Android Auto update arrives, but one key feature is still missing

Another new version has landed, but Google still hasn’t rolled out the Coolwalk overhaul

Android Auto 8.0
(Image credit: Google)

In what will by now feel like a stuck record for Google fans, a new version of Android Auto has just arrived, but the major overhaul promised this summer is still missing.

The latest update to Google’s smartphone-powered car infotainment system is a very small one – so small, in fact, that the company hasn’t published a change log explaining what’s new. It is called version 8.1.6264, comes after version 8.1.6261 and is likely little more than a patch to fix a couple of small bugs discovered in the previous build.

The tiny change in number shows what a small update this is, and that will no doubt come as a disappointment to Android users patiently waiting for Google’s major Android Auto update to arrive.

Announced back in May and codenamed Coolwalk, the update will see a complete overhaul of the Android Auto user interface, ushering in a new home screen with navigation, music and incoming messages displayed all at once, not dissimilar to Apple CarPlay.

Google said at the time how the update would arrive before the end of the summer. But with us now firing up the heating and reaching for our knitwear in late-September, the Coolwalk upgrade is still nowhere to be seen.

Technically, summer in the northern hemisphere ends on 23 September. So if Google is to meet its own deadline, Android Auto needs to receive the update this week. This might arrive as a downloadable software update, but could also be initiated by a server-side change from Google, which would enable the new interface with the flick of a switch.

We think a downloadable update to a new build number, such as 8.2, is most likely, and we’re still holding onto hope that it’ll arrive before summer officially comes to an end later this week.

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.