Google has launched a public beta for the new Android Auto in-car infotainment platform previewed earlier this year.
The new split-screen interface – codenamed CoolWalk – was originally previewed at Google I/O 2022 back in May, with Google initially promising a full rollout during the summer.
Google has obviously used those months to incorporate feedback from users and is now ready to showcase an improved interface that now appears to rival Apple’s CarPlay – at least from an aesthetic perspective.
The company is today promising an “improved split-screen dashboard experience for all vehicles” as well as a taskbar that enables easy switching between apps or maximising the app for a full screen experience. Google is also promising a “modernised media player card with recommendations” and a consolidated status area showing notifications, time, cellular signal, and battery life.
The media card is now much more attractive, with album art incorporated, while there’s also dynamic resizing of the cards for differing aspect ratios, while you’ll also have faster access to the Google Assistant button. The map is also on the driver’s side of the display (at least in the US!), which is where it should have been in the first place.
You can see the differences between the two interfaces in the before and after images below.
Anyone can sign up to Google Play’s Beta program to be eligible to try the Android Auto revamp by downloading the app from Google Play. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before the new Android Auto rolls out as standard for all users with compatible cars or after-market units.
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