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Android Auto is a bit behind the game when compared to Apple CarPlay which is about to become a thing of the past thanks to the stable release of Android Auto 7.3. Although it’s still technically in the beta program, a stable release is normally the last update before a release candidate goes to developers before releasing a public build of Android Auto 7.3.
Reddit users are already talking about the improved performance of the user interface, although it’s not yet made the switch to the long-awaited Coolwalk user interface. Google is yet to release a full set of patch notes for Android 7.3 stable, but it looks like general performance tweaks have been made before the drop of their new look.
Android Auto 7.3 features
Previous changelogs for past beta updates include Improved Do Not Disturb functionality and dark mode on car UI now becoming independent of the phone. Although the magnifying glass is primarily over the outdated Android Auto UI.
Much like CarPlay, Coolwalk UI will feature tiles for maps, phone calls, messages, etc to make all content available on-screen for drivers. With the added bonus of Google Assistant, Coolwalk UI should be the icing on the cake for fast driving assistance.
The split-screen feature of Coolwalk is enabling the tiled look, which puts navigation and audio control at a driver’s fingertips without compromising safety. Splitting up the small screen estate in this way allows for the best use of it, with icons such as the app draw and notifications being moved to a universal taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
How to get Android Auto 7.3 stable release
If users have the Android Auto app installed, this should automatically update via Google Play Store for public releases. But the process is a little different for beta access, so let’s go through it:
Sign up for Android Auto Beta
The first port of call is signing up for Android Autos beta testing program, click here to get the ball rolling. There may be a chance that the beta testing group may be full, but it’s worth it to keep checking back.
Most importantly, users need to pick ‘Become a tester’ to gain access to the Android Auto 7.3 stable version. The Android Auto Beta app should now be available to download from the Play store.
A bit of advice
It’s worth noting that in normal circumstances, Android Auto betas can be quite unstable and shouldn’t be depended upon by any driver. However, this stable release should be fine. According to Google Support, there are other beta groups available for sign up for incorporated Google apps as seen below:
How to download unreleased apps
To check for unreleased apps, open the Play Store and go to the ‘For You’ tab. Under ‘Apps in development’ tap which app you would like to try out. Then finally tap install and follow the on-screen instructions, although the same rules apply about the stability of apps in a public beta.
How to download beta versions of apps
To check for beta versions of apps, again open the Play Store with the public release of the app installed on your Android device. Tap the top-right profile icon and go ‘Manage apps & device’, then hit ‘Installed’. Next, tap an app and open its detail page and look out for the ‘join the beta’ option. To leave a beta, follow the same instructions but select ‘Leave’ under the ‘You’re a beta tester’ header.
Beta testing is around because developers need to test their software before it goes live to the public. Any bugs or issues beta testers come into contact with need reporting so they can be fixed.
On the Google Play store, go to the profile icon on the top-right and tap Manage apps & devices > Beta. Find the app that needs feedback sending and tap it to bring up its details page. Under ‘Private feedback to developer’ tap ‘Write feedback’. Users will need to star rate the app before giving feedback.
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