Google’s Android Auto 8.8 is available for download now
Google's Android Auto is a well-liked mobile application that enhances the functionality of your vehicle, transforming the dashboard into an intelligent driving companion. By mirroring certain smartphone features, Android Auto provides a range of information and entertainment options for users.
In addition to app mirroring, Android Auto provides support for GPS mapping, music playback, and more. Users can pick up calls hands-free, view and respond to text messages, and conduct web searches without the use of their hands.
Google Assistant plays a crucial role in Android Auto, where drivers prefer to utilize voice commands over touch input, which can be distracting while driving. Android Auto's primary objective is to facilitate communication, connectivity, seamless navigation, and entertainment for drivers and passengers. It's worth noting that Android Auto and Driving Mode are distinct features, with the latter now integrated into the Google Assistant app for phones to minimize driving distractions.
In 2019, Android Auto underwent a UI/UX design overhaul, which introduced an app drawer to the platform. In 2021, Google launched another significant UI/UX redesign for the app with Coolwalk, which features new multitasking capabilities and a minimalist UI inspired by Apple's CarPlay. The new design is expected to provide enhanced stability and performance for users.
Android Auto's split-screen multitasking feature allows for the concurrent use of multiple apps. Google Maps now offers a more comprehensive view of information, and Google Assistant has been updated with new features. A recent apps dock is situated at the bottom of the interface for easy access.
The revamped UI of Android Auto with Coolwalk draws inspiration from Android 12 L, and the inclusion of Material You takes the design to a higher level. To fully experience all the app's features, Android 8 or newer is required. Coolwalk's UI is presently in beta, and registration is no longer available. As a pre-release version with incomplete software, optimization may not be as optimal as a stable release.
As is common knowledge, beta versions often come with bugs and issues. However, for those willing to take the risk, APKs can be installed from reliable websites. It is important to note that we do not endorse this practice, and relying on beta software for a drive is not recommended.
The Android Auto 8.8 beta build is available for testing
Android Auto 8.8 has been released for developers, but no official changelog has been provided. It is expected that the changes will become apparent once the version is publicly available. The only confirmed change is the removal of Android Auto wireless, as the wireless connection toggle is no longer available in the settings, indicating that this change is permanent and not a temporary experiment. Given the lack of new features, Android Auto 8.8 is likely geared toward resolving bugs and enhancing stability.
Little word on the wide release of the Coolwalk UI
The latest version of Android Auto, version 8.8, does not feature the new Coolwalk UI for developers. This is because the server-side control for this feature rests with Google. However, several app developers are already optimizing their apps to be compatible with the Coolwalk design.
There is no official ETA from Google as to when the Coolwalk update will be released for public use. It is possible that Google is waiting for more bug reports before launching the update to ensure a smoother experience for users. As progress is being made, we can expect the update to be released sometime in 2023.Advertisement