What’s New in the Android Auto 5.8 Update Released This Week

Big improvements coming to Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: Crutchfield
Google has officially released Android Auto 5.8 earlier this week, but as per the company’s typical approach, no information has been provided regarding the changes in this build.
But an APK teardown conducted earlier today offers a quick look under the hood of this new Android Auto update, and as it turns out, there are quite a few surprises hiding in there.

First and foremost, it’s the wallpaper support we’ve already told you about yesterday. Thanks to this feature, users will be able to choose from one of several pre-loaded wallpapers and thus customize the Android Auto home screen according to their liking.

The wallpapers have already been included in the latest Android Auto build, though right now, it looks like Google isn’t offering a way to enable them in version 5.8.

In addition to background support, Google is also getting ready to release custom Google Assistant shortcuts. The new update introduces a way to create custom Assistant actions that would then be pinned to the home screen, and you can use them to call contacts, turn on the lights of your smart home, or read a specific message. It can be anything you want, as long as Google Assistant supports it.

And somehow connected to this feature is support for Google Assistant Routines, which was first discovered a couple of years ago but never got to launch. Assistant Routines would make it possible to perform several actions in a row depending on certain data, and I believe at one point in the future, Google would link them with data from Google Maps, so they can be launched even based on your location.

And last but not least, Google has included a VPN warning in Android Auto 5.8, thus letting users know that such a connection could block the app from starting.

Being connected to a VPN may prevent Android Auto from starting. If you’re using a VPN, turn it off and try reconnecting to Android Auto,” this warning reads.

Android Auto 5.8 is currently available for download from the Google Play Store, but you can also get it manually using the dedicated APK installer here.
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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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