Google Releases the Last Major Android Auto Update of the Year

Google's Android Auto UI 1 photo
Photo: Google
Google has just shipped another Android Auto update, bringing the app to version 5.9. And once again, there’s no changelog, but this shouldn’t by any means be a surprise given this is something the company does for every release.
However, there’s a good chance Android Auto 5.9 only paves the way for bigger changes coming in the next update, which should theoretically bring the app to version 6.0 when it lands in January.

For example, we already know Google is working on adding support for more wallpapers in Android Auto, and version 5.9 is likely to introduce additional polishing that prepares this feature for prime time.

With wallpaper support in Android Auto, users will be allowed to enable a different background on their head units. However, Google won’t allow us to choose a custom photo stored on our devices, but only pick an image included in a pack pre-loaded with Android Auto.

There will be eight such wallpapers, it seems, and more could be added in the coming months with other Android Auto updates.

At first glance, it looks like Google uses an approach similar to Apple’s, as the Cupertino-based tech giant also allows users to enable wallpapers from a pre-loaded gallery. Time will tell if the option to use a user-defined photo as the background is eventually unlocked.

Other than that, Android Auto 5.9 is likely all about fixes and additional improvements, but given Google hasn’t shared any specifics on this release, it’s once again up to us to figure out what’s working correctly now.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on autoevolution, you probably noticed there’s a lot Google needs to fix in Android Auto, so fingers crossed for version 5.9 to resolve at least some of the problems reported lately.

In the meantime, the new Android Auto is live in the Google Play Store in stages, and if you don’t want to wait, here’s where you can find the stand-alone APK installer for a manual update on your 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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