Android Auto beta update introduces two crucial new features

The latest Android Auto beta build makes using the app easier

Android Auto on dash screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Android Auto has always come up short when trying to operate through any kind of lock screen on your phone. Put simply: it can’t work at all, and that’s why news of two fresh new beta updates that look to break this limitation is such good news for Android Auto users.

The latest beta build will introduce new settings that allow users to take control of how Android Auto starts in their cars after plugging in one of the best Android phones.

Right now, users must always unlock their screen to enable Android Auto to display its interface on the best Android Auto head unit setups. Otherwise, connecting a phone without an unlocked screen initiates Android Auto, it then detects the car, but remains displayed on the phone’s display only.

That's all set to change as Google looks to introduce an option that lets frustrated users start Android Auto and use it when the phone is locked. Google says that the new feature will permit “access to your phone features on the in-car screen while it's locked.”

Android Auto locked screen functionality

(Image credit: Auto Evolution)

Second, the folks over at Auto Evolution note that Google is also introducing the ability to fire up Android Auto immediately when it’s plugged in inside of your vehicle. The running of the in-car service will therefore be automated inside of your car, with the setting making it possible to auto-boot Android Auto or, if you prefer, to use it in manual mode. 

While the former saves time and effort, the latter requires Android Auto users to run the app themselves after connecting their phones to the head unit. Reddit user Peter_73 says that the two new features arrived for them in the latest beta build, (beta version 7.0.113904), which also happens to be the first Android Auto 7.0 build to arrive on the scene.

Google is constantly refreshing Android Auto with user-improving tweaks, with the service now recently optimized for right-hand drive vehicles and with known user bugs being constantly addressed by the search giant. Hopefully, these latest features will arrive in a stable build very soon, so users can reap the benefits of more seamless integration and interaction between Android Auto and their vehicles. 

Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.