Amazon wants to make it safer and easier to use your phone while you’re in the car with the introduction of Auto Mode for the Alexa App. The feature turns your phone into a “driver-friendly” display with large touch targets and easy-to-read visuals. Of course, one shouldn’t be doing anything with their smartphone in their hands while driving, so let’s just assume this is for use in a stationary mount.
Auto Mode keeps things simple with four screens: Home, Navigation, Communicate and Play. The home screen includes shortcuts to pause or play your media source, navigate to home or work and make a call.
The Navigation screen lets you create shortcuts for favorite locations, or if you ask Alexa to find someplace new, Auto Mode will display a simplified results list with only the most relevant info. The Communicate screen will make it easier to place calls or send an announcement to Alexa devices, and the Play screen will give you simple controls over your music or podcasts.
Auto Mode is rolling out on Android and iOS devices in the coming weeks, and it will be available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Amazon is also launching a new “start my commute” feature in the United States. Through Alexa-enabled devices like Echo Auto, Amazon will provide weather and traffic updates and ask if you’d like to listen to music or an audiobook, catch up on news or play a car-friendly game. When the feature arrives in the next couple of weeks, you’ll be able to customize your commute in the Alexa app.