No longer than that. Unplug the the black cord that came with the car (I feel its defective or worked when it wanted) and plugged the USB cord into the outlet and I haven't had a problem since. You will need to reinstall the app when you do this but I haven't had a issue in over 2 months and this was a weekly issue. Good i know the frustration.