When Android Auto was released in 2015, it was available on all smartphones running Android 5.0 (and later). A couple of months later, Google moved the minimum operating system requirement to run Android Auto on Android 6.0 (and higher). Earlier this year, the company changed the basic requirements for a phone to support Android Auto in Android 8.0 (and higher). Well, Google has now started enforcing its latest policy by blocking older phones from accessing Android Auto.
In the past few weeks, people running Android Auto 7.0 to 7.7 on their smartphones have noticed a pop-up in the app asking them to update the app in order to use the feature. However, people with smartphones running Android OS earlier than Android 8.0 cannot update the app because Android Auto 7.4 is the latest version of the app compatible with phones running OS version earlier than 8.0.
Therefore, they can neither access the app nor update it to the new version. Basically, they were completely excluded from using Android Auto. In other words, smartphones with an Android version prior to Android 8.0 will no longer be able to access Android Auto. That said, this won’t be a problem for most people as Android 7.0 and older OS versions only account for 15% of total Android smartphones as of May 2022. If you’re an Android Auto user, make sure your phone Samsung runs Android 8.0 (or later).
Meanwhile, Google is working on the “Coolwalk” project for Android Auto, which is a significant redesign of the platform and is expected to arrive soon.