TO BE FILED UNDER WHY FIX IT IF IT’S NOT BROKEN:
In a recent cursory perusal of the day’s automotive world’s technical news feeds, the intrepid editorial staff at Roadblazing.com, each of whom belong to the 78% of the world’s Android smart phone legions,came across a noteworthy development in the Android Auto (AA) mobile overlay application for compatible vehicles. Though, unlike virtually every bit of iPhone news flashed on the evening network news, Google hasn’t actively notified Android Auto users of the development or gone to the broadcast media.
Under Google Play Store’s AA app advertisement “What’s New” a September 5, 2019 developer’s note reads “
“The new Android Auto will begin rolling out…” blah, blah, blah.
Fear not new AA users who have not previously installed Android Auto as this is the updated 2nd iteration, version 4.6.593334 of the application [compatible with Android Marshmallow and on].
But for those who have already installed Android Auto version 3.6.xxxxxx in their wireless devices this is the way to avail of the new AA app skin for the vehicle:
- Open the installed version of Android Auto ver. 3.6.xxxxxx application on the wireless smart phone.
- Select application “Settings” from the tri horizontal menu bar located on the upper left screen.
- In “Settings” there is a slider switch to activate each available option
- The first “Settings” option reads: “Try the new Android Auto. For car screen only. Update now of wait for the automatic update coming soon.”
- Activate the “new Android Auto” (ver. 4.6.593334) by sliding the selector to the right, so that it illuminates blue.
- Plug the Android device into the vehicle’s primary USB
- Follow the phone screen instructions for initiating Android Auto.
- Select Android Auto on the vehicle applications menu.
- If so desired, the “new Android Auto (ver. 4.6.593334) can be deactivated with ver. 3.6.xxxx restored, provided ver. 3.6.xxxx was originally installed.
Roadblazing.com’s Android mobile device readers can make a before / after comparison with the images supplied below and chime in with their opinion on the new AA version 4.6.593334.
Take note of the new Android Auto’s implementation of an Apple Car cribbing Home Screen, displaying each action category as a separate icon.
Be aware that the Android Auto version 4.6.xxxxxx does not alter the appearance or function of AA on the actual Android handset.
The full roll-out of Android Auto version 4.6.593334 is imminent. Roadblazing.com‘s take on the new Android Automobile infotainment overlay = as with any tech update, “It’s a matter of getting accustomed to it.”
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Android Auto 4.6.5xxxxx Pros:
+1 Home screen (swipe to 2nd page) lists all applications for direct selection.
+2 Music application displays w/ controls at bottom of Google Maps application screen, reduces need to jump switch mode screens. Previously new music track appeared at top of screen for a few seconds. LEFT to RIGHT image below: Android Auto 4.6.5xxxxx to 3.6.xxxxxx
+3 Google Maps current road and upcoming turn appears at bottom of Music application screen. Previously turn directions appeared at screen top on approach. LEFT to RIGHT image below: Android Auto 4.6.5xxxxx to 3.6.xxxxxx
+4 Bell icon at bottom of all screens for SMS / Google Hangout chat un-read messages
+5 Resembles Apple CarPlay home screen for those who truly want to be like iOS.
Android Auto 4.6.5xxxxx Cons:
-1 Soothing deep blue home screen is no longer. Android Auto 3.6.xxxxx image below
-2 Handset Android Auto screen remains unchanged.
Android Auto 4.6.593334 installs and runs on Android Lollipop (5.0) OS or newer smart wireless handsets and is compatible with select vehicles from many manufacturers offered beginning in MY 2015.
Android Auto 4.6.593334
$0.00 = Free of charge to Android Lollipop (5.0) or newer smart wireless handset users, available for download in Google Play Store
ROADBLAZING.COM SAYS: Thee new Android Auto brings a new look and some useful features to in-car infotainment. As with any software revision, “It’s a matter of getting accustomed to it.”
(Contributing Editor: George Straton)
****The editors supplied their own wireless handset devices and conducted their own downloads to evaluate the software for this review. Vehicles were provided by various manufacturers for evaluation. Roadblazing.com makes no warranty representations other than those by the manufacturers.****