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Android Auto update removes interaction limit on Google Play Music when your car is parked

Android Auto, since launch, has always limited user interactions with the screen to just six taps. That is, until today, when an Android Auto app update made a big improvement by letting you interact with your Google Play Music as much as you want ... so long as your car is parked.

After being alerted to the improvement by Ryan Warner over on Twitter, we've confirmed on our end that the latest update does indeed remove the interaction restriction. If your car is parked, you can tap and scroll all you want through Google Play Music without any lockouts.

What we can't say at this point is how this will be handled on other apps. Seeing this change shows it's indeed possible to have an app behave differently when the car is parked versus being driven — which makes sense based on how lots of car infotainment systems operate — but seeing this change only for Google Play Music at this point is a bit odd.

If Google is indeed easing this interaction limit when the car is parked across the board, it seems like app developers will have to update things slightly in their own apps to take advantage of the change in restrictions on Google's end. If that's the case, we should see the fruits of this change soon.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

36 Comments
  • Shouldn't be any at all. Parked or otherwise. Do not need my hand held. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Yep Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • The dramatic number of auto accidents that kill thousands of people every year say otherwise, sadly.
  • If changing radio stations while driving is too much of a skillset maybe those people shouldn't be driving at all. Don't punish all of us because of it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In Utah, if you use your phone while driving, you get a ticket. Whats the difference between tapping my mounted phone screen and my complicated touch screen unit in my Subaru? One gets you a ticket for distracted driving, the other does not. Makes absolutely no sense. The car unit is much more complicated to use than my phone, yet it's perfectly legal to use while cruising at 80 mph. Cops don't care about that "oh he's just changing the station" but if I tap on my phone that's mounted right by my car info screen, boom - pulled over. OK. Yes, if you crash the gig is up regardless, but using the car's unit draws zero attention while the phone is OMG TEXTING AND DRIVING BOOK EM DANNO! They both are equally as complex and dangerous.
  • +1 Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah even fidgeting with a finicky AC or heater can be distracted driving...no ticket for that though.
  • We not talking about changing radio stations. We're talking about scrolling through hundreds of items in lists while you visually search for the song you want to play. As you ram into the semi in front of you.
  • And why can't my passenger do that when I'm driving? Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is the exact question i want an answer for that everyone seems to ignore. it's like they assume only a driver can touch the system.
  • Can we please stop preemptively punishing people for what they *might* do? How about this. You hit somebody with your car while messing with your radio, or Android Auto, or whatever, and you get charged with distracted driving. Period. Technology today is quite capable of logging, say, a touch moments before a massive deceleration. Hey, if obtaining driving privileges means that I must allow the police to access such logs after an accident, then fine. That's a hell of a lot better than disabling my equipment unless my car isn't moving, or in park, or whatever. My last car made me hit an "OK" button, agreeing to some legal mumbo-jumbo every time I started my car, or the navigation wouldn't work. STOP IT! Once upon a time, judges used common sense when trying frivolous cases, or listening to frivolous defenses. Saying something like, "The manufacturer should have warned me that operating my phone while driving in bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic is dangerous... it's not my fault!" would have simply resulted in getting that speaker laughed out of court. Now, it's a successful multimillion dollar class action suit. People have to start taking responsibility for their own actions. I'm sick of being treated like a child, because some idiot can't keep from holding a text conversation while operating heavy equipment. Let me make my own choices, and I'll be responsible for my own actions, thanks. Please... people start doing the same!
  • It should be an option. I don't mind keeping it safe while diving. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So does eating a cheeseburger Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • I'm also against seatbelt and motorcycle helmet laws. How's that grab ya? Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • You are an idiot.
  • Thank you my man, now go wrap yourself in bubble wrap. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • We shouldn't have to be told not to text and drive at the same time but look at the lives that are lost/taken by those that do.
  • Yes, but let's look at the problems with that. People who text and drive, are going to do so, regardless of the law. The only thing that the law does is force them to keep their phone out of site while doing so, which makes it harder for them to keep their eyes on the road. While you'd think that passing an anti-texting-while-driving law would help save lives, in fact, it probably does the opposite. I'm not advocating texting while driving. I'm just saying that there are already distracted driving laws on the books. Calling attention to an already illegal practice by passing a more specific law to match it, doesn't necessarily make things safer.
  • It doesn't matter any more today. People who don't know how to drive manage to get a license.. All it takes is a split second and you could be hit.. Especially going down the highway... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Perhaps they did this because voice commands no longer work with music? Lol. Though seriously, they need to fix that. There is an entire thread on the forums detailing the bug. It doesn't seem isolated. Until the fix voice control, I have no choice but to tap the screen for everything.
  • Parked as in the park gear, or parked as in GPS doesn't detect movement? If the former, how will that work on after market units? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The after market units know when you're in park. I have the 4100NEX from Pioneer, and if I'm not in park when i plug in my phone, it won't let me use AA.
  • Easy to bypass on all the NEX units. What I would love for them to fix is this 1000 song limit per play list in Google Play Music and just let us have it shuffle ALL music or via the interface pic an entire release to play so we can do away with their crappy playlist implementation. That would be AMAZING. To many streaming apps and not enough that let us just play the music we own. :/
  • Aftermarket units tie into they parking brake wiring usually.
  • The car being in park. They're not tracking GPS for that sorta thing, it's not worth it. As I note in the post, it's pretty common for the head unit to know whether your car is in park or not for just this sort of thing.
  • They sell parking brake bypass adapters in aftermarket head units. I guess if I ever got android auto I would have to get one of those because, this is a bit ridiculous.
  • It's a software bypass for the 6100 - 8100NEX. :)
  • Even better haha
  • I have a parking bypass for the 4100NEX, this update uses GPS to determine movement - it still doesnt let me do more than 6 taps. I also confirm this is implemented for Spotify as well, I can scroll as much as I want when parked.
  • Oh, that sucks. Same setup here. :-(
  • How does the radio know if it is the driver or the passenger that is changing the songs? Also just took a 15 hour drive from Chicago to Florida, then back. Stopped 2x. Does that mean I only have 6 touches per stop? That is insane. My daughter would have killed me. :-) Posted via the Android Central App
  • This is why voice commands are an option - but they need to work much better, across all AA apps.
  • Anyone know of a way to get rid of the blocked spash screen for Android auto? On my s7 if I hitnrecents twice (using good lock) it will drop to home screen, but wondering if there is a way to disable it all together?
  • How does the new feature work with google play music as i cant see my full library. Only options i have are playlist, music for driving, recent and queue.