We have a list of the best apps like Android Auto for those whose car or phone isn’t compatible, or for the ones looking for great alternatives.
Android Auto has greatly reduced the number of distractions we face while driving. The infotainment system is a way for you to connect an Android smartphone with the built-in infotainment display of your car.
Once connected, either via USB or wirelessly, you can use many of your favorite apps using the dashboard or the controls on your steering wheel. You can send and receive calls and messages, make the most of accurate GPS navigation, listen to music, and keep updated with the latest news.
Before we look at those alternatives to Android Auto, it’s worth exploring all that you can do with Google Assistant.
Is Google Assistant a good Android Auto alternative?
The voice assistant from Google isn’t technically an app, which is why we haven’t included it in the list. In the last couple of years, Google Assistant has improved leaps and bounds and is far better at understanding what we require. Once you have said “Ok Google” you will be able to:
- Get your recent notifications – “now what’s up”;
- Send emails – “now email…”;
- Send text, WhatsApp, Slack, and Facebook messages – “now text…”;
- Make calls – “now call…”;
- Set reminders – “remind me to send a birthday card”;
- Play, pause, adjust the volume, search for music on Spotify;
- Use Google Maps to set a location or “Ok Google, navigate home”.
Anybody with an Android device running 5.0 or higher and at least 1GB of memory can use Google Assistant and it’s a very simple alternative to Android Auto.
Best alternative apps like Android Auto
Car Dashdroid connects to your vehicle via Bluetooth or WiFi, and can easily be turned on/off on the home screen. You can set up to 40 shortcuts with your preferred apps and customize your shortcuts, creating blocks of car apps.
For example, you can create a music block or a navigation block. It has large icons and three main panels so you can slide between the dialer, the main dashboard, and the custom shortcuts. It’s already prepared for WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook as well as a speedometer, compass, and weather reports. Other app features include:
- Intuitive controls for music apps like Spotify and Pandora;
- Read aloud messages and speedy reply with voice commands;
- Google navigation:
- Call log and smart dialer.
Car Dashdroid is free to install from the Play Store. There are also plenty of in-app paid products.
AutoMate is a perfect alternative for first-time connectors due to its simple yet fast user interface. The home screen has cards that contain grouped information; music, weather, contacts, etc. With these cards, you can quickly access information without taking your focus off of the road.
The free app allows you to:
- Access your favorite navigation app and search for nearby places;
- Make hands free calls and reply to messages;
- Receive weather updates and driving alerts like speed limits;
- With an OBDII adapter, you can get real-time engine data.
The premium features are quite funky in terms of the hand gestures to carry out various actions and the speed camera alerts will be helpful for many. In-app purchases are reasonably priced.
DashlinQ is an app that concentrates on a simple but attractive user-based design that will automatically launch, play, and control various preferred applications.
It comes with voice activation for navigation and playing music. You will have shortcuts and a status bar that only contains the necessary information to prevent you from getting distracted. The best features of DashlinQ are:
- Bluetooth activation or automatic with GROM;
- Voice navigation for Google Maps, Maze, HereWeGo, and Sygic;
- Weather updates for your current location or selected alternatives;
- Integrated music plugins for Pandora, Spotify, Google Music, Web Radio, and Local Music (which is stored on your phone).
This is certainly a great choice for music lovers with so many options available. You will need a premium account for Spotify and the Google Music plug-in is only for purchased or uploaded songs via Music Manager.
There is a free 30-day trial, after which you have the option to upgrade for a reasonable cost.
Why only 3 apps like Android Auto?
There are definitely more that we are going to discuss. But we felt it was important to list these three apps as an Android Auto alternative because they allow you to do everything from making phone calls, sending messages, listen to music, and navigate.
Car Dashdroid, AutoMate, and DaslinQ are considered to be the whole package.
The best music alternative to Android Auto
There is no need for introductions when it comes to Spotify. You can pair Spotify with your car using Bluetooth and then use a number of voice commands to select and lay songs or choose your playlists.
Pandora may not have gained such fame but it is providing competition. As well as all of the latest songs, there are more than 1,400 podcasts and Pandora Premium lets you access your favorite radio station too. Voice commands now allow you to search, pause, skip, change the volume and give songs a thumbs up.
For a better navigation app, Waze has been around since before Google Maps. Waze is more advanced than others as it will warn when a toll is coming up and even police checkpoints. It comes with a speedometer and real-time traffic updates. You can even integrate Spotify with Waze. To activate voice control, say “ok Waze”!
Secondly, you could opt for HERE WeGo, which is an essential app for city navigation. You can choose from the best driving route, booking a taxi, or the ideal route using public transport. An additional feature includes the option to download maps and use them offline.
There is no question that Andriod Auto is an excellent way to connect your Android smartphone to your car. Nevertheless, the Google Play Store has a great range of apps that can be used instead.
A good number of these apps now support voice command and you can integrate some of your other favorite apps with them. More importantly, if you aren’t looking to use all of your apps through your car’s built-in system, you can also find specific apps for certain purposes.
Some other Android Auto articles that may be interesting for you:
- MirrorLink or Android Auto?
- What is Android Auto
- How to install Android Auto in a car
- How to play videos with Android Auto
- Watching Netflix in Android Auto
- Adding apps to Android Auto
- Android Auto phone list
- Setting up Android Auto home screen
- Android Auto – Do I need a data plan?
- Using Android Auto wirelessly
- Android Auto in VW Golf
- Android Auto in BMW models
- Android Auto and Carplay in Tesla Model S and X