Android Auto 8.0 has arrived, but something big is missing…

Codenamed Coolwalk, a major interface upgrade is due before the end of the summer

Android Auto 8.0
(Image credit: Google)

A big new update to Google’s Android Auto car infotainment system is now rolling out to all users. But it’s still missing the one thing we’re all waiting for.

Shown off back in May, at the company’s I/O developer conference, Google is working on a major visual upgrade to Android Auto. Codenamed Coolwalk, Google said the update would arrive with users in the summer.

But, as the weather turns and the nights start to draw in, Coolwalk is still nowhere to be seen. This is despite Google making the new Android Auto 8.0 available to everyone this week, and with time running out for the search giant to make good on its promise.

When it does finally arrive, the Coolwalk update will bring a substantial upgrade to the Android Auto interface. The biggest change will see the introduction of a multi-window layout, with information from two or even three applications visible at once. For example, a driver can see their navigation instructions, music, and an ongoing phone call at the same time.

Android Auto users might have to wait until the next update before seeing the new interface. Or, Google might opt to enable Coolkwalk with a server-side switch; in other words, the look of Android Auto could be changed without sending out a software update to every phone first.

As for Android Auto 8.0 in its current state, there is little to differentiate it from the previous iteration. It is rolling out gradually now and should appear on your phone in the coming days. Or, you can manually download and install it to speed up the process.

Perhaps Google is waiting until a good proportion of Android phones have been upgraded to Android Auto 8.0 before flicking the switch and enabling Coolkwalk.

Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.