The Android Auto Update Google forgot promised

Nearly three years ago, Google said on an Android Auto support page that its app would get full support for touchpad input.

At the time, the company acknowledged that not all apps supported auto touchpads, and promised to improve Android Auto in this regard.

Touchpads are not necessarily very common in the automotive industry. They are used by only a handful of car manufacturers, such as Acura and Mercedes. Despite the low adoption, Google wanted to refine this input method.

Users who want to interact with Android Auto can do so with voice commands or directly through touch input. The most common method is touch, especially since most Android Auto head units support it.

The recommended option, on the other hand, is voice command integration. This way drivers don’t have to look at the screen and the hands-free experience reduces distractions behind the wheel.

The touchpad input can be used especially in cars where touch support is not available. It makes particular sense when the vehicle is parked, especially since drivers have to keep an eye on the screen to scroll through Android Auto.

Nearly three years after Google confirmed touchpad support for all apps, the feature is still nowhere to be seen. The announcement is still on Android Auto’s support page, and Google hasn’t shared any other information about the progress it’s made possible with this update.

Meanwhile, all of Google’s efforts are focused on Coolwalk. Coolwalk, announced in January, allows users to run more than one app on screen at the same time. Previously, this functionality was exclusive to widescreen displays.

Coolwalk uses a layout similar to the CarPlay dashboard and apps run on dedicated cards. Google is presumably focused on ensuring good app support in Coolwalk right now, so other improvements may not be a priority in the short term.

The roll-out of Coolwalk is happening in phases. The redesign isn’t part of any specific app update, as Google wants to make sure everything works as expected. The server-driven release gives the company more time to analyze device reliability data. If a major bug is discovered, it may suspend the rollout for specific hardware until a fix is ​​developed.

The search giant hasn’t shared an ETA on when it plans to bring Coolwalk to all users, but it is expected to do so sometime this year. Right now, the quickest way to get Coolwalk seems to be to enroll in the Android Auto beta program, where testers have already been given access to the new UI.

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