Android Auto is a mobile app that mirrors your Android device on your car’s infotainment system. The mirrored screen gives users an easy-to-use and simplified view while driving.
Once paired with your car, the app can display supported apps on the vehicle’s display. We have Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, SMS, and phone, to name a few supported apps. It also supports a voice assistant for hands-free communication.
The app also allows users to make and receive calls with minimal distraction to driving. Thanks to the convenient and helpful nature of Android Auto, millions use it worldwide. Android Auto has to maintain a stable and reliable experience. As a result, they push out regular updates that improve the stability.
The previous few updates were all bug fixes with no new major features. The updates roll out region-wise to ensure even better stability and have a Beta program of at least 10 days.
Android Auto 11.1 Update
The app continues to get regular updates almost a decade after its release. Now, the Android Auto 11.1 Update has been released, bringing a few changes. The update is being rolled out in batches on the Play Store. This means only a small set of users have received it so far. However, the roll-out will continue till next week, reaching more users.
Additionally, you can also install the APK from third-party sources if you can’t wait. However, the process varies from OEM to OEM with slight variations in steps so that you can Google how-tos for your specific OEM. The update roll-out will continue for a few weeks until everyone gets it. Some potential bug fixes exist, but people haven’t spotted any yet.
As of now, Google hasn’t shared the update’s changelog, and in all honesty, there haven’t been many visible changes. But there are quite a few changes under the hood. This is because the app is preparing for a long pending UI change. Some users have already received the new “Coolwalk” UI as an experiment. This change is soon going to be pushed to every user out there. While most users already have Coolwalk, Google still controls the roll-out with a server-side switch.
One major feature that could make it is the icon pack feature. It makes the UI design between your phone and the Android Auto UI more consistent. It’ll replace the infotainment system’s default icons, which is currently a Samsung-only feature.
Google might add support for external wallpapers with a future update, too. It’s not even in the testing phase yet, so it’ll take a while before going live. Google is also planning to change the look of the drawer and make it look similar to their smartphone UI, complete with icons and wallpaper. These features are in the final phase, though it’s not out for public tests yet. We can expect them in the next few months.
The disconnect button is currently in the testing phase and could make it to some devices soon. The Google Maps parking location feature is also out for some testers, as well as the automatic sync features.