autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 
New Android Auto Update Now Available as Google Quietly Improves Coolwalk
Google has unfortunately missed the release target of the most anticipated Android Auto update in a very long time, and while everybody is waiting for Coolwalk, this new feature is nowhere to be seen.

New Android Auto Update Now Available as Google Quietly Improves Coolwalk

The new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UI
First spotted nearly a year ago and officially announced at I/O earlier this year, Coolwalk is essentially an Android Auto makeover that allows users to run multiple apps on the same screen. Each app runs on a dedicated card, and Coolwalk supports multiple such cards on the screen, namely navigation, active phone calls, the music player, and weather information (depending on the active state and if there’s enough space on the display).

In many ways, Coolwalk is very similar to the dashboard feature already available on CarPlay. And if you’ve used the dashboard before, there’s a very good chance you’re going to find the Coolwalk experience rather familiar.

Google originally said Coolwalk would go live in the summer of this year, but this didn’t happen, and now users are left waiting for a feature they have no idea when it should go live.

The company started the rollout of a new Android Auto stable update a few hours ago, bringing the app to version 8.2. However, the update doesn’t come with Coolwalk, but only with a generic changelog that doesn’t point to anything else than unnamed fixes.

In other words, it’ll be up to each of you to figure out what’s being changed in this Android Auto update, though there’s a chance the focus has been mostly on bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements.

Worth knowing, however, is that Coolwalk wouldn’t go live as part of a new Android Auto update anyway. This is because the company will begin the rollout by enabling Coolwalk from its own servers, as the code (at least part of it) is already included in the most recent Android Auto builds.

In the meantime, however, you’re still recommended to download the latest Android Auto version, and if you don’t want to wait for the official rollout through the Google Play Store, you can find the manual APK installer here.

The good news is that the work on Coolwalk continues behind closed doors at Google. And while the Mountain View-based search giant has remained tight-lipped on everything, users who enabled Coolwalk on rooted Android devices can already keep an eye on the progress this feature makes.

Most recently, Coolwalk has been updated with a refined version of the music player card. The likes of Spotify can now display album artwork right in this card, therefore making the UI overall feel more dynamic and modern. There’s a chance all media players will be able to use this new design, but for now, Spotify seems to be the first one to display the album cover on the Coolwalk screen.

Furthermore, it’s been reported that Coolwalk could update the dock to display more icons in order to make the interaction with the commonly used Android Auto apps more straightforward. Google could eventually allow up to four icons in the dock, one for each app category also supported on the main screen – navigation, music players, phone calls, plus an extra slot for the most recently-launched item.

All these silent refinements show that the work on Coolwalk continues at Google, and this is probably the main reason the feature isn’t yet live for production devices.

Unfortunately, the company still thinks that remaining silent on its plans for the most anticipated Android Auto update in a long time is a good idea, though it’s pretty clear the approach is already backfiring. Users express their disappointment regarding the quiet delay of Coolwalk on every occasion, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them making the switch to CarPlay.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories