10 Essential Android Auto Apps You Should Download Right Now - SlashGear (2023)

10 Essential Android Auto Apps You Should Download Right Now - SlashGear (1)

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ByKendra Bruning/May 19, 2023 1:22 pm EST

As technology continues to evolve, it seems like all of our devices are getting smarter, and cars are no exception. Android Auto is an important example of innovation in this field, making it possible to access a variety of apps and services through a car's dashboard. From music streaming to navigation, there is an app for just about anything you need while on the road.

If you're an Android user who frequently drives, it's essential to take advantage of Android Auto and the apps available for it. These apps can make your driving experience more enjoyable while also keeping your eyes on the road instead of on your phone. It's also important to remember that Google Assistant is an integral part of Android Auto. This means that you can use voice commands to control many of the apps and services available on the platform. This feature is particularly useful while driving, as it allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

Here are 10 essential Android Auto apps you should download right now to make your life easier and make the most of this innovative platform.

Waze Navigation & Live Traffic

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Google Maps has long been the go-to navigation app for Android users. However, Google Maps isn't perfect, as was made apparent when artist Simon Weckert demonstrated how 99 phones can change traffic flow. That's why Waze, a crowdsourced navigation app, is a great alternative to Google Maps and a useful addition to Android Auto.

Waze relies on its users to provide real-time data on traffic, accidents, and other driving conditions, making it an invaluable tool for drivers. While Google Maps is certainly impressive, it can't match Waze's ability to help you avoid tickets or stay informed about real-time traffic delays. The Waze interface features a colorful, aesthetically pleasing display that is as customizable as it is user-friendly.

With Waze, users can personalize their driving experience by setting up a profile that allows for avoiding freeways, high-traffic areas, and even toll roads. There are minimal distractions in the UI, full integration with most new cars, and big on-screen elements that are easy to interact with while driving. If you happen to run into an issue on the road, reporting it is easy and straightforward. Simply choose a category like Traffic, Police, Crash, Hazard, Map Issue, or Camera, and then select a subcategory to provide a more specific alert.

Waze's app community also sets it apart by giving users the option to check in with their account on the app while driving or opt-in to include their own data, helping the community with more accurate and real-time traffic data. With its clean UI and host of features, Waze is a must-have app for Android Auto.

Spotify: Music and Podcasts

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Good music can make a long car ride feel shorter, and Spotify has a playlist for every taste, whether you're into country ballads, K-pop, or Scandinavian death metal. As one of the biggest music streaming apps available, Spotify has a well-integrated Android Auto system. The app can control playlists, select songs, and even play Spotify podcasts.

Users can control the app directly from their Android Auto display in their car or use their phone as a remote control, allowing passengers in the backseat a chance to DJ while the driver stays focused on the road. One drawback is that users cannot fast-forward or rewind a song from the Android Auto menu, which can only be done with the phone as a controller, defeating the anti-distraction purpose of Android Auto. The Android Auto interface will only be able to start the song from the beginning or skip to the next one.

Spotify offers several different free and paid plans tailored to your individual needs, including Free, Student, Family, and Premium. Costs can vary between $10 to $15 a month. If you love listening to music or podcasts while driving, the combination of Spotify and Android Auto is perfect for keeping a constant stream of your favorite sounds for any car ride.

(Video) Android Auto Hands on Demo

Audible: Audio Entertainment

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Audiobooks are a great way to pass the time on longroad trips or commutes. Whether you prefer fiction or nonfiction, audiobooks can be informative and entertaining ways to learn something new or explore new worlds when driving. While there are many different audiobook player options available, including Google Play Books & Audiobooks, Audible remains the best option for building a personal audiobook collection.

Android Auto syncs with your Audible account on your phone and can play audiobooks and save your position while driving. The UI is a streamlined version of the phone app and doesn't offer all of the control features of the app, but it's easy enough for users to pause, play, and skip between chapters with ease.

Since the app is backed by Amazon, Audible has an extensive library of audiobook titles that can be purchased individually or accessed through a subscription program. There are two basic subscription models to choose from. The first option costs $15 a month and gives you one credit or one audiobook to purchase per month. The second is more affordable at $8 and gives you access to a vast library of content, but once you cancel your subscription, you lose all access to your library.

