More images of Android Auto’s next major redesign have been leaked, and it looks like Google has been taking some notes from Apple CarPlay (via XDA Developers). As seen in images from AndroidWorld and Reddit user u/RegionRat91, the redesign, codenamed “Coolwalk,” could come with several practical changes.
For one, the redesign eliminates the status bar, which contains your phone’s battery life, cell reception, and time and instead places it in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Meanwhile, on the left side is a home screen button that appears to open up retractable widgets when long-pressed. Similar to CarPlay, the new UI may let you view the map alongside other cards instead of having to choose just one app that takes over the primary control area, showing either the map or a music app, but not both.
AndroidWorld also highlights a possible feature that lets you dismiss an incoming call and respond with a text message in one button press. It’s still not clear whether the message will be preset or if you’ll be able to dictate it using Google Assistant.
The updated interface could give you the ability to cast your phone to your car’s screen as well, but there are still some questions as to what purpose it’ll serve. As the Reddit user notes, the casting feature doesn’t seem to work with copyrighted material from services like Netflix, although it obviously isn’t a good idea to mirror videos through Android Auto while driving.
Leaked images of Coolwalk first surfaced last September, but this latest leak shows more dramatic changes from the last. It also shows a focus on preventing distractions, much like last year’s update that started letting users pick the first apps they see when linking up their phones. There’s still no word on when the redesign will roll out.