Android Auto 8.9 is Now Available with Refined Coolwalk UI
Android Auto’s last major redesign was in 2019. In the Google I/O event in May 2021, the Android Auto app got another UI/ UX design change, adding many functions to the app.
With the app, you can connect your phone to your car’s monitor and turn it into a hub of entertainment without interrupting your driving. You can listen to music, control the volume, and perform various other functions with Google Assistant.
You can use compatible applications on the go without needing to touch your smartphone, and it all happens wirelessly. Navigation is a crucial feature, and Android Auto expands your phone’s tiny Google Maps app onto a much larger screen.
Unfortunately, many Android Auto users have recently been facing GPS and navigation bugs, which we hope will be solved with the new Android Auto 8.9 update.
Earlier this week, we saw Android Auto 8.9 roll out to all app beta testers. Now, the app is available for everyone to test out.
It’s not an official Play Store build, and you’ll have to install an APK from a reliable third-party site, but Android Auto 8.9 brings many refinements and improvements to CoolWalk UI.
With Coolwalk, you can run multiple apps simultaneously on your car’s display. Google Maps has some benefits, too, making it more informative. There are redesigns to the media card; there’s a new dock to switch between recent apps.
Google Assistant is better too, and CoolWalk UI adds Google’s popular Material You theme to the app. The entire app looks much more modern and resembles Apple CarPlay.
Coolwalk isn’t going to launch overnight, and Google is doing it phase-wise. People began getting the new design in January 2023, and it’ll eventually roll out to everyone soon.
It makes sense to give the build to developers and early adopters first. Google has the time to identify major bugs. With user data and feedback, they can fix most of the problems. The new design is going to be reliable when it reaches everyone.
Coolwalk isn’t exactly something that rolls out with a change in version number. The control is with Google, and it’ll only reach your device if Google enables it with a server-side switch.
With Android Auto 8.9, Google plans to enhance the experience after collecting user data feedback. The transition from music playing to the navigation bar had some speed and smoothness issues with earlier builds.
Also, animations aren’t enabled by default on Coolwalk UI and are hidden behind flags. With this update, Google made animations much smoother.
Motion effects and transitions aren’t in their final state yet, and they see some improvements too. Google will enable changes when it feels ready and refined enough for everyone.
It’s worth noting that not all features that are in the beta versions make it to the final builds. You shouldn’t expect new animations and transitions to go live on all the 8.9 versions. The stable Android Auto 8.9 should hit all devices within a couple of weeks.