A completely new visual design for Android Auto has been discovered by AndroidWorld during one of its APK teardowns of the app. Codenamed “Coolwalk”, the UI refresh is a big leap for the in-dash operating system, but as of right now, there’s no telling when it’s coming to users. In fact, the folks at AndroidWorld had to alter the Google Play Services database to activate the new elements and reveal the work-in-progress for themselves.
Let’s take a look at what’s changed so that we can at least get excited for what’s to come while we await a release date for the update, shall we? First, the status bar at the top has been removed, and all of the icons that used to occupy it are now at the bottom-right of the screen. Additionally, the bottom navigation bar has increased in height (much to several people’s disappointment).
The home button has now been swapped out for an app drawer logo, and a new notifications icon appears next to it on the left instead of at the far right where it used to sit. In place of the old notification bell on the right is a new Assistant microphone for easy access to manually toggling voice commands in your vehicle.
Currently, any time you have music playing or a call active, they appear on the bottom bar, but with “Coolwalk”, you’ll get familiar music or call cards that Google’s been using lately across Chrome and Chrome OS via the global media control panel. In fact, anyone familiar with Chrome OS and Android 12 will realize that this update will bring virtually everything closer to the design of these other two operating systems, potentially in anticipation of the future merger of all of Google’s operating systems.
One thing I want to note here is that the media or call controls do appear at the bottom of the screen in several of the images, so it may be possible to decide where it’s docked going forward.
At this stage of development, there are still many bugs and glitches in the new “Coolwalk” update, so I don’t anticipate it will come out immediately or even any time soon, but who knows. Regardless, I love the new design, and I’m excited for it.
There’s also a mysterious new Cast app in AndroidWorld’s build called “MirroringApp”. It could be a new tool to allow Android Auto users to cast their phone screens directly to their head units, but at this time, it crashes upon launch, so we’ll have to wait to get more information about that ass well as it gets closer to release.