How to Add Apps to Android Auto

Apps on your phone automatically show up if they are compatible

In This Article

Jump to a Section

What to Know

  • Install the app on your phone to add it to Android Auto. If compatible, it'll show up on your car's screen automatically.
  • Hide an app on Android Auto: Open Android Auto app > Customize launcher > tap app to remove checkmark.
  • You can also make shortcuts to call a contact or run a Google Assistant action directly from your car's screen.

This article explains how to add apps to Android Auto and organize, reorder how they appear on the screen, and hide unused apps. It also explains the benefits of Android Auto shortcuts.

How to Add Apps to Android Auto

Adding apps to Android Auto is as easy as installing them to your phone.

  1. First, decide which apps you want to install.

    Not all Android apps work with Android Auto, but we can start you with a list of our favorites: Best Android Auto Apps. Hundreds of other options are available through the Google Play Store: Apps for Android Auto.

  2. Install the app on your Android phone just like you would any other app.

    Most apps that work with Android Auto do so through the standard mobile app. This means you don't need to download a specific Spotify for Android Auto app, for example, because the Spotify app is already compatible with Android Auto.

  3. You're done! Connect your phone to your vehicle to use your new Android Auto apps.

    android auto apps displayed on a car's screen

    Image by

    Not all cars are compatible with Android Auto. Check Google's Android Auto Compatibility page for details.

How to Organize Android Auto Apps

You need Google's Android Auto app to hide or reorder how your apps appear on your car's screen or to create handy Google Assistant shortcuts. It's built into Android 10 and newer: Settings > Apps > Android Auto > Open. From there, select Customize launcher to get started.

Highlighted steps to get to Customize launcher for the Android Auto interface.

Hide Android Auto Apps

It's unlikely that you want to see all your Android Auto-compatible apps as shortcuts in your vehicle's head unit. Fortunately, it's a piece of cake to hide some of them.

Tap any app from the list to add or remove the checkmark next to it. Apps with a checkmark will be available with Android Auto; the rest will be hidden from your vehicle's display and listed at the bottom of the app (you can always unhide an app by selecting it again).

Android Auto customize launcher screen

Change the Order of Android Auto Apps

You can also reorder how the apps appear on the screen to make accessing your favorites easier. It's simple: tap and hold an app to get a hold of it, then drag it up or down the list.

The first app in your list will display as the top-left app in your car. The second in the list will be to its right, and so on.

Create Android Auto Shortcuts

Android Auto doesn't limit you to just your typical Android apps. You can also turn custom Google Assistant commands into shortcuts that live next to all your regular apps, making them just as accessible while driving.

Your options here are essentially limitless, and it saves you from having to speak to your car to get things done. For example, instead of using your voice to navigate to a location you frequent, set up an Assistant shortcut that takes you there with a single tap. Shortcuts are also helpful for calling contacts with hard-to-pronounce names, sending "Can't talk now" texts, opening your garage door, etc.

Here's what to do:

  1. Tap Add a shortcut to the launcher. You'll see this on the Customize launcher screen.

  2. Select Call a contact or An Assistant action.

  3. If you pick the contact option, choose one from your list of contacts.

    If you pick the Assistant option, type a command in the first text box, a name for the shortcut in the second text box, and then tap Create Shortcut.

    Steps to add a shortcut to the launcher highlighted.
  • How do I turn off Android Auto?

    To stop your car from using Android Auto, disconnect your phone. You can do this by either disconnecting the cord from your device or unpairing it from Bluetooth (depending on how it's connected).

  • How do I update Android Auto?

    Android Auto will update along with the operating system if you're running Android 12 or higher. For earlier versions, it's a standalone app; check the Google Play Store for an update.

Was this page helpful?