With its comprehensive collection and integration with Android Auto, Audible is the best choice for audiobook aficionados looking to learn, study, discover, meditate, or otherwise enhance their driving experience.

Smart Audiobook Player

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(Video) Android Auto on any car tablet

The major draw of Audible is its massive library of audiobooks. It has one of the largest online markets and is incredibly easy to sign up for and use. All you need is to put in your credit card number. However, what about users that don't want another line item on their credit card bill for entertainment? Smart AudioBook Player is a great alternative for those that don't want another subscription-based service.

Unlike Audible, Smart AudioBook Player is an audiobook platform without a market attached to it. This means you can take advantage of local libraries and personal copies of audiobooks downloaded from other marketplaces like the Play Store or from CDs.

The Smart AudioBook Player is free for 30 days, and after that, you can still use it with some advanced features locked behind a paywall. These features include individual bookmarks for each book, playback speed settings, volume control, and downloadable cover art. After the 30-day trial, the full version can be unlocked for a one-time fee of $2. Both the free version and the paid version pair well with Android Auto to allow users to listen to their favorite audiobooks on the go.

If you have access to a library with audiobooks, can source your own audiobooks, or simply don't want to be tied to Audible's subscription-based model, Smart AudioBook Player is a cheap and polished alternative.

Google Podcasts

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The boom in podcast popularity just goes to show that radio never truly died. Luckily, the hilariously half-American, half-British Transatlantic accent that went along with old-school radio programs did die.

Podcasts are an entertaining and informative way to spend your time in a car. No matter your interests, fandom, genre, or curiosity, chances are, there's a podcast about it. It's like YouTube for your ears.

When choosing the perfect podcast app, Android Auto users are spoiled for choice. Apps like Podcast Addict and Stitcher have advanced features and customization options, but when you're driving, simplicity is the name of the game. That's why Google Podcasts' simple and intuitive interface makes it the best choice for most users behind the wheel.

Not only does Google Podcasts have one of the largest collections of podcasts available, it is already integrated with your Google account. This means that the app can recommend podcasts based on your listening history and preferences, making it easier to discover new shows that you might enjoy.

Google Podcasts is also free to use. There are no subscription fees or charges per episode. Just browse and listen with no hidden costs. Its ease of use, massive library, and Google integration make Google Podcasts one of the best podcast apps for Android Auto.

TuneIn Radio: News, Music & FM

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(Video) How to Connect to Wireless Android Auto DITCH THE CORD!

There are a host of local radio apps to keep your mind off the commute and your brain engaged when you're driving. Morning shows, traffic updates, and local news are just some of the content you can receive from local radio. Sometimes you don't want to fiddle with the radio controls and just want to listen to your favorite stations.

Thankfully, you can find plenty of Android Auto options available for listening to local radio during your commute. While some radio stations have their own Android Auto app that you can download with the click of a button, this can quickly clutter your home screen. For an all-in-one solution, TuneIn combines multiple features in one app.

In addition to radio, TuneIn offers news, sports, music, and podcasts. In fact, TuneIn has even teamed up with Audible to include some audiobook content. For sports fans, TuneIn offers live coverage of games and matches from around the world. Users can tune in to live broadcasts of NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, and college football games. TuneIn also covers international soccer matches and other sporting events.

If you're looking for an all-in-one Android Auto app, TuneIn is a great choice. TuneIn Radio has the most extensive selection of radio stations from around the world, ample entertainment features, as well as a user-friendly interface that's simple enough to use while keeping your eyes on the road.

iHeart: Music, Radio, Podcasts

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Bloomberg/Getty Images

iHeartRadio, is another great all-in-one solution for drivers looking for Android Auto integrated apps. Despite its name, iHeartRadio is not exclusive to Apple or iPhone products. It offers a vast library of music, radio programs, and podcasts from around the world.

It originally started out by streaming various local radio programs and quickly became one of the most popular online radio platforms. As iHeartRadio expanded, it added music streaming services, more radio stations, podcasts, and audiobooks to its collection.

