Dude, where’s my car? Check out the best Android Auto apps

best Android Auto apps Android Auto app

You can find Android apps for absolutely everything these days, so why not for driving? The field of car-related apps is really revving up, and there are plenty of great Android apps for those who need to focus on the drive ahead. Here’s where the rubber meets the road — these are the best Android Auto apps that complement the driving experience and will help you get the most enjoyment out of your next road trip. If you’re feeling a little left out because you’re an Android user with a car that doesn’t support Android Auto, don’t be, because Pioneer has just the thing to get you started.

Android Auto

best android car apps auto on your screen

Google’s in-car system comes preinstalled in some cars now, but you can also use it by connecting your phone to a compatible car display, or just by using your phone in a dock on its own. With a simplified interface and hands-free voice commands, Android Auto enables you to use your phone safely while driving. The list of apps that work with Android Auto is small, but includes Spotify, Telegram, Skype, TuneIn Radio, and Audible, and it’s steadily growing. You can comfortably use it to navigate, listen to music, or send messages all with voice commands. It runs on any phone with Android 5.0 or later. And before you ask, yes, it holds its own against Apple’s CarPlay pretty well.

Download now from:

Google Play

Waze

Waze

You can get all sorts of useful real-time information about the road ahead from the active community on Waze. The app also offers turn-by-turn directions, reroutes you based on traffic, and alerts you about accidents, hazards, and police locations. You can also use it to share your ETA and progress with friends and family, which is ideal when you’re meeting up somewhere. Throw in info on points of interest, the best gas prices nearby, and Facebook integration, and you have one of the most comprehensive driving apps around. The Android Auto version is currently in beta, and will hopefully make the app easier than ever to use during a drive.

Download now from:

Google Play

Textra

best android car apps textra final

Textra is a nice alternative to the standard Android messaging app, one that makes it easier for you to send texts and other quick messages to friends and family. With Textra, you can send GIFs, schedule future messages, and swipe across your screen to initiate phone calls. The app has improved notifications and a quick reply feature, too, meaning you can always stay up to date on what’s being said, and respond without having to take your eyes off the road for an extended period of time.

Download now from:

Google Play

WhatsApp

best android car apps whatsapp on

Here we have a popular messaging app that, like Textra, gives drivers a hands-free way of receiving and sending messages. When used in conjunction with Android Auto, users can simply tap on the message as it appears on their car’s display, then use their voice to create and send replies. If you’re using GPS or another app at the time, messages will appear in the top third of your display, so you can craft your response without switching app screens and potentially missing your turn.

Download now from:

Google Play

Google Play Music

best android car apps google play music for auto

Google Play Music’s integration with Android Auto gives you an easier way to listen to and control your music while driving. Use voice commands “OK Google” and “Play…” to start a playlist, play a specific song, or listen to a specific genre of music. You can also use your car’s display to navigate the app, where you’ll be able to see music recommendations, recently-played content, or mixes made using songs and artists you’ve previously listened to. Of course, in either case, you need to have Google Play Music properly set up and already be signed in. Users were having issues with the music app a while back, but recent updates appear to have fixed the problem.

Download now from:

Google Play

Pocket Casts ($4)

best android car apps pocket casts app on

Listening to music in the car is one thing, but podcasts can make a drive so much more bearable. Pocket Casts is one of the best podcasts apps on the entire Android platform, and it’s now fully compatible with Android Auto. When paired with the Android Auto UI, you’ll get the usual play/pause and back/forward controls, and you can browse podcasts, set filters, and capitalize on previously-made “Up Next” queues. The latter playlists need to be made before you launch Android Auto, however, so you may still need to fiddle with your phone before hitting the road.

Download now from:

Google Play

Voice Infos

best android car apps voice infos app on

Voice Infos eliminates the need to switch between different apps in order to see all of your information, whether it be your emails, news stories, calendar events, weather forecasts, or tweets. This is especially useful for drivers that don’t want to miss a thing, or simply like to have their news read to them during their morning commute. Simple voice commands such as “News,” “Play,” “Calendar,” and “Stop” make Voice Infos easy to use with Android Auto, and almost invaluable if you have a lot of information you want to sort through or stay current on.

Download now from:

Google Play

Hangouts

best android car apps google hangouts on auto

Many of the apps that currently work with Android Auto are related to audio, music, and messaging, so it’s unsurprising to learn that Google Hangouts works seamlessly with the platform. Like Textra and WhatsApp, Hangouts can be used to send and respond to messages using your voice, which can be done by either saying “OK Google” or pressing the microphone button. Android Auto repeats the recorded message before you decide to send it, in the event the microphone misheard you or you have something to add. Since Hangouts is also available for iOS and the web, anything you do on those platforms will carry over to the Android Auto iteration of the app, so you can continue your text conversations without issue. However, keep in mind that it will be slower than if you were using a keyboard.

Download now from:

Google Play

Audible

best android car apps audible for auto

Music and podcasts are two things you can listen to while driving, but let’s not forget books, which can also help you pass the time. Audible delivers on that, thanks to its robust compatibility with Android Auto. Along with the ability to play audiobooks, you’ll also able to adjust playback speed — between 0.5x and 3x — and skip between chapters. Best of all, you can navigate the Audible store and view your wish list, the best sellers list, and an assortment of genre-specific categories, so you can add new books even when you can’t access your phone or computer.

Download now from:

Google Play

Skype

best android car apps skype chat on

Skype is yet another way Android Auto users can carry out text conversations from behind the wheel. The app is well-known for its video capabilities, though that particular feature hasn’t made its way to cars just yet. Text messages are still much appreciated, however, especially if you’re already a heavy Skype user with a decent amount of contacts. Those who’ve used Hangouts or Textra will notice a few similarities in regards to how the app handles messages, specifically with how they appear on your car’s display. It’s simple and straightforward, and we can’t wait for it to support both video and voice calls.

Download now from:

Google Play

Amazon Music

best android car apps amazon music on auto

Amazon Music works in a similar fashion to Google Play Music, but it’s probably preferable for Amazon Prime subscribers. Any music tied to your Amazon account — be it in the cloud, music you’ve uploaded to the service, or songs found on your phone — will all be available when you decide to use Amazon Music with Android Auto, alongside features like Prime Stations. Voice commands are also available for hands-free use, meaning you can say “OK Google” followed by a phrase like “Play Call Me Maybe on Amazon Music.”

Download now from:

Google Play

Update: Added Textra, WhatsApp, Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, Voice Infos, Hangouts, Audible, Skype, and Amazon Music.