Major New Android Auto Feature Leaked Ahead of Official Launch

One of the most significant new features Google has been working on for Android Auto is support for wallpapers, and the latest few versions introduced additional code indicating the debut is just around the corner.
Android Auto wallpaper support 9 photos
Photo: reddit user shmykelsa
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While Google has remained completely tight-lipped on wallpaper support for Android Auto, it’s believed it could go live once version 6.0 is announced, which as per the company’s typical release calendar, should happen in January next year.

In the meantime, however, it looks like the feature is almost ready for its grand debut, and one developer has managed to enable it in the latest versions of Android Auto. The wallpaper support requires at least Android Auto 5.8, it seems, and will be activated via Google Play Services.

In other words, while the release of this feature could take place in January next year, it might end up being enabled in previous versions too, though this is obviously something that remains to be seen.

Judging from the screenshots shared here, the wallpaper integration in Android Auto is as straightforward as possible. There’s a new “Choose wallpaper” menu in the Settings screen, and tapping it gets users to a list of seven different backgrounds, each coming with its very own thumbnail.

Simply selecting one of these thumbnails automatically enables the new wallpaper in Android Auto, and you can then go back to the previous screen as the settings are saved on the fly.

At first glance, the implementation is very similar to wallpaper support on CarPlay, as Apple’s system too features similar capabilities since iOS 14. And just like Apple, Google won’t initially allow users to upload their own photos and use them as wallpapers but only pick from a pre-loaded collection of wallpapers that can be enabled as wallpapers.

At this point, it’s not known if Google plans to unlock such functionality in a future Android Auto version.
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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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