The iHeart app has almost everything you'd want on a long car ride. On its own, the app can be controlled from the phone and has an automobile mode to connect to car speakers. With Android Auto, however, users can control everything through their car's touchscreen directly. Like most other Android Auto apps, the interface is simplified, but users can still adjust and control what they need to from the control panel.

With a ton of content and easy integration, iHeart is a fantastic option for Android Auto users who want a diverse range of audio choices available at their fingertips while driving.

WhatsApp Messenger

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Talking on the phone or texting while driving do not typically go hand in hand. Distracted driving is a major cause of accidents on the road, and using your phone for messaging or phone calls while driving can be dangerous — even illegal in some areas. Before using any messaging or phone apps in your car, it's essential to use caution and follow all local regulations.

If you do need to chat, however, Android Auto users have two great options that stand out from the rest in terms of safety and functionality. Signal and WhatsApp are both end-to-end encrypted communication apps with Android Auto capability. Out of these two apps, Signal currently has a better track record for security. Many users might not want to use WhatsApp because of its many security concerns. However, Signal's user interface on Android Auto is not as user-friendly as WhatsApp, which has a clean and simplified UI with numerous features.

A standout feature of WhatsApp for Android Auto is its AI-powered message reading capability, which reads users' messages aloud so they can keep their eyes on the road. In terms of road safety and features, WhatsApp is the best choice for Android Auto integration for drivers to chat without distraction.

(Video) Android Automotive OS on the Polestar 2 electric car walkthrough

Weather App

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Depending on where you live, the weather can radically alter driving conditions. From sudden rainstorms to heavy snowfall, the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly. To safeguard both you and your passengers, it's important to have an accurate weather app with notifications to help you make informed decisions when you're on the road.

The Weather app is an easy-to-use solution that syncs well with Android Auto. It includes everything you'd want and need while driving. In addition to on-screen widgets with real-time updates, the Weather App has emergency alerts in case weather conditions become dangerous or require monitoring.

The app display is bright and colorful, making it easy to read, an especially important feature while driving. It can also notify users of wind patterns, sunrise, and sunset while displaying the temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit. The Weather App also has a unique feature that can pick up location data from surrounding networks, allowing you to check the weather even in remote areas where GPS signals might not reach.

Access to up-to-date weather conditions is an important safety feature whether you're planning a long drive or just commuting to work. With its Android Auto integration, The Weather App offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface to let you know what's headed your way, keeping you informed and safe on the road.


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Electronic vehicles (EV) need power just as much as an engine needs gas. ChargePoint, as the name suggests, is a must-have app for any EV driver. It helps drivers find charging locations anywhere, and its integration with Android Auto makes it easy to navigate to charging stations while on the road.

The ChargePoint app offers additional features beyond Android Auto that are useful for EV drivers. For example, it acts as an e-wallet and can be used to make payments at various charging stations. This all-in-one payment option works regardless of the station's payment vendor, an especially convenient feature since many charging stations have become automated.

(Video) Embedded Android Auto integrated with Audi Q8 Sport concept hands-on

ChargePoint also collects and monitors some useful data that can help you optimize your charging habits. The app can track your charging frequency and give automated reminders on when you should charge your vehicle. It can even help you at home with automated charging so that your car doesn't recharge during peak electricity hours, which can definitely save you money on your electric bill.

ChargePoint has an extensive EV charging network with over 226,000 in-network charging ports. With ChargePoint, EV drivers can always find a charging station wherever they go.


10 Essential Android Auto Apps You Should Download Right Now - SlashGear? ›

Fuelio is simple, easy to use android application to track your mileage, gas consumption and gas costs. Using this App you can track car expenses, auto service, your fill-ups, fuel consumption, car´s mileage, gas costs/gas prices and save money.

What apps can you download on Android Auto? ›

  • Google Play Books & Audiobooks. 4.7star.
  • Messenger. 4.1star.
  • Pandora - Music & Podcasts. 4.1star.
  • Android Auto. 4.1star.
  • Spotify: Music and Podcasts. 4.4star.
  • WhatsApp Messenger. 4.3star.
  • Spotify for Podcasters. 4.1star.
  • iHeart: Music, Radio, Podcasts. 4.6star.

