What’s New in the Highly Anticipated Android Auto 5.9 Update

This is the last Android Auto update of the year 1 photo
Photo: Google
Google has recently shipped Android Auto 5.9 for users out there, and this is the last update the app is supposed to get for this calendar year.
The next major release is thus version 6.0, and as per Google’s typical update calendar, it’s supposed to go live in January next year.

Naturally, Google hasn’t included a changelog in this new release, so simply checking out the Google Play Store listing wouldn’t reveal any information on what’s been improved in Android Auto 5.9.

But the developer of Extras for AA is back with a new teardown of the latest APK, and this should help us get a closer look at the work Google has done in version 5.9.

First and foremost, several new aftermarket head unit manufacturers will soon get their very own dedicated icon to quit Android Auto, and the new names added to the list include Alpine, JBL, and DigiLand.

Then, Google has continued the work on wallpaper support for Android Auto, and there’s a chance the feature would go live in the next update with version 6.0. More code for this feature has been added to Android Auto, so users would be allowed to customize the background with a pre-loaded image rather sooner than later.

Version 5.9 also paves the way for third-party navigation app support, as this is one of the improvements the company has promised in the long term. The teardown also revealed Android Auto would soon display a permission notification to explain its settings do not affect the Google Account or Google Services.

And last but not least, it looks like Google is working to allow users to run Android Auto even when the phone is locked, and this is something that comes in handy, particularly for the wireless mode. In other words, you’ll most likely be able to run Android Auto while keeping your phone in the pocket, thus no longer being required to unlock the device and allow the connection.
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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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