If you don’t have a recent car and/or you’re too frugal to replace your stereo in an older one, you can get most of the benefits of the Android Auto interface by running the Android Auto app on your phone. It’s a pretty cool way to go, since all you really need is some kind of car mount, saving you anywhere from $400-$1400. Now there’s a way for you to try out the app’s latest and greatest features: a beta program.
Google is predictably using the Play Store beta system to distribute the new app. If you’re new to this distribution method, just go to this opt-in link, click “Become a tester,” and the Android Auto app on your phone will be automatically updated to the beta version. When there is one, anyway: Google isn’t promising that it will always be running beta features, as Auto development is a little more pokey than some other first-party apps.
Indeed, that seems to be the case now: the Android Auto Beta listing is currently showing the same changelog as the standard version from July 9th, beginning with an improved Do Not Disturb functionality. There have been a few more variants released since then (which we’ve tracked on APK Mirror), but no huge user-facing changes.
Though Google is announcing the Android Auto app beta today, it’s been running since at least May, according to our uploads. It looks like the company wants a much wider pool of users with which to test tweaks and features. So get to it.