Amazon wants to make it safer and easier to use your phone while in the car with the introduction of Auto Mode for the Alexa App. The feature turns your phone into a “driver-friendly” screen with large touch targets and easy-to-read images. Of course, one shouldn’t do anything with their smartphone in their hands while driving, so let’s assume this is for use in a stationary mount.
The automatic mode keeps things simple with four screens: Home, Navigation, Communication and Play. The home screen contains shortcuts to pause or play your media source, navigate home or work, and make calls.
In the navigation screen you can create shortcuts for favorite locations, or if you ask Alexa to find a new location, automatic mode will display a simplified result list with only the most relevant information. The Communicate screen makes it easier to make a call or send an announcement to Alexa devices, and the Play screen gives you easy control over your music or podcasts.
Automatic mode will be rolling out on Android and iOS devices in the coming weeks and 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 devices such as 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 is available in the coming weeks, you can adjust your commute in the Alexa app.