Google has started the public rollout of a new Android Auto version, but as per the company’s typical approach, no changelog is available. Android Auto 9.0 is now available for download, with the rollout through the Google Play Store taking place in stages. This is bad news for most users, as not everybody is getting the update today. Google first wants to collect update reliability data and then accelerate the rollout to bring the new version to more devices.
How to Get Android Auto 9.0
The APK installer allows users to download the update without waiting. Sideloading an app is pretty straightforward, as it involves downloading the APK installer for version 9.0 and then manually launching the update.
What’s New in Android Auto 9.0?
It doesn’t look like Android Auto 9.0 comes with any breaking changes. Most likely, the focus has been specifically on fixing bugs and improving performance, so Android Auto 9.0 should provide a more stable experience overall.
Coolwalk Interface Redesign
This makes perfect sense. January witnessed the debut of Coolwalk, so Google is now working on refining this interface redesign. Coolwalk allows users to run multiple apps side-by-side in their own cards regardless of display size.
The rollout of Coolwalk kicked off last month, but it isn’t included in a specific Android Auto update. New versions, such as the newly released 9.0, do not enable Coolwalk. Google uses a server-controlled process to bring the redesign to Android phones.
The search company did not provide a target date for the general availability, but all Android Auto users should be upgraded to Coolwalk by the end of the year. No workaround is known to exist to enable the new interface manually, as it’s entirely based on the phased rollout process.
Beta Program and Bug Fixes
Android Auto 9.0 entered the beta program earlier this month, but it did not produce any noticeable improvement for Coolwalk users. It’s still likely to address other under-the-hood bugs, some of which could be related to the new app design.
Sideloading to Deal with Play Store Rollout Shortcomings
Sideloading helps deal with the shortcoming of the phased Play Store rollout. By default, Android is configured to use the Play Store for downloading new apps. Users can manually install applications, a process known as sideloading, by granting special permissions to files downloaded from third-party sources.
After downloading the Android Auto 9.0 APK installer, the next step is launching the update. To do this, head over to the location where you saved the file and tap it. The installation of APK files works like a regular .exe or .msi file on a Windows computer. The operating system should begin the installation and prompt you to provide the required permissions for the process. The update shouldn’t take more than a few seconds, and removing the existing version of Android Auto isn’t required, as all files are automatically overwritten.
With the new update, Android Auto users can expect a more stable experience. However, the Coolwalk interface redesign is still being refined and will not be included in this update. Users can manually update their devices by sideloading the APK installer for version 9.0.