Android Auto is a convenient way for drivers to add more functionality to their car’s dashboard, like Google Maps and Google Assistant integration, provided the vehicle supports a USB or Bluetooth connection to their phone. With the recent update to version 6.1, Android Auto users can now finally set a wallpaper that sits behind the app icons on the main launcher. For now, this feature remains a server-side push, meaning even having the latest version of the app doesn’t guarantee you’ll be able to change your wallpaper, but thankfully once you’re able to, it’s an easy process.
How to change your wallpaper in Android Auto
Launch Android Auto on your car’s dashboard.
Open the Settings app.
Scroll down the list and tap Choose wallpaper.
Tap any of the 15 preset wallpapers to instantly apply it to your launcher.
At the moment, you can’t set a custom wallpaper; instead, you’re limited to one of the 15 options provided within Android Auto. Presumably, this is to prevent overly busy wallpapers that could obscure app shortcuts or distract drivers, but luckily the provided wallpapers look nice with a generally minimalistic aesthetic and mostly muted colors.
What do you need to use Android Auto?
You don’t need one of the best Android phones around like the Pixel 5 to drive smarter; in fact, you can use nearly any modern Android phone to power Android Auto on your car. In fact, your car is much more likely to cause compatibility problems than your phone, since you’ll need a relatively new car with a spacious dashboard. Worst case scenario, you can also launch Android Auto as a standalone app on your phone, though the experience won’t be quite the same.
Works great with Android Auto
Google Pixel 5
$699 at Amazon
$700 at Best Buy
$699 at B&H
An incredible phone for most than just your dashboard
The Pixel 5 isn’t just a great platform for Android Auto, it’s a perfect phone for software enthusiasts and shutter bugs alike. You get Android 11 with first-in-line access to new releases as they come, and some of the best cameras you can tuck in your pocket. The all-day battery life doesn’t hurt, either.