Android Auto 8.0 is here, but it’s missing what we’ve all been waiting for

Car infotainment system still hasn’t received its major overhaul

Android Auto
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has rolled out a new version of its Android Auto car infotainment system. But frustratingly, a major visual overhaul due before the end of the summer isn’t a part of it.

Codenamed Coolwalk, Google first spoke about the update at its annual I/O developer conference in May, and said at the time it would roll out to users before the end of the summer. But, as the record-breaking temperatures finally subside and we head into the second half of August, Coolwalk is still nowhere to be seen.

As shown by Google earlier in the year, the Coolwalk update will transform the look of Android Auto. The system’s home screen will be given a split-screen aesthetic, with access to several apps at once. That way, you can see your music and navigation apps at the same time. How the system will look depends on the size and shape of the car dashboard display Android Auto is running on.

It was hoped that Coolwalk would arrive with Android Auto 8.0, but that hasn’t happened. As AutoEvolution reports, the update began rolling out over the weekend of 14/15 August, but the Coolwalk overhaul is not included.

It could be switched on server-side by Google at any time, so there’s still hope that the update will arrive before the end of the summer, as the company promised. But for now it’s starting to look like the interface revamp has been delayed.

When it does finally arrive, Android Auto will have an interface more similar to that of Apple’s iPhone-powered CarPlay, which is receiving a major update of its own over the coming months. To eventually appear on every display of a car’s interior, the next generation of CarPlay is due to arrive in vehicles in late-2023.

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.