Google Silently Releases a New Android Auto UI Update That Just Makes Sense

New phone UI on Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: reddit user shmykelsa
Google doesn’t typically publish release notes when new Android Auto updates go live, so users out there are the ones that must dig into every single version to figure out what’s been changed.
On the other hand, there are also features enabled with a server-side switch and showing up for just a limited number of users before eventually going live for everybody, and the one we’re talking about here is likely one of them.

While Google obviously hasn’t said a single thing about this, it looks like the phone interface on Android Auto has received a small facelift adding tabs at the top of the screen.

What this means is that you’re now getting tabbed navigation to quickly jump from one screen to another, such as favorites, recent calls, and contacts. There’s also a “more” button for additional options.

This new feature has been discovered by the developer of the Android Auto customization app Extras for AA, and it’s believed to be currently in testing with just a small number of users. I just checked in my car and the old phone app UI is still there, so there’s a chance the interface makeover is still in the experimental phase and Google only enables it with a server-side switch for users out there gradually.

In the meantime, if you’re waiting for a new Android Auto, it shouldn’t take too long before it goes live. Android Auto version 5.9 should be published in the coming days as the last update of the year, and the focus will most likely continue to be on fixing bugs and improving the overall performance.

But as we learned recently, the upcoming Android Auto 6, possibly coming in January, could bring more substantial improvements, including wallpaper support, thus allowing users to change the background with one from a pre-loaded pack. The first code in this regard is already there in Android Auto, so it is now just a matter of time until it goes live for users.
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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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