Android Auto Coolwalk Removes a Key Feature, Google Trying to Bring It Back

The weather information that was until recently displayed in the status bar of Android Auto is missing for most users whose interface was updated to the highly anticipated Coolwalk.
The weather information on Android Auto, the new and the old way 8 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
Android Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto weather cardContextual card displayed in the top left corner
Before the big redesign started shipping in early January, Android Auto used to show the weather conditions and the current temperature in the status bar at the top of the screen. This was the approach the app has been using since 2019 when this interface was launched, whereas the original version of Android Auto displayed the weather details right on the home screen in a dedicated widget.

With the release of Coolwalk, Google is going back to widgets, though this time they are called cards.

The split-screen interface that allows users to run multiple apps side-by-side in their own cards also includes a weather widget that shows the current temperature and conditions.

Most users who are provided with the interface update, however, do not see this card because it’s only available on portrait screens. If you have a landscape display, Android Auto Coolwalk sticks with the standard layout, so the weather card isn’t showing up.

While Google has so far remained tight-lipped on its plans for the weather information cards, it appears that the limited screen estate available on displays with a landscape aspect ratio is causing particular challenges. I’m being told the search giant has been exploring multiple methods to display the weather information on a landscape screen, but no decision has been made so far.

A Google Community Specialist has recently confirmed on the company’s forums that the weather information is indeed missing from the Coolwalk update, but on the other hand, the search giant is working on reinstating it as we speak.

The Android Auto team is exploring multiple options, the announcement reads, but for the time being, there’s no ETA as to when the weather card could make its way to all Coolwalk users out there.

The rollout of the big Android Auto redesign is still underway, and Google keeps refining the interface to make sure everything is working properly. Android Auto 8.9, which started shipping to production devices a few days ago, includes animation refinements that make Coolwalk more polished, especially when switching from one app to another.

The search company still hasn’t announced an ETA as to when it plans to reach the broad availability stage for Coolwalk, so for the time being, it’s sticking with the phased rollout that’s causing so much frustration in the Android Auto user base. There’s no way to get the interface update other than waiting for Google to enable it, and given this new announcement, holding back the switch to Coolwalk might be a good idea if the weather information is essential to you.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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