Waze Gets Major Update on Android Auto With Coolwalk Support

The latest beta build of Waze, which started shipping to users enrolled in the testing program on January 23, includes the highly anticipated support for the Coolwalk redesign on Android Auto.
Waze on the redesigned Android Auto UI 6 photos
Android Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interface
The feature works exactly as you’d expect it to work. Just like Google Maps, Waze is now capable to run in the card-based interface, with the map and everything else displayed in the dedicated navigation card alongside other apps, such as Spotify or YouTube Music.

When using the app in the dashboard mode, Waze also displays the current speed, but at the same time, a report button is available too, letting users flag the location of incidents as they drive. This is one of the biggest differences as compared to the CarPlay version, as Waze does not support sending reports from the navigation card when Apple users run it in the dashboard UI.

The Coolwalk interface seems to be working just fine, and like Google Maps, Waze can adapt to what users run on the screen – for instance, it can use not only the larger card but also the smaller one on high-resolution screens.

The support for the Android Auto redesign is currently in the beta program, and there is no ETA as to when it could start rolling out to users. However, this should happen sooner rather than later, so expect the next stable build of Waze for Android to include this highly anticipated feature as well.

The rollout of Coolwalk started in early January, and Waze was one of the biggest names lacking support for the new Android Auto interface. As a result, the application could only run in full screen and was not able to display the map and turn-by-turn directions in the dedicated navigation card.

At the same time, the rollout of Coolwalk is underway as well, but Google clearly isn’t in a rush to reach the global availability phase. The company sticks with a very slow approach, most likely because it wants to make sure that everything is working properly for users out there.

Coolwalk works on screens of all sizes and resolutions, and this is probably the thing that requires more attention. Getting everything right on lower-resolution displays is likely to raise particular challenges, especially as more apps are being updated with support for Coolwalk.

At this point, the only option for users who haven’t received the Coolwalk update is to wait for Google to enable it for their devices. The process is server-controlled, so installing a specific Android Auto version wouldn’t help. In the case of Waze, if you’ve already received the Coolwalk redesign, manually sideloading the January 23 beta build seems to help to get the new feature. The stable channel, however, should receive this update sooner rather than later.


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