How to add Apps to Android Auto

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In this article, you’ll have an insight on how to add apps to Android Auto. Android Auto offers a classy and convenient way to access your smartphone applications on the display of your vehicle.

Android Auto provides the ability to use a range of compatible apps from your Android device while in your car.

Here’s what you need to use the Android Auto application:

  1. A compatible Android phone (click here to check your phone’s Android Auto compatibility) running the Android 6.0 or newer with the Android Auto app and with Bluetooth;
  2. An infotainment system head unit featuring a USB port and running Android Auto on the car display;
  3. A USB cable (that supports not only charging but data transfer also)

Android 6.0 was released during the last quarter of 2015, so it’s very likely that your Android smartphone is fully compatible with Android Auto.

If you meet all those requirements, you can use Android Auto on your car’s touchscreen together with the steering wheel controls and voice command. That way you don’t need to hold your mobile device or look at the phone screen.

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How to Add Apps to Android Auto

Before you get started adding apps to Android Auto, you need to acknowledge the type of apps that work with Android Auto. The apps vary according to their classification and the supported apps include among others:

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  • Google Maps and Waze;
  • Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Whatsapp;
  • Pandora, Rainwave, YouTube Music Smart Audiobook Player, Audible and Spotify for audio entertainment.

Bear in mind that the list of applications that work with Android Auto is constantly increasing as Android Auto becomes more mainstream. It’s the best way to take advantage of your Android phone while driving.

Adding Google default apps

How to Add Apps to Android Auto

Installing the apk is quite simple, and it only requires you to access the applications from the Google Play Store.

The Android Auto app will automatically connect to default Google applications such as Google Hangouts, Google Play Music, Maps and other compatible navigation app you may be using.

If you do not have these applications, your phone might suggest that you download or update them. You need a stable Internet connection to download these apps.

Adding third-party apps

How to Add Apps to Android Auto

The Android Auto will ask permission to access the features on your phone as well as its applications. Make sure that you accept the permissions and requests to get the best experience.

Once you have completed the setup, you can now access third party apps such as Skype, Kik, and Whatsapp, which represent the messaging apps that you can use.

Also, you can access a music app like Pandora and Spotify as well as another audio app such as NPR One, Stitcher and Audible.

To access these applications, swipe to the right or tap the menu button and choose the option that suggests applications for Android Auto.

Adding video play apps

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Android Auto does not allow video player usage due to safety reasons.

However, you can download the video application using frameworks such as CASDK, use the Android Auto YouTube and the inCar App.

All these methods will help you play your video files with ease. Learn more about it in our great article on video player hack for Android Auto.

Setting up the Auto-Reply

If you have a compatible messaging app, you can automatically generate the auto-reply for incoming texts.

Google has maintained a default message that states “I’m driving right now” automatically to be sent when you receive a text message.

Note that the text is not automatically sent, it requires you to tap the send button to reply to the text. After sending the message, the messaging app will automatically toggle to “mute” status to avoid further interruption. You have to tap again to allow auto-suggestion.

Wrap-up on apps for Android Auto

For more information, check out the complete list of apps available for Android Auto.

Using Android Auto offers a touch of class and convenience. However, it is recommendable to keep your focus on the road to avoid losing track of your driving.