Just a couple months ago, Android Auto added six preset images hidden away in the code that could be used as future backgrounds. We had been hoping that this meant that full custom wallpaper support would be coming soon, but instead, Google has removed most of the previous images in favor of 12 new, more car-oriented backgrounds that suit Android Auto a lot better. When they were first discovered by 9to5Google, they weren't selectable by users, but that appears to be changing: Many people report that wallpapers are now rolling out to their cars.

These backgrounds, pulled from the Android Auto 6.0 update by 9to5Google, are actually pretty pleasing to the eye. There are a few with leather stitching for those who value luxury, a few performance-oriented ones (a drilled rotor, a carbon fiber pattern, and a close-up of a grille), some sound wave-related ones, and a few landscapes with light trails as well. To my eyes, these new backdrops seem a lot more suited to an in-car application. Whereas the previous ones just seemed like the same type of wallpapers that Google would load onto a phone or tablet, the new ones definitely were hand-picked for Android Auto.

As reported by SmartDroid, Redditors have now started showing off the new wallpapers on their Android Auto homescreens. And sure enough, one of our tipsters was able to provide us with screenshots of a new settings entry that allows you to choose a wallpaper. The entry appeared without an app update, so it looks like it's enabled by a server-side switch. There's nothing you can do to speed up the process if you want to get your hands on the wallpapers.

The new wallpaper entry in settings.

The backgrounds were first found in the Android Auto 6.0 APK. By now, we've already hit verson 6.1, which is available as an APK over at APK Mirror. But given that wallpapers appear to be rolling out as a server-side update, installing the latest release won't necessarily make the settings entry appear for you. Personally, I'd be using the brake rotor close-up as my background... if I still had a car with Android Auto.

Wallpapers rolling out

Updated to reflect that wallpapers are now rolling out.

Android Auto
Android Auto
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
  • Thanks:
  • Moshe