An application may offload rendering of a graphical user interface (GUI) to an underlying operating system executing at a head unit (e.g., an infotainment system) of a vehicle (e.g., automobile, motorcycle, a bus, a recreational vehicle (RV), a semi-trailer truck, a tractor or other type of farm equipment, a train, a plane, a helicopter, etc.) or a computing device (e.g., a cellular phone, a smartphone, a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet computer, a portable gaming device, a watch, etc.). The application may invoke functions of an application library that allow the application to generate GUI metadata including a GUI template (e.g., that specifies a predetermined layout) and content for populating the GUI template. The operating system, which may expose an interface (e.g., defined by the application library) for interacting with a display of the head unit or some other display in communication with the head unit, may receive, from the application, the GUI metadata and a token identifying the application. The operating system may then use the GUI metadata and the token to render a corresponding GUI for the application. In this way, the OS may render GUIs for applications in accordance with GUI templates, enabling a consistent look and feel that may, as one example, satisfy safety guidelines.

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