Google has quietly rolled out a tweak to its maps application, addressing a key gripe for Android Auto users.

    As identified by users on Reddit, it’s now possible to open the Google Maps app on your phone while Android Auto is active.

    9to5Google reports the change was already rolled out to some users earlier this year.

    There is one small hitch. If you have a destination entered into the Android Auto app, opening the app on your phone will display only turn-by-turn instructions. Pressing the exit button will cancel the navigation on the car screen.

    This effectively means if your passenger wants to look at something on your smartphone app while on the fly, they will need to cancel the active navigation.

    It’s nevertheless a significant update from before. Previously, attempting to open the app on your phone would bump you out of it with an error message saying the app can’t be opened while Android Auto is running.

    While the Google Maps app on Android Auto has much of the same functionality as the smartphone app, the latter allows you to more easily view and scan through your planned route and search for stops while you’re stationary.

    The change also makes it easier for a passenger to modify your trip or view information on Google Maps by picking up your phone.

    It’s especially beneficial for owners of vehicles like recent Mazdas, which don’t have touchscreen functionality.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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