When people ask “what apps can I download on Android Auto?” the answer is: a lot! At the time of counting on Google’s official Play Store page for Android Auto (opens in new tab) there are a total of 260. Yes, indeed: two hundred and sixty to choose from, plus others that we suspect aren’t on that list or may be unofficially loaded on the side.
But you don’t want to trudge through the crowd to find the best picks, so we’ll walk you through by selecting the best Android Auto apps to use with Google’s in-car system. Since Google Maps is installed by default for navigation, we’ll skip that one – but as you’ll see from our list, there are alternatives anyway.
Android Auto is great for music, so it’s a perfect match for Spotify. (However, if you subscribe to another service, you can fill in here according to your preference: Amazon Music, Pandora, Deezer, and others all have native apps, but even Apple Music and Tidal can send sound to your car system).
Great integration of album artwork, dedicated volume controls, voice selection courtesy of Google Assistant, and a stack of great tunes to play via download or livestream make Spotify a great Android Auto partner. It is often on our screen instead of navigation.
While Google Maps is the default option in Android Auto, it’s not the only navigation tool available to you. Waze is a great free to download system that many people prefer for its visuals and accuracy over Google’s own model.
The fact that it’s free also makes it a great alternative, as there are paid alternatives like Tom Tom (from £/$1.99 per month), if that’s what you prefer. But we think Waze’s traffic and accident updates and redirection will get the business going for most people.
Again, this one will depend on your messaging system of choice: Android Auto supports WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook Messenger, so you can pick your preference or, well, use whatever works best for you.
WhatsApp, however, is our go-to messaging app, and it’s nicely integrated into Android Auto: you can have message notifications pop up on the screen, have them read aloud if you want to, even use Google Assistant to say a reply back, as if you are having a conversation. It is really useful in some situations.
Not only does Android Auto play nice with music services like Spotify, it’s also a great hand in delivering the best new audiobooks and podcasts. If you’d rather engage with spoken word than nod along to tunes, Audible is a great app.
If you like to read a lot, but also get stuck on the road a lot, Audible for Android Auto is an ideal solution. Original shows, book readings and podcasts abound. It’s a subscription service, but worth it if you put in a lot of Tarmac hours.
5. Zap Card
Okay, so this one is situational: you only want Zap Map if you have an electric car and plan to cover some pretty long distances. It probably won’t be much use if you drive a Tesla, but everything else has its value.
You’ll need a premium subscription for Zap Map to integrate with Android Auto, but paying the fee (£/$3.99 per month) provides a more reliable source of charger information, including broken terminals and more.
Bonus: BBC Sounds
A number of apps for Android Auto are region specific, but from a UK point of view there’s nothing better than downloading BBC Sounds, which compiles all of the BBC’s radio programs from the last four weeks. That’s a lot of potential content to tap into.
You can favorite and download different programs to get them ready to listen back to, which is great because there are a lot of BBC programs that play in the wee hours rather than the regular day. So if you love your underground rock or bass music, you can enjoy these late night shows during the day with Android Auto. crushing!