Android Auto redesign leaks with more than a nod to Apple CarPlay
Last year, XDA Developers discovered a new Android Auto UI within the app's APK. Codenamed 'Coolwalk', the refresh seemed focused on maximising the amount of time people had the navigation screen in front of them when driving. While Google has not announced a new version of Android Auto yet, new screenshots have appeared online, courtesy of u/RegionRat91 on Reddit and AndroidWorld.
Unfortunately for Google, 'Coolwalk' also resembles Apple CarPlay's current layout. However, Google continues to place the taskbar on the bottom of Android Auto's UI rather than its left or right-hand sides. As a result, Android Auto apps cannot be used in full-screen mode, particularly unhelpful in cars with large display bezels, such as the VW shown by u/RegionRat91.
Additionally, Google is testing a Cast app, currently called 'Cast (Beta)'. As the photo below shows, the Cast app allows you to mirror your smartphone's display on your car's entertainment system. It is unclear why Google would bring this functionality to Android Auto, considering that Google markets the software as 'made to help you focus on the road'. Incidentally, u/RegionRat91 notes that the Cast app will not run DRM-protected material, such as Netflix, either.