25 Best Android Auto Apps for Messaging, Music, and More

Ben Stegner 01-12-2019

Looking for the best apps for Android Auto? If you have an Android phone and a car, you should know how to use Android Auto for a better info-tainment experience What Is Android Auto And How Can You Get It? Android Auto generated a lot of buzz at CES this year, but what exactly is it and how can you get your hands on it? Let's examine it. Read More on the road. Even if your car doesn’t have support for the app, you can still use its features right on your phone’s display Android Auto Is Now Available for Everyone: What Can It Do? Android Auto is Google's special app for using your phone in the car, and it's now available on every phone. Here's what you can do with it, and how to set it up. Read More .


Most of the available Android Auto apps fit into a few categories. Let’s take a look at some of the best apps for Android Auto that you can use while driving.

Note that you must open most of these apps and log in to your account before they’ll work properly in Android Auto!

Download: Android Auto (Free)


The right tunes make driving a lot better. Choose one of the Android Auto music apps below and install it. Once you have, switch between them by tapping the Headphones icon once you’re already on the music tab.

Google Play Music on Android


1. Pandora

The service that popularized internet radio Which Internet Radio Sites Have the Best User Experience in the Browser? Exploring the web players for various Internet radio services to see which ones offer the best experience in the browser. What good is a great radio selection if the player is frustrating to use? Read More is right at home in Android Auto. Once you’ve signed into your account in the normal app, you can slide out the left sidebar to pick one of your stations. Then it will continually play music.

You can use the Thumbs Up/Down buttons to influence the station, and tap the arrow to show Stop and Repeat buttons. It’s a simple interface, and Pandora is a great option when you just want to start some music and get going. With Pandora Premium 6 Reasons Why You Should Try Pandora Premium Pandora Premium faces some tough competition. However, having tested this new music streaming service for a couple of weeks, we've come up with six reasons why you should try it. Read More , you’ll get even more.

Pandora on Android

Download: Pandora (Free)


2. Spotify

One of the most popular music streaming apps, Spotify lets you access all the music you love Spotify Music Streaming: The Unofficial Guide Spotify is the biggest music streaming service around. If you're not sure how to use it, this guide will walk you through the service, as well as offer some crucial top tips. Read More in the car too. Slide out the left panel to access your library, including recent items, albums, playlists, and more. For best results, we recommend making a playlist with your favorite music so you don’t have to fumble about while driving.

Tap the arrow, and you’ll see extra controls to add the current song to your library, start radio for the track, and view the play queue. Remember that unless you have Premium Is Spotify Premium Worth Its Premium Price? Is Spotify Premium worth its premium price? Discover what Premium offers and whether you should upgrade from Spotify Free. Read More , you can only use shuffle mode on Spotify’s mobile app.

Spotify on Android

Download: Spotify (Free)


3-4. Google Play Music and YouTube Music

If you’re not already hooked into an app for music, Google Play Music is a great choice The 7 Best Google Play Music Features Is Google Play Music worth trying? Here are seven of the most compelling features you'll find within Google's streaming music service. Read More . You can listen to ad-supported radio stations for free, plus upload up to 50,000 of your own tracks to listen in your car.

In Android Auto, use the app to listen to podcasts, radio, and your uploaded music. If you subscribe, you can listen to millions of tracks whenever you like, similar to Spotify. Plus, you’ll also have access to YouTube Red Is YouTube Premium Worth the Cost? 7 Things You Need to Consider Is YouTube Premium's cost worth it? We look into the pros and cons of YouTube's paid version. Read More and can use the YouTube Music app ad-free (which also works with Android Auto).

YouTube Music lets you listen to remixes and niche tunes found on YouTube, while Play Music is best for “mainstream” music.

Google Play Music on Android


Download: Google Play Music (Free)
Download: YouTube Music (Free)

5. Rainwave

Looking to listen to something different in the car? If you’re a fan of video game music, then you’ll be happy to know about Rainwave. It’s the best video game music radio service Video Game Music Radio: The Perfect Background Noise for Geeks There's something about video game music that earns it a special place in gamers' hearts. The seven stations stream all the video game music you could want! Read More , available free on Android. You can choose from five different stations, including remixes, chiptune, and game music only.

The Android Auto component is simple, but is great if you’d like to focus in the car and expand your musical horizons.

Rainwave on Android

Download: Player for Rainwave (Free)


Texting and driving is dangerous, but Android Auto supports basic features for certain messaging services. With them, you can send new messages, listen to incoming ones, and send automated replies.

6. Facebook Messenger

If Facebook Messenger is your app of choice 10 Facebook Messenger Features You Must Try We've done some digging and found even more features that could make Messenger more useful for you. Read More for keeping up with your friends, you’ll be happy to know it works in the car too.

You’ll see notifications for new messages and can hit the Play button to hear them. Tap the I’m driving right now auto-responder to let your friends know that you can’t respond at the moment.

Android Auto and Facebook Messenger
Image Credit: Messenger/Facebook

Download: Messenger (Free)

7-8. WhatsApp and Telegram

Unsurprisingly, the wildly popular WhatsApp messenger 10 Best WhatsApp Features Everyone Must