Google Releases Android Auto Update With Good Coolwalk News
Android Auto 8.9 comes without a changelog, but long-time users should already be familiar with this approach. Google rarely publishes release notes for its updates, claiming that the work was aimed entirely at rooting out bugs and under-the-hood optimizations. Nevertheless, I have good news for those who have already received the Coolwalk redesign.
Before anything else, it’s time for the obligatory Coolwalk warning.
Android Auto 8.9 does not enable the redesign on devices where the new interface is not yet live, nor does it bring any improvement in the availability of the new interface. This happens because the release of Coolwalk is not tied to Android Auto updates, as Google uses a server-controlled approach to bring the redesign to users out there.
So installing Android Auto 8.9 will not bring Coolwalk to users who haven’t already received the new interface. But on the other hand, it will introduce additional polishing for those who have.
As I told you just a few days ago, Android Auto 8.9 introduces additional polish for app switching animations, although the new settings don’t seem to be enabled by default. Most likely, Google needs to further refine these new visual effects before they roll out to everyone, but chances are we’ll see them in the coming weeks.
Otherwise, Android Auto 8.9 is as mysterious as all its predecessors. Google doesn’t usually share changelogs for new Android Auto releases, so users will have to install the update and then find out for themselves if there’s anything major in it.
Meanwhile, the rollout of Coolwalk is also making good progress. Sure enough, the global availability phase has not been reached yet, but I see more people receiving the new design in their cars. This could be a sign that Google is speeding up the release of the new experience, although there is currently no ETA on when the process is supposed to come to an end.
The biggest benefit of enabling Coolwalk on Android Auto is that users can now run multiple apps side-by-side regardless of screen size. Coolwalk uses an approach similar to the CarPlay dashboard, with apps running on the screen provided with their own dedicated maps. The navigation app, be it Google Maps or Waze, receives the largest map, with the rest of the screen used by audio software and phone calls. Portrait screens also have a weather map, but chances are Google is already working on bringing this feature to landscape aspect ratio head units.
The rollout of Android Auto 8.9 is also happening in stages through the Google Play Store, but you can install it without waiting by downloading the APK file.