Android Auto 10 Beta Update is Now Available for Download
In the first week of July, Google released Android Auto 9.9 to the public. In typical Google fashion, Android Auto 9.9 had no official changelog. However, users found new features that weren’t just stability updates. The previous Android Auto 9.8 version brought nothing new but contained some bug fixes and refinements.
A while ago, at Google I/O 2021, Google announced Coolwalk for Android Auto. It was a complete UI redesign, and it looks more modern and similar to Apple’s popular CarPlay. You could run multiple apps simultaneously with the split screen feature; a better media player card, Google Maps display more information, and a dock at the bottom to enhance multitasking. It also has Google’s signature Material You theme.
There were several delays since Google didn’t want to rush in with lousy optimization. After several months in Beta, a gradual rollout began for Coolwalk in January 2023. In July 2023, most users already got the new Coolwalk UI. The rollout is, however, gradual and depends on your region. Google control with a switch on the server side.
Despite months of beta tests, it wasn’t a stable rollout. Even with Android Auto 9.8 and 9.9, there were many bugs and inconsistencies, like touch response, where the entire interface froze. There were also reports of people not being able to switch between apps. Since it wasn’t a reliable experience, Google has focused on stability and refinements for several previous Android Auto versions with a laid-back approach.
That was until early July Android Auto 9.9 brought some new features to the app. Two notable additions are EV charging port configuration and better route optimization for EVs. Google controls these two with a server-side switch. Google reportedly wants to display your EVs battery percentage on the dashboard but lacks admin access. It might arrive with future updates, though it’s hard to visualize how they’ll pull this off.
While the 9.9 version did include some features, it felt like a bridge to Android Auto 10, which does bring several new features. It isn’t just a stability update. A fundamental change is the ability to simultaneously use Google Maps on your phone and your car’s dashboard. Some people find their smartphone screen more convenient for navigation, which is a welcome addition.
Google also completely removed the rotary and touchpad system limitations to use the new Coolwalk UI fully. Apps like Waze, WhatsApp, and Google Messages can now use the new Coolwalk UI. There’s also a new progress bar for music and podcasts, and you can skip a song or episode with some controls.
In addition to this, you can make Whatsapp calls with Android Auto on some select Samsung and Pixel phones. You can also share a digital car key with people you trust, which works between Pixel and iPhone. In the Taskbar widget, there’s a redesign to the pause icon for music.
You can also change the split screen layout on Android Auto 10. You can choose if your media is closer to the driver or the navigation info is closer to the driver. There are also some dark mode improvements.
If you want to try Android Auto 10 beta right now, you can either sign up for the official program on the Google Play Store or grab an APK from a reliable site. Note that we don’t endorse using beta software for mainstream purposes, and it’s only for developers and testers.