Android Auto is gearing up to become your latest gaming rig — at least, if you're into casual HTML5 minigames. The latest Android Auto beta, version 6.7, comes with a new GameSnacks shortcut in the launcher, and when you tap it, you're greeted by Google's collection of small and simple HTML5 games.
First evidence of the addition of GameSnacks surfaced on Reddit a few days ago (via XDA). Back then, it was still hidden from view by default and dubbed GearSnacks. But as discovered by German blog SmartDroid, the feature is now live in the latest beta under its proper name. GameSnacks, as you might recall, is Google's curated selection of HTML5 games crafted for low-power hardware with weak internet connections, which makes sense for Google's Auto platform.
All images in this article via SmartDroid.
The games are apparently already fully functional on car entertainment screens. If GameSnacks on phones is anything to go by, gameplay should load up quickly and controls should be responsive, though I wonder how ergonomic the experience will be, given the way infotainment screens are usually placed in vehicles. Since you probably shouldn't play games while driving (and you're likely barred from doing so), the value of these games is also questionable. You could as well pick up your phone for a proper round of Fortnite when you're just sitting in your car waiting.
Despite some unpopular decisions like the sunset of Android Auto's phone interface, Google is doubling down on its car efforts. It's pouring tons of resources into Android Automotive, its operating system for auto manufacturers, with about a dozen vehicles launching this year. The company is also unifying app development for Auto and Automotive, making it easier for developers to target infotainment systems. It's thus likely only a question of time until GameSnacks makes it into Android Automotive.
Beta version 6.7 is slowly rolling out on the Play Store for those on the appropriate channel, but we've also got it over at APK Mirror if you'd like to get your hands on it right now.