Which Android Auto app do I need? ›

  • Google Maps. Google LLC. TRAVEL & LOCAL. ...
  • Meta Platforms, Inc. COMMUNICATION. ...
  • Scanner Radio - Police Scanner. GordonEdwards.net LLC. ...
  • Autovaras: The car assistant. Omnipisix. ...
  • Spotify: Music, Podcasts, Lit. Spotify AB. ...
  • Telegram FZ-LLC. COMMUNICATION. ...
  • Audible: Audio Entertainment. Audible, Inc. ...
  • Waze Navigation & Live Traffic. Waze.
Sep 18, 2022

What is the fuel app for Android Auto? ›

Fuelio is simple, easy to use android application to track your mileage, gas consumption and gas costs. Using this App you can track car expenses, auto service, your fill-ups, fuel consumption, car´s mileage, gas costs/gas prices and save money.

What is Android Auto APK? ›

Android Auto is an app developed by Google that provides a safe driving experience for Android users.

How do I get the most out of Android Auto? ›

We'll focus on Android Auto proper here, but some of the tips also apply to Driving Mode.
  1. Take Advantage of Google Assistant. ...
  2. Download Android Auto-Compatible Apps. ...
  3. Organize Your Android Auto App List. ...
  4. Specify a Default Music Provider. ...
  5. Organize Your Contacts Ahead of Time. ...
  6. Tweak Other Android Auto Options.
Dec 28, 2022

Do I really need Android Auto app? ›

Android Auto is fantastic tool when you're out on the open road. Google's answer to Apple CarPlay takes your car's infotainment display and turns it into an interface for your phone. That means you can access all your favorite apps in much safer (and easier) manner.

Do all Android apps work on Android Auto? ›

Not all apps are available on Android Auto. If Android Auto's best feature is its ability to use your favorite apps hands-free while driving, you should check that the apps you use are compatible. All voice recognition technology is a work in progress.

What is Android Auto Coolwalk? ›

Google showcased an updated Android Auto UI, codenamed Coolwalk, during its I/O developer conference last year. It featured a new split-screen layout capable of simultaneously showing navigation, music playback controls, and more.

What is car mode app? ›

Car Mode activates a simplified version of the app with large buttons and quick access to the app's most used features, like Favorites, Recents, and Recommended content. You can also search with voice commands (Voice Search) on your Android device.

What app tells you who has gas? ›

GasBuddy: Find & Pay for Gas 17+

What is Android system intelligence app? ›

Summary Android System Intelligence is a system component within Private Compute Core that powers intelligent features across Android while keeping user data private.

What is so special about Android Auto? ›

Android Auto brings apps to your car display so you can focus while you drive. You can control features like navigation, maps, calls, text messages, and music. To get more information about your car's compatibility with Android Auto on your car display, contact your vehicle manufacturer. Apps.

How do I activate Coolwalk? ›

  1. Download & Install Android Auto.
  2. Clear Android Auto cache/data and force close.
  3. Go back and Force close the app.
  4. Reboot phone.
  5. Open the Coolwalk app, and grant all the necessary permissions to the Coolwalk app.
  6. Select the features that you want to enable on Android Auto.
  7. Launch Android Auto and enjoy Coolwalk!
Mar 10, 2023

What is taking up most of the space on my Android? ›

On an Android Phone, Go to Settings > Storage

There, you'll see exactly how much space you're using and how much is being devoted to categories such as apps, images, and videos. Tapping on one of those categories provides more detail, such as which apps are using the most space.

Is Android Auto going away? ›

While Android Auto for Phone Screens is now officially dead, Google already has a replacement lined up. Called Google Assistant driving mode, the feature first rolled out in 2021, and has since received several UI upgrades.

Do you need USB for Android Auto? ›

On some models, you can use Android Auto wireless without plugging in if you have a compatible phone. On other models, your device must be tethered by a USB cord to use Android Auto.

How do I mirror my Android to my car screen? ›

On your Android device, go to Connection Settings > MirrorLink, and tap MirrorLink. Step 3. To start mirroring your device's screen, turn on the "Connect to car via USB" option on your device screen. This will display your Android device's screen on your car's display.

