By the looks of things, the Mountain View-based search giant wants to use an approach similar to the one Apple has already embraced for CarPlay: users won’t be allowed to set their own photos as Android Auto backgrounds, so they would instead have to stick with a series of pre-loaded photos coming bundled with the application.
Version 5.8 provides us with an early look at these new photos, and a recently conducted APK teardown revealed the wallpapers are called Black, Blobs, Mountains, Droplets, Dusk, Warp, and Wave.
As you can see in the gallery here, Google has decided to go for an abstract design in almost all cases, and at some level, this makes perfect sense since the purpose is to bring a touch of color to the Android Auto experience, but at the same time also keep icons and everything else on the screen as visible as possible.
For now, it’s not exactly clear when Google is projected to release the wallpaper feature for all users, but there’s a chance the company keeps them for version 6.0, which is supposed to land in early 2021.
As per Google’s typical Android Auto release calendar, one version update is published every month. With Android Auto version 5.8 already live, the next in the queue is build 5.9, which should get the go-ahead in December. Android Auto 6.0 is thus expected in the first month of 2021.
For now, Google has remained tight-lipped on this new feature, so expect more refinements to be added in the coming updates before it gets the go-ahead for everybody.