Google Releases Highly Anticipated Android Auto Update With Major New Features

Google has finally released the highly-anticipated Android Auto 6.1 update. In addition to the changes under the hood, the company has also included a couple of new features that anyone can enjoy after installing the new version.
Android Auto wallpaper support 1 photo
Photo: 9to5Google
The first of them is support for wallpapers, a feature that everybody knew was coming, only that nobody could precisely tell when exactly this was supposed to happen.

Android Auto doesn’t allow users to set a custom photo as a wallpaper, but they can choose from a total of 15 different images right from the head unit. There’s a new wallpaper option in the settings screen of Android Auto, and choosing a new one applies it immediately, without any other input required after that.

In addition, it looks like Google has also re-enabled Google Assistant routines in Android Auto, though for the time being, this appears to be something related to a server-side switch, rather than part of the new version. This feature isn’t yet available for me despite installing Android Auto 6.1, but others have managed to get it up and running in their cars.

The new update also comes with major improvements under the hood; while an official changelog isn’t available, a Ford spokesperson has recently told us Android Auto 6.1 resolves a major issue hitting the 2021 F-150.

Beginning with this version, Android Auto wireless once again works correctly in the new F-150, as this feature has previously been broken down, with drivers told to turn to the wired version. Ford claims a full fix will be part of a software update coming in the spring, with more specifics to be shared closer to launch.

The new Android Auto update is available from the Google Play Store, but if you don’t yet see version 6.1, you can head over to this page to download the stand-alone APK installer and deploy the new version manually on your Android device.
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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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