The latest Android Auto beta points to the app being able to automatically open itself on more cars’ infotainment centers.

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.

New automatic launch settings

Today, whether or not Android Auto launches when you plug in your phone is generally determined by your car’s infotainment system. For instance, cars from Subaru and Nissan will launch Android Auto as soon as you connect via USB or Wi-Fi, while Hyundai requires you to manually switch to displaying Android Auto.

In the latest Android Auto beta update, version 6.7.1128, we find that Google is preparing a new setting called “Initial Video Focus” that controls whether or not your car should automatically open to Android Auto. It looks like the new setting will have three choices.

The first is “Let Head Unit decide,” which sounds like how Android Auto behaves today, letting your infotainment system choose to launch the projection or not. Next, we have “Request focus if projecting in prior drive,” which should launch to Android Auto only if you used it on your last drive. The third option, “Request focus on startup,” should always launch Android Auto when it connects to your infotainment system.

With any luck, this “Initial Video Focus” option may allow more cars to automatically open into Android Auto. More importantly, it will not launch on its own if you don’t want it to. It’s good to see Google working on introducing more choice and control for Android Auto fans. For now, though the setting doesn’t appear to be live in the app even with the update installed.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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