Android Auto Will Soon Get the Customization Feature Everybody Wants

Android Auto 5.8 was released earlier this week, but as it happens every time a new update comes out, no release notes have been provided, so it’s up to users to figure out what’s new.
Wallpaper support coming to Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: Google
And while there are no big new features in this update, there are changes under the hood that offer an early look at what’s to come for Android Auto users.

A teardown conducted by the developer of Extras for AA, a truly advanced Android Auto customization app, reveals that version 5.8 comes with evidence that Google will soon allow users to change the launcher background.

In other words, a future version of Android Auto will include an option to replace the generic background with a custom photo, though right now, it looks like Google will only support a set of pre-loaded images and third-party content won’t be allowed.

There are four new wallpapers that are added in version 5.8, and they are called Blobs, Droplets, Dusk, and Warp, while the default one is referred to as Mountain. Two backgrounds are missing for now, but there’s a chance Google would add them at a later time when the feature is ready.

And of course, nobody knows exactly when support for wallpapers is supposed to go live for users, but the feature seems to be almost ready, so the launch would happen rather sooner than later.

If this feature sounds familiar to you, it’s because Apple has recently updated CarPlay with support for wallpapers too, all with the release of iOS 14 in September. And just like Google, Apple only allows users to choose from a pre-loaded set of wallpapers that can be configured from a new Settings menu that’s been added to the CarPlay UI.

Neither Google nor Apple seems to be interested in custom photos uploaded by users, but such a feature isn’t totally ruled out in the coming updates.
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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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