The long-awaited “Coolwalk” update has been talked about a bunch over the past year, and we’ve even seen its new interface quite a bit (it’s been out in beta). During The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year, Google finally announced it in a blog post and detailed its many exciting additions. The new user interface is rolling out to everyone today, and its focus is to make driving safer, easier to use, and more personal than it has been in the past.
Maps is now closer to the driver’s seat so that you can see where you’re going at a glance. The new media card includes the best of Material You to feature your favorite album art, and the added quick launcher lets you quickly access recently-used apps.
Most notably, the UI features a new split screen that auto-adjusts to the hardware size of the head unit in the vehicle. This also means fluidly scaling between portrait and landscape modes.
That’s not all though – Android Auto is also getting a few new features. Google Assistant will start giving you smart suggestions for missed calls, reminders, and more. One-touch access to quickly sharing when you will arrive with a loved one, access to your music or podcasts, on-screen shortcuts for rapidly replying to messages that come in, and so on.
My favorite announcements are the ability to instantly skip forward or backward on songs or podcast episodes. Lastly, Pixel and Samsung users will be able to make calls on WhatsApp from within the car. Let me know in the comments if you’ve gotten the update already or if you’re still waiting!