Mysterious New Feature Spotted in Android Auto as Part of Coolwalk Update

The new Cast app on Android Auto 6 photos
Photo: reddit user RegionRat91
Android Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interface
Google is quietly working on a major UI refresh for Android Auto, and as discovered recently, it looks like the company is making good progress on this front.
The overhaul is codenamed Coolwalk, and it includes a dramatic interface update that sports support for cards (or widgets) which, in their turn, help power a split-screen mode inspired by the CarPlay dashboard.

But in addition to this new feature, it seems Google is also planning a new feature for Android Auto that will make it easier for users to mirror the display of their phones on the head unit in the car.

In theory, this is what Android Auto is supposed to do in the first place, but for some reason, Google wants to allow users to directly cast whatever they see on the screen right on the larger display. Someone on reddit has managed to enable this feature in Android Auto 7.3 beta, with the app mirroring the camera UI typically available on the smartphone.

Without a doubt, the new Cast app would pave the way for new functionality on Android Auto, essentially expanding the app ecosystem available in the car substantially.

However, in case you’re thinking this feature would allow you to watch Netflix or YouTube in the car, this is very unlikely to happen. It looks like some content is still blocked, as Google clearly doesn’t want to go that route and allow apps that would substantially increase the distraction behind the wheel.

For the time being, it’s important to keep in mind this feature is only part of the latest beta program, and it’s pretty clear the work on this mysterious feature is still in the early days. Google has obviously remained tight-lipped on its release, so it remains to be seen when exactly the company wants to release it to all production devices out there.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

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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