Does Android Auto work through Bluetooth? ›

Important: The first time you connect your phone to the car, you're required to pair your phone and car via Bluetooth. For best results, keep Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Location Services turned on during setup. Make sure your car is in park (P) and allow time to set up Android Auto before you start your drive.

What is the difference between Android and Android Auto? ›

It's important to understand how Android Automotive relates to the overall Android ecosystem: Android Automotive is Android. Android Automotive is not a fork or parallel development of Android. It is the same codebase and lives in the same repository as the Android shipped on phones, tablets, etc.

What is Android Auto disadvantages? ›

You might experience issues such as connection failures, audio glitches, app crashes, or voice recognition errors. Another drawback of Android Auto is that it doesn't support some of the native features of your phone, such as wireless charging, split-screen mode, or notifications from non-supported apps.

Is Android Auto better than Bluetooth? ›

Android Auto is a safer way to interact with your music, maps, and messages while in the car. It's supported on a ton of vehicles but usually requires you to connect over a wire. Many wonder if you can connect to Android Auto over Bluetooth. While you can connect wirelessly, it's a bit more complicated than that.

What's better than Android Auto? ›

But if you don't have Android Auto in your car and are now looking for an alternative on your phone, these are your best bets.
  • Google Maps. ...
  • 2 AutoMate. ...
  • AutoZen. ...
  • Drivemode. ...
  • Waze. ...
  • Car Dashdroid. ...
  • 5 Best Software to Sync RGB on Your PC.
  • 6 Ways to Check Hard Disk Health in Windows.
Sep 11, 2021

Is Waze better than Google Maps? ›

Google Maps and Waze alike both let you report traffic hazards that you come across. However, Waze is better for displaying traffic cameras or speed traps. Of course, even Apple Maps now displays some road hazards for iPhone users, and it's far from the best navigation app.

Why can't i see all apps on Android Auto? ›

If you can't find your apps in Android Auto's App Launcher, they might be temporarily disabled. To save your battery life, Samsung phones temporarily disable apps that you haven't used for a while. These apps might still appear on your phone, but won't appear in your Android Auto App Launcher until you re-enable them.

Why is Waze gone from Android Auto? ›

If you find the Waze app disappearing from Android Auto on your car, it might be because the Waze shortcut has been disabled from the Android Auto settings. To enable it, follow these steps: Open the Settings app on your phone and go to the Connected devices section.

What is Start Head Unit Server Android Auto? ›

The DHU enables your workstation to act as an Android Auto head unit that emulates the in-car experience for testing purposes. Once you've installed the DHU, you can test your Android Auto apps by connecting your phone and workstation via USB. Your phone will behave as if it's connected to a car.

What is the latest version of Android Auto? ›

Google Android Auto is now getting the new May 2023 update. According to the latest 9.5. 1317 beta changelog, the company has improved the Do Not Disturb functionality, Dark mode on car UI is now independent of the phone and also fixes bugs.

Is driving mode the same as Android Auto? ›

Google Assistant driving mode and Android Auto have the same purpose but have a slightly different user interface. More succinctly, the Google Assistant driving mode user interface is redesigned with fewer options and bigger cards, making it look less cluttered than Android Auto.

Should driving mode be on or off? ›

For the best phone experience while driving: To avoid distractions from your phone, set up Do Not Disturb. If you need to see or touch your phone while driving, use driving mode with Android Auto. If your car has Android Auto built in, use your car's display, not driving mode.

What mode should I drive my car in? ›

Eco mode - ensures the car is in its most fuel efficient configuration. Comfort mode - makes the car as comfortable as possible. Sport mode - puts the car in a more aggressive setting, usually enhancing throttle response, whilst in some cars can alter suspension, gearbox and exhaust too.

What is upside app? ›

Upside is a cashback rewards platform that allows you to claim offers and earn real cash on everyday purchases across the United States. You can install the Upside app on your iPhone or Android device and start saving money as you shop at physical stores.

