Android Auto has evolved beautifully in recent years, with Google adding everything from dark mode to a dynamic persistent navigation bar at the bottom of the user interface. One area the platform has been missing, however, is in the wallpaper department. Fortunately, that is changing today.
After seeing evidence that Google was in the process of introducing wallpapers in Android Auto, several users on Reddit now claim that the feature is rolling out. Wallpapers appear to roll out via a server-side update, although many users have Android Auto v6.0 + installed. Unfortunately, the updated customization options do not allow users to select an image from the camera roll. Google may allow users to add their own wallpapers to a future update.
Image: Reddit user knraki1989
Many of the wallpapers are dark and moody, with some with landscapes and other detailed images of leather interiors. They convey a nice abstract aesthetic that fits well with Android Auto’s design. To change the wallpaper, go to the Settings app on the Android Auto Home screen, then scroll down until you see the “Select Wallpaper” option. Apple’s CarPlay introduced earlier wallpapers, so it’s no surprise to see Google follow suit.
Photo: Reddit user Haroldbt
Google is also introducing a new feature to Android Auto that allows users to add a shortcut to start a Google Assistant question. This includes quickly calling a contact or triggering an assistant action, such as opening the garage or navigating home. It provides some convenience and makes Android Auto feel more like an extension of your smartphone, rather than a separate system altogether.
Google has not published a blog post or tweeted about the new Android Auto features, so their arrival seems to be low key. Our advice would be to update to the latest version of the app and just check if the new wallpapers are available. If you do not see the update right away, it will probably be available soon.
Selected image via Reddit user Ric_M