Here’s What’s New in the Latest Android Auto Update

Google has recently released Android Auto 5.6, and as per the company’s typical approach, no changelog has been provided.
Android Auto has recently reached version 5.6 1 photo
In other words, while most people expect an Android Auto update to bring additional fixes and changes under the hood, it’s up to each and every one of us to figure out what’s in there.

Fortunately, an APK teardown performed by reddit user shmykelsa, who is also the developer of Extras For AA customization app (if you haven’t tried it out already, seriously, give it a shot, it’s amazing), provides us with a closer look at the changes happening under the hood in Android Auto 5.6.

First and foremost, it looks like this new version brings new accessibility code, which indeed, is a little surprising given such features don’t make much sense on a car screen. However, there’s a chance these improvements are aimed at Android Auto for phone screens.

Google has also continued the work on new capabilities first spotted in the previous Android Auto updates, including on support for external displays and access to car data. Version 5.6 also comes with new layout code for navigation apps, as Google is opening up Android Auto to third-party replacements for the likes of Google Maps.

And speaking of Google Maps, Android Auto will soon start warning users they’re running an outdated version of the app and prompt them to update. This is without a doubt a welcome improvement, albeit Google must find a way to make the experience as straightforward and convenient as possible, especially since this message is supposed to show up on the car’s screen, while the updating happens on the phone.

A compass mode also seems to be planned for Android Auto, but for now, its purpose can’t be determined, as the work on this appears to be in the early days.

All in all, Android Auto 5.6 doesn’t bring lots of changes right now, but it seems to pave the way for bigger improvements at a later time. When these are projected to happen, however, is something that still remains to be seen.


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