What state is gas the cheapest? ›

The full report also details the states with the most expensive gas and states where you can travel the furthest distance and shortest distance. The best U.S. states for the cheapest gas prices. Texas has the cheapest gas prices in the U.S., where the average cost is $3.086 per gallon.

What app saves you money on gas? ›

GasBuddy. Best for: Checking local gas prices and saving cents per gallon when you pay with the GasBuddy card. How it works: The crowd-sourced gas app relies on users to report real-time prices at stations all over. And with over 100 million downloads, it's become a powerful tool for finding the best deals on fuel.

What are spy apps disguised as on Android? ›

Consumer-grade spyware apps are often sold under the guise of child tracking software but are also known as “stalkerware” for their ability to track and monitor partners or spouses without their consent.

How do I find hidden apps on Android? ›

Tap on the three dots that are present at the upper-right of the device screen. Click on the home screen settings. It will navigate you to the Hide apps menu; tap on it. Here, you will see the hidden apps that are not showing in the app list.

What is WebView in Android? ›

Android System WebView lets applications display browser windows in an app instead of transporting the user to another browser.

What are the new functions of Android Auto? ›

The new Android Auto experience is here

The new design prioritizes three important goals for drivers: navigating where you're going, communicating with friends and family, and playing your music or podcasts. Maps is now closer to the driver's seat so that you can see where you're going at a glance.

How do I delete map history on Android Auto? ›

Delete some places from your history
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Maps app. and sign in.
  2. Tap your profile picture or initial Settings. Maps history.
  3. Next to the entries you want to delete, tap Remove. Delete.

Why is Android Auto ending? ›

As first reported by 9to5Google — the end of the app has arrived. Google had confirmed in October 2021 that the Android Auto for phone screens app would go away in favor of a new Google Assistant driving mode with the launch of Android 12. However, many users continued using the helpful and familiar app.

How do I get a new Android Auto interface? ›

To update Android Auto, open the Google Play Store and search for Android Auto. You can see when the latest version was released under the What's New section and tap Update if it hasn't been downloaded automatically.

Do all apps work in Android Auto? ›

Not all apps are available on Android Auto. If Android Auto's best feature is its ability to use your favorite apps hands-free while driving, you should check that the apps you use are compatible.

How do I make an app compatible with Android Auto? ›

Android Auto requires your app to target Android 6.0 (API level 23) or higher. To specify this value in your project, set the minSdkVersion attribute in the uses-sdk element to 23 or higher in your phone app module's AndroidManifest.

Why are my apps not showing up in Android Auto? ›

If you can't find your apps in Android Auto's app launcher, they might be temporarily disabled. To save your battery life, Samsung phones temporarily disable apps you haven't used in a while. These apps might still show up on your phone, but won't show up in your Android Auto app launcher until you re-enable them.

Are there better apps than Android Auto? ›

AutoZen. AutoZen is another of the top-rated Android Auto alternatives. It makes use of voice commands for certain tasks, such as calling your contacts, checking the weather, setting up navigation, controling your favorite music player, and more.

What is difference between Android Auto and Android Automotive? ›

If you're confused because you thought most new Ford vehicles already came with Android Auto, you're not alone. Despite their similar names, Android Auto and Android Automotive are very different. While Android Auto is just a mobile app, Android Automotive is an entire operating system.

Can you screen mirror with Android Auto? ›

Android Auto is an app that allows you to mirror your Android phone's screen onto your car's infotainment system. It's compatible with most modern car systems. If you have an Android 9 or older phone, you can download the "Android Auto" app to link your phone to the car.

How do I install Android Auto App Downloader? ›

Go to the Google Play Store, download the Android Auto app and run it anytime you're on the road. Download it here. As a reminder, phones with Android 10 and above don't need the app to run Android Auto.

What happened to Waze on Android Auto? ›

If you find the Waze app disappearing from Android Auto on your car, it might be because the Waze shortcut has been disabled from the Android Auto settings. To enable it, follow these steps: Open the Settings app on your phone and go to the Connected devices section.

How do I customize my Android Auto? ›

Open Settings and search for "Android Auto." Scroll down to see all menu options. The available options and their functions are: Customizable Launcher: Allows users to rearrange app order and prioritize the ones they use the most while driving.


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