Google continues the work on Android Auto, and this week, the company shipped a new stable build of the application.
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
In other words, Android Auto 9.8 needed just seven days to go from beta to stable, so this could be a sign that Google didn’t discover any major bugs in the update. As such, the new version should work flawlessly, though we all know this is more of a gamble in the Android Auto world.
Unfortunately, the Mountain View-based search company decided to stick with its super-annoying approach and ship a stable update without a changelog. As a result, I have no clue if this update comes with any big changes, and we should all find out more about the improvements it hides as more users receive it.
As far I can tell, there are no new features or settings in this update, so presumably, Google’s focus has been on under-the-hood polishing exclusively. This makes perfect sense, especially as the company has been hard at work on improving the experience with Coolwalk.
As one of the biggest Android Auto updates ever, Coolwalk ended up shipping to users with a six-month delay. The redesign was originally scheduled to start rolling out in the summer of 2022, but Google eventually pushed it to users in January this year. The search company has been using a phased rollout for Coolwalk, enabling the new interface in waves in order to monitor the overall reliability and stability.
Things haven’t been smooth during the Coolwalk rollout, with users encountering several major bugs. One of them causes at least half of the interface to freeze, with the taskbar becoming unresponsive. Users were therefore blocked from toggling between apps and interacting with half of the interface.
Due to all these bugs, the most recent Android Auto bugs have been primarily aimed at optimizing the performance and improving the app’s stability, so they don’t bring anything exciting.
Android Auto 9.8 rolls out through the Google Play Store using the same phased model. Users receive it in stages, so while some get it today, others would have to wait up to several weeks to receive the new version. Fortunately, anyone with an Android device can download it today using the stand-alone
. The method involves saving the APK file to the local storage and then starting the update manually. Because the update is not conducted through the Google Play Store, users must grant special permissions to the process (a dedicated prompt will appear during the update), as Android is configured by default to only allow apps from the app store.