WhatsApp in Android Auto: everything you can and cannot do

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Android Auto It is the system by which an Android mobile can be connected to a compatible car to be able to interact with the mobile with its own interface, focused on the use of hands-free and limited to avoid distractions. Its advantages include being able interact with messaging apps like WhatsApp without having to touch the mobile at all.

WhatsApp is compatible with Android Auto, so you can keep abreast of the messages that come to you on WhatsApp in the car, although WhatsApp support is somewhat limited. Here we will see everything you can do today in WhatsApp on Android Auto and what not.

Read the messages that come to you on WhatsApp

Read message

When you receive a WhatsApp message while using Android Auto -either on the car screen or on your mobile- you will be shown the notification of the new message. Tapping on it, the Google Assistant will read the message, although for a few months the system has been having problems when read messages in english.

Without touching anything, you can also ask the Google Assistant out loud to read your pending messages with commands like “Ok Google, read my messages”, without having to touch the screen. These notifications are also saved in the notifications section, in the bell icon.

Photo Animated images, videos, stickers or GIFs are not displayed

The reading of WhatsApp messages by the Google Assistant is quite literal and limited to text messages. The Google Assistant will read the names of emojis (smiley face, sad face, etc.) while for other types of content such as photos, animated GIFs, stickers or voice messages, the Assistant will simply tell you that “the message contains a Photo”.

Reply messages


After the Google Assistant reads you a WhatsApp message, you have the option to answer it. There is no button to do this, but you must answer Yes after the Google Assistant asks if you want to answer.

After answering yes, you must dictate the message you want to reply to, and then listen to the Assistant read back the message you have written. Then the Google Assistant will ask you if you want send it or change it; If you choose to send it, it will be sent as a text response.

Send WhatsApp messages to your contacts


In addition to responding to WhatsApp messages that come to you, you can also write messages from scratch. There is no interface for it, but you must ask the voice assistant with a command like “Ok Google, send a WhatsApp message”.

The next step is to dictate the name of the contact you want to send the message to, and then dictate the message itself. As before, the Google Assistant will read the message back, and if you decide to send it, it will send it as text.

Mute conversations


In the car, the last thing you need are distractions, and luckily it’s relatively easy mute a WhatsApp conversation so that you stop being notified. When a new message notification arrives, you will find a mute button with a crossed out bell icon.

If you did not have time to press it, you can also do it from the notifications section, pressing the button Silence in the conversation in question. This option only applies to Android Auto and WhatsApp chats will not be muted. If you change your mind, you can receive notifications of a muted conversation again by going to the Android Auto notifications section.

What cannot be done yet

Voice At the moment you cannot make calls, video calls or listen to voice messages

WhatsApp support on Android Auto is somewhat limited. You can access the main function of the application (send messages), but anything more advanced will not be available. There may be changes in Android Automotive, but in Android Auto you can’t listen to audio messages, see stickers, photos, videos or animated GIFs. The latter are quite understandable, the former being the one that can pose a problem if you have contacts who are used to sending you voice messages.

On the other hand, while you can use Android Auto to make normal phone calls, nowadays it is not possible to make or receive WhatsApp calls or video calls. If someone calls you on WhatsApp while using Android Auto, you won’t even get a notification about it.

The news

WhatsApp in Android Auto: everything you can and cannot do

was originally published in

Xataka Android

Ivan Ramirez


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