Back at Google I/O 2019, it was revealed that Android Auto would be getting a huge overhaul to its design. In the latest update for the Android Auto companion app, Google is setting the foundation for that “Boardwalk” redesign ahead of its release later this Summer.
The best gifts for Android users
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Setting the foundation for ‘Boardwalk’
Most notably in Android Auto 4.3, we see the addition of several strings relating to the redesign, referred to as “Boardwalk.” This codename previously appeared back in March with version 4.1, but after Google’s official announcement, it’s all the more obvious that this is the internal name for the redesign. Strings relating to the redesign include the new Notification Center, setting up the auto-play options, and more.
<string name=”boardwalk_clear_all”>Clear All</string>
<string name=”boardwalk_missed_call”>Missed call</string>
<string name=”boardwalk_no_notifications”>No notifications</string>
<string name=”boardwalk_return_missed_call”>Call back</string>
<string name=”settings_autoplay_media_description”>On the car screen experience, automatically resume media when you start driving</string>
There’s also clear language that hints at a prompt of some sort when this update first makes its way to users. None of this is live when plugged into a car just yet, but the arrival of these strings in Android Auto 4.3 hint that the “Boardwalk” redesign could arrive earlier in Summer rather than later.
<string name=”settings_new_auto_experience_title”>New car screen experience</string>
<string name=”settings_new_auto_experience_description”>This setting will be available for limited time</string>
<string name=”settings_privacy_policy_description”>”Explains how Google handles your information when you use Google’s services.”</string>
Android Auto’s coming redesign
The announcement of Android Auto’s “Boardwalk” redesign did confirm a lot of details, but there are still some things we don’t fully know. Android Auto 4.3 has strings that hint at an option to mute/unmute conversations. Again, the functionality isn’t totally clear here, but presumably, this will allow users to mute a text conversation from sending overlay notifications until choosing otherwise. Notably, hands-on demos of Android Auto at I/O showed a “hide” button on recent notifications.
<string name=”boardwalk_mute_conversation”>Mute conversation
<string name=”boardwalk_unmute_conversation”>Unmute conversation</string>
Favorites section in Dialer
Finally, this version also brings a Favorite section to the dialer app on Android Auto. This isn’t live in the current interface, but it was live in demo versions back at I/O.
Google Assistant is a core part of Android Auto, and version 4.3 adds an interesting change for it. While we’re not totally clear at the functionality at play, apparently Google is going to block vehicle controls if the Assistant is triggered on the phone itself. Presumably, this is a prompt that appears on the car’s screen if the phone’s Assistant is triggered.
<string name=”embedded_projection_notice_message”>”INVOKING PHONE-ONLY GOOGLE ASSISTANT.nVEHICLE CONTROLS NOT AVAILABLE”</string>
How to update?
Android Auto 4.3 is rolling out now via the Play Store. We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model is perilous given Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.