The 10 Best Android Auto Apps

Make the most out of your drive time

Android Auto mirrors certain features of your Android device onto your car's head unit. It can be accessed on your smartphone screen or your car's built-in dashboard display in compatible vehicles. Android Auto connects to your phone directly or wirelessly. It features a combination touchscreen and voice-driven interface that helps you stay focused on the road.

With Android Auto, you can place and receive calls and text messages, plot steps for a road trip, or access hundreds of apps in the Google Play Store. Here are some of the best Android Auto apps.

01
of 10

Waze

Waze for Android Auto
What We Like
  • Remarkable traffic accuracy.

  • Don't need to set up an account.

What We Don't Like
  • Clunky interface.

  • The voice command option is hidden in the menu.

When it comes to providing the quickest and easiest route possible, Waze is unmatched. Waze is powered by Android Location Services and real-time information crowdsourced from its massive user base. The app takes into account several key factors, including construction, up-to-the-minute traffic conditions, accidents, police activity, and more.

In addition to guiding you to your destination, Waze provides secondary benefits, including alerts for nearby speed traps and cheap gas stations. Since it's community-based, the app contains social-centric features that let you connect and interact with fellow Wazers.

02
of 10

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp Messenger for Android Auto
What We Like
  • Doesn't require email registration.

  • Sending group texts is a breeze.

What We Don't Like
  • Calls are only free when calling other WhatsApp users.

  • Message encryption is unreliable.

WhatsApp Messenger utilizes your smartphone's internet connection, whether it's Wi-Fi or a broadband cellular network like 4G, to send messages and make calls through the app. While much of its additional functionality, such as group chat, isn't conducive to Android Auto, standard voice communication and speech-to-text messaging fits right in with the hands-free driving experience.

03
of 10

Spotify

Spotify for Android Auto
What We Like
  • An impressive song library.

  • Extensive social media integration.

  • A reliable offline mode.

What We Don't Like
  • The free account offers six months of unlimited streaming.

  • Can't purchase DRM-free songs in the U.S.

Spotify is a free, ad-supported app that unlocks access to millions of songs from yesteryear and today. It provides a custom soundtrack whether you're driving across the country or across town. You can search for individual artists and song titles or allow the music selection engine to choose for you.

A paid subscription to Spotify Premium ensures an ad-free experience, better quality audio, and the ability to skip an unlimited number of songs.

04
of 10

Pandora

Pandora for Android Auto
What We Like
  • Good song recommendations based on listening history.

  • Create playlist stations for others to hear.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't listen to individual songs.

  • May pause playback without a reason.

Pandora features an extraordinarily large music collection, accessible by creating personalized stations based on a specific artist, song, or genre. The app and its accompanying tunes are free. You'll need a Pandora Plus subscription if you want to avoid listening to commercials or wish to skip past songs without limit.

05
of 10

Audible

Audible for Android Auto
What We Like
  • The largest library of audiobooks ever compiled.

  • Extra perks and content for Amazon Prime members.

What We Don't Like
  • A paid subscription is limited to one or two books per month.

  • Requires an Amazon account.

Listening to books can be as enjoyable as reading them. The best part is that you can immerse yourself in the latest release from your favorite author while keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. It's no surprise that audiobooks are popular in today's on-the-go society. The Audible app opens up an immense library of titles narrated through your car's speaker system. You can also listen to magazines and newspapers with Audible.

The overall service is accessible by signing up for a 30-day free trial and paying a monthly fee afterward should you choose to continue.

06
of 10

iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio for Android Auto
What We Like
  • Hosts hundreds of live and curated artist streams. 

  • Includes song lyrics and artist bios.

What We Don't Like
  • No way to rewind live radio. 

  • No multi-user subscription plans.

iHeartRadio lets you stream stations from all over the globe, expanding your radio's reach further than your local stations. Lift the limitations of regional topics and tunes with this app by driving along to whatever call letters you want. You can also create personalized stations based on an artist or genre.

All of this is available for free, while a paid subscription allows you to replay and skip an unlimited number of songs.

07
of 10

MLB

MLB.com At Bat for Android Auto
What We Like
  • Real-time game scores.

  • The collection of news articles.

  • The schedule automatically adjusts to your time zone.

What We Don't Like
  • The subscription must be renewed each year.

  • The live video app is limited to one game per day.

What's better than taking a long summer drive, fresh breeze blowing through the windows, and listening to a baseball game? With Android Auto and the MLB app, you'll never miss another pitch while behind the wheel, regardless of whether your favorite team plays locally or on the other side of the country.

A subscription is required to play each game's audio feed, with both home and road broadcasts as well as Spanish-language radio offered when available.

08
of 10

NPR One

NPR One for Android Auto
What We Like
  • Has a simple and attractive interface.

  • Push notifications for new episodes of favorite shows.

What We Don't Like
  • The default sound is very quiet.

  • Discovering new content could be easier.

Get up-to-date local and world news along with in-depth features from National Public Radio with this free ad-driven app. It covers a breadth of topics from politics to the arts. NPR One's customizable design ensures that your drive is accompanied by the news and stories that align with your specific interests and regions.

09
of 10

Scanner Radio

Scanner Radio for Android Auto
What We Like
  • An impressive detection range.

  • Helps avoid road blocks and traffic accidents.

What We Don't Like
  • Using such apps may be illegal in some areas.

  • Not 100 percent reliable.

The Scanner Radio app integrates the equivalent of a long-time Radio Shack favorite into your Android device. It lets you listen to thousands of live frequencies from fire, police, and other feeds across the U.S. and Canada.

With full Android Auto support and handy features to locate, sort, and save your favorites, this app is ideal for hobbyists or anyone who enjoys listening to the action as it occurs.

A pro version of Scanner Radio is available for a fee, removing all ads and unlocking advanced features, including the ability to record live scans. We ranked it as one of the four best free police scanner apps.

10
of 10

OverDrive

OverDrive for Android Auto
What We Like
  • Thousands of titles from hundreds of libraries across the country.

  • No late fees on overdue library books.

What We Don't Like
  • Complicated verification and check out process.

  • No automatic syncing between devices.

Since the advent of audiobooks, the local public library may no longer be the first place that comes to mind when looking for a particular title. Don't be so quick to dismiss your friendly neighborhood library. Most now offer digital collections in addition to a traditional print inventory.

The OverDrive app, in conjunction with Libby, lets you borrow free audio versions of these books and play those books on your smartphone with Android Auto.