Music apps

Android Auto music apps see design changes with latest updates

Google’s Android Auto platform recently released a few updates, and with them came a few changes to the music and media apps. Here’s what changed.

On the Android Auto platform, all music apps share the same basic design to keep a sense of consistency for users. There’s a “home” page with recommendations and recent picks, and usually tabs for playlists, library, and other app basics.

Then in the corner there is a shortcut for the “Now Playing” screen which also has the same basic design across all apps. There are buttons for play/pause, skipping tracks, and a mix of other controls like shuffle, repeat, favorites, and others that change depending on the app you’re using. For example, podcast apps usually have a different layout here compared to standard music apps. The buttons may also change depending on the content being played. And either way, there’s album art next to the song title and artist, and that same artwork is used in a blurry form in the background.

This same user interface applies to Spotify, YouTube Music, and other apps.

But now it is getting a slight overhaul. In the same way Point on Reddit earlier this week, Android Auto 7.9 which is currently in beta brings a slight overhaul to the Now Playing screen.

There’s no longer a progress bar around the play/pause button, but a dedicated progress bar that spans most of the screen width. It’s a clean design, and we’re really interested in seeing it expand to more users over time.

And beyond that, Google has also made a slight change recently on the Now Playing screen on larger screens. The blurred background no longer displays on these larger screens and spans the full width of the screen. It’s unclear in which version of the app this change went live, but Android Auto 7.8 seems like a safe bet.

These aren’t the only tweaks Google is making to Android Auto’s design.

Back to Google I/O, the company announced a complete overhaul of the Android Auto platform that includes better multitasking and adapts to fit more car screens. This revamp hasn’t gone live yet, but it shouldn’t be too far off.

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