Android Auto Will Get a New Awesome Wallpaper Feature

Android Auto getting new wallpaper option 15 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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Android Auto already allows users to set a wallpaper for Android Auto, but the options are limited, so the only available choices come down to a set of pre-loaded backgrounds.
Users have been asking for more options for several years, including support for setting a custom photo as the wallpaper in Android Auto.

Google has so far ignored these requests, but it looks like this is all going to change in a future Android Auto update.

The recently released Android Auto 10.7, which is now rolling out to users worldwide through the Google Play Store, includes evidence that Google is working on an option allowing users to keep the wallpapers on the mobile device and Android Auto in sync.

Google wants Android Auto's wallpaper to match the one on the mobile device, with the company planning to add a dedicated setting in a future update. The option will be called "use phone's wallpaper in Android Auto," but it looks to be a work in progress for now, so nobody knows when the option could go live.

As others have also noted, Android Auto only displays the wallpaper in the app drawer. The Coolwalk interface, which allows users to run multiple apps side by side on the same display, uses the entire screen estate, so the wallpaper behind the interface isn't visible. The Coolwalk UI makes the wallpaper rather redundant, especially as most users use the multi-app view to access their favorite apps, rarely going to the drawer.

However, the new wallpaper option will be a useful addition to the Android Auto feature lineup, creating more consistency between Android devices and making the transition more seamless from the mobile device to the car.

CarPlay also allows Apple users to set a wallpaper for the in-car experience, but the options are also limited to a set of pre-loaded backgrounds. The iPhone maker isn't currently working on expanding the support for custom wallpapers, though similar options are available for Apple users who jailbreak their iPhones.

Meanwhile, Google is also working on adding new features to Android Auto, including a disconnect button that will be available in the notification center.

The feature will be specifically aimed at Android Auto wireless users who want to disconnect a mobile device and connect another one. It will come in handy in cars with multiple Android devices where the driver might not want to use their smartphone for running Android Auto. The only way to do this today is to enable airplane mode or turn off the Bluetooth. The feature is available on a limited set of devices, but Google will likely expand it to more smartphones in the coming weeks. It's not tied to a specific Android Auto version.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

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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