It has ceased to be something exclusive to a few to reach a large part of Android Auto users: the Coolwalk interface is already found in many cars. With a better design, it adapts to all types of screens and it even works on vertical consoles. But what if you wanted to go back to the classic Android Auto interface? We tell you the ways and what you need to achieve it.
Thoroughly analyzing a platform like Android Auto ends up tempting you to delve into how it works internally, how Google activates or not the different functions that are landing. Because nothing else, but you have to be patient with the company: More than a year has passed since I was able to try Coolwalk until it ended up reaching the first users.. Thanks to knowing where to touch, I know more than one trick with the new interface. Even how to remove it; even though it’s not exactly easy.
First things first: Here’s how Google turns on Android Auto features
All Google applications allow features to be turned on and off from the company’s servers. It is something similar to what happens in WhatsApp: the apps include a huge number of new features that cannot be seen because, when checking with the servers after opening these applications, receive the answer that it is not yet the time. And this can be manipulated, both in one way and in another.
Android Auto runs entirely on the Android phone that we connect to the car. The vehicle lacks software beyond the screen projection: everything is done by the smartphone. And the Android Auto app receives instructions from Google Play services, the framework that supports and configures all Google Apps.
Within Google Play services, there is an XML file called “Flags” that details each and every option in Google apps, including Android Auto. Once in said file the order to activate Coolwalk appears, order that is associated with the Google account with which Android Auto is used, there is no turning back: Coolwalk will be seen in the car whenever the phone is connected to it; either wired or via wireless Android Auto. Therefore, to remove the Coolwalk interface, you must deactivate the Google command associated with the account; process that can be done in several ways, usually with one requirement: have ROOT access.
Exit Android Auto beta
Did you manage to get into the experimental version of Android Auto? It was hard for me, but I managed to do it with a handy Google Chrome desktop extension. Since Coolwalk was mostly spread throughout the beta, if you want to go back to the previous interface you must exit it first.
- Open the Google Play store on your Android, the one you connect to the car.
- Look for “Android Auto” and enter its file.
- Go down to the beta area and click on “Exit”: you will have left the experimental version.
- Uninstall Android Auto updates by entering your mobile settings, looking for the car app in the “Applications” section.
- Update from Google Play, restart your mobile and connect it to the car. Most likely, you will recover the old interface.
Go back to a previous version of Android Auto
As with the release of the beta, downgrading your Android Auto does not guarantee a regression from Coolwalkbut it can help you. And it is a process that is carried out without too many complications:
- Make sure you exited the beta first (if you were).
- Open your mobile settings and go to “Applications”.
- Locate “Android Auto” and enter its menu.
- Two things can happen here: you can uninstall the application, in which case proceed with it, or you have to uninstall the updates because Android Auto is a system app on your mobile: click on the three dots on the top right and press in “Uninstall updates”.
- Go to Apk Mirror and install a fairly old version of Android Auto. Keep in mind that you cannot go back as much as you want: choose one below 8.8, you will have to try it.
- Please restart the mobile before connecting it to the car.
Change the account with which you use your Android Auto
I already mentioned that Coolwalk is associated with Google Play services and your Google account. If you were activated for a specific account try to choose another to use your mobile with the car. And that it is not in the beta.
Restore Google Play services
If with the above, Coolwalk continues to appear in your car, it is time to move on to more drastic methods. The main one is to reset your Google Play services: since Coolwalk activation is done with a flag from the configuration XML, if you delete said XML you should recover the old interface. At least for a while.
- Go to your Android settings and enter “Applications”.
- Go to “All applications”, click on the three upper menu points and, then, on “Show system”. The texts change depending on the mobile and the manufacturer.
- Write in the search engine “google play services” and enter its menu.
- Go to “Storage” and click on “Clear all data”. You’ll delete a lot of personal information on your phone, but it won’t go away: Google Play Services will retrieve all information from its servers.
- Restart and connect the mobile to the car.
Bigger words: force the old interface with ROOT
That you did the above and Coolwalk insists on continuing to date? Once Google expands the activation it is difficult for the device to refuse to obey it, The time will come when there will be no choice but to resign. Although there is one last step: unregister Coolwalk from the “Flags” of Google Play Services.
The manual process is quite complex, to simplify it, use a very complete app if you want to customize your Android Auto to the limit: AA AIO Tweaker. It was updated in February 2023 including, precisely, the disabling Android Auto Coolwalk.
As already indicated, you can only use this application if you have rooted the mobile with which you connect to the car. Follow the steps if you meet that requirement.
- Access the AA AIO Tweaker GitHub and download the latest version.
- Install the file. Surely Play Protect tells you that it is insecure, but it is not the case: it’s completely clean. Apart from the fact that the code is free, I passed the APK through Virus Total.
- Once AA AIO Tweaker is installed open the app and scroll down to “Force off Coolwalk layout». Click there.
- Now click on “Reboot to apply” and when you connect your Android to the car, Android Auto will have recovered its previous design.
Surely you have to perform the process from time to time: maybe Google insists on activating Coolwalk from its servers. You will only have to repeat the steps.
In Xataka Android | My dumb car now has Android Auto