More photographs of Android Auto’s upcoming significant revamp have surfaced, and it appears that Google has taken some inspiration from Apple CarPlay (via XDA Developers). The revamp, codenamed “Coolwalk,” as seen in photographs from AndroidWorld and Reddit user u/RegionRat91 could include several practical enhancements.
For starters, the makeover relocates the status bar, which displays information about your phone’s battery life, cell reception, and time, to the bottom-right corner of the screen. Meanwhile, a home screen button on the left side appears to open retractable widgets when long-pressed. The new UI, similar to CarPlay, may allow you to view the map alongside other cards rather than having to choose just one app that takes over the primary control area, displaying either the map or a music app but not both.
In addition, AndroidWorld mentions a potential feature that allows you to dismiss an incoming call and react with a text message with a single button push. It’s still unclear whether the message will be pre-programmed or dictated using Google Assistant.
The improved interface may also allow you to cast your phone’s screen to your car’s screen, but there are still some unanswered issues about what role it will serve. Although it’s certainly not a good idea to reflect videos through Android Auto while driving, as the Reddit user points out, the casting feature doesn’t seem to work with copyrighted material from services like Netflix.
The cool walk was previously leaked in September of last year, but this new leak displays more radical alterations than the last one. It also demonstrates an emphasis on avoiding distractions, similar to last year’s upgrade that allowed users to choose the first apps they view when connecting their phones. There’s no news on when the revamp will be implemented.