Update: ‘Cool Walk’ update coming soon, Volvo and Pollster to get high-definition Google Maps
At (very, very) long overdue, Google’s latest Android Auto interface – known internally as ‘Coolwalk’, perhaps because it’s coming at us at a walking pace – is finally on its way. .
Due for a proper unveiling at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the new-look Android Auto brings the phone-mirroring platform much closer to Apple’s popular CarPlay system.
As the video below shows, the new-look interface splits the view into two tiles, more or less dividing it into thirds. The main view shows maps in large tiles, with media in narrow tiles. Flip to the Media app, however, and it will occupy the larger tile while the maps are resized to a narrower tile.
A launcher and status bar are also visible, showing icons for the four most recent and most used apps along with a Google Assistant button, app drawer button – and basic details like signal, phone battery and time.
Depending on the size and aspect ratio of the car’s display, the tiles will either swipe left-right or top-down, while the launcher will either appear on the side (either left or right depending on your preference settings), or With the bottom.
As notifications come in, they slide down from the top right to form a third panel to be tapped or dismissed as needed.
In some cases, this interface simply builds on the existing Android Auto, which – over the last year or two – gained the ability to split into two panes on wider displays, although the appearance and animations are simpler than those shown here. are
When will the new Android Auto be available?
Good question, Square. Great Google says it’s “for everyone”, “starting today”. Well, I could tell you that I got in my car to go to work this morning and I wasn’t greeted by a new interface or a pending update to the Google Play Store – but I confess. That I am not known for my patience.
Still, after more than a year of waiting for this update, it’s refreshing to know it won’t be too far away.
Volvo and Polestar to get high-definition Google Maps before it hits others
Google has confirmed that it will provide new high-definition maps to Volvo and its offshoot Slash Gly stablemate Polster, both of which were early partners for Google’s fully integrated Android automotive operating system – now called . Google built-in.
The new maps will provide a higher level of granular detail. Not previously presented, right down to lane markings, road signs and traffic barriers – all coded and recognized by the system so that The load on the vehicle camera, sensors and cameras is reduced. With on-the-fly object detection and identification.
The improved system is considered a step forward in more accurate safety systems and, ultimately, safer driving — especially as we move slowly (slower than many expect) toward the launch of fully autonomous vehicles. .
“Building on our long history of mapping the world, Google’s new HD map is designed specifically for automakers and provides comprehensive lane-level and localization data for the next generation of assisted and autonomous driving systems. important for powering the race,” said VP Jørgen Behrens. and General Manager of Jio Automotive, Google in a statement.
“We’re excited to continue partnering with leading automakers like Volvo to improve the safety and comfort of drivers everywhere.”
The first models to get the new detailed mapping will be the Volvo EX90 and Polestar 3 SUVs, which are set to launch in the coming year. As with current models in each brand’s lineup, both are already in use.
Android Automotive Google built-in.
October 2022: Google ends ‘Driving Mode’ Dash
Google has confirmed that it will scrap its new Driving Mode, which was designed as a standalone component of Google Assistant on Android phones, in favor of a driver-friendly interface with large buttons and its own app-like view. can be opened as
Driving mode revealed in 2019 and Its final launch is in late 2021. After the eventual demise of Android Auto for phone displays – that took place as a slow sunset process over the course of a few years.
Google hasn’t offered an official statement about the reasoning behind its decision to ditch Driving Mode, though it likely came in response to data that shows — and we’re speculating here — that Most users tended to access it. others Driving mode interface, built directly into Google Maps.
Note: The picture above the story is from MobileSyrup.com
The main difference between the two versions of Driving Mode is that the standalone form can be saved to your phone’s home screen with its own app-like icon, and simply called “Hey Google, start Driving Mode.” Can also be called
The integrated version of Google Maps, which starts automatically when the app is connected to the car, or when navigation starts, will continue to play.
That’s probably tough news for owners of older vehicles not equipped with Android Auto — the original Android Auto was already a capable and useful app, especially for phone screens — but at least the Maps-based version remains untouched. Is.
Now, where is that CarPlay-like redesign for Android Auto on the car display..?
The story here
August 25: Android 8.0 rolls out, the redesign is nowhere to be seen
A version 8.0 update for Android Auto is rolling out this week.but hopeful users will notice that there’s still no sign of the system’s previously revealed redesign.
Like last year when it was first unveiled in May in a preview, the CarPlay-like feature is expected to start arriving on phones by mid-2022.
For now, Google has not commented on the delay, although missing timelines and poor communication with users is nothing new for the tech giant.
It’s possible the update could come as a server-side change at any moment, or we could see Google officially announce and launch the redesign in October when it unveils the new Pixel 7 series of phones. will
Watch this space, and scroll down to see our previous updates on the redesigned Android Auto.
May 2022: Redesign revealed
- After launching in 2014, the first major UX update since 2019
- A three-pane display like CarPlay
- Due by phone in the northern summer (July/August possible).
May, 2022: Google’s Android Auto The phone mirroring platform is set for its first major design change since 2019, when it dropped the ‘at a glance’ home screen that previously centered the interface.
For this latest update, don’t get confused with Android Auto – Android. Automotivethe more integrated platform that underpins the infotainment in models like the Polestar 2 — takes a cue from Apple by debuting a new split-screen design.
As with Apple’s CarPlay system, the new-look Android Auto will feature a display split into three sections – shown in this article with blocks dedicated to navigation, media and communication.
The interface is also scalable, with blocks taking up different positions on the screen depending on whether your vehicle’s main display is oriented in portrait or landscape orientation.
On tall screens, the media and communication blocks will appear below the main Maps module, while wider displays will see these smaller modules stacked to the left.
It’s unclear whether the Australian right-hand drive market will have the option to move the media and comms modules to the right, although the settings view in Android Auto currently allows users to tell the difference, with media player and app drawer icons. moving it from right to left.
Above: Android Auto in its current form, launched in 2019.
Google says the third module, described here so far as the media block, will switch to other functions depending on the situation. Sometimes it will just display the time and date, other times it will display navigation details to complement the map view.
In its communication form, users will also have the option to reply to messages by tapping a predictive response such as “OK” or “On my way” – as Android users are already familiar with on their phones. shall be.
The new interface will start rolling out to phones in the next couple of months. Customers won’t need to upgrade software in vehicles – it’s all done over the phone.
Above: Android Auto in its original 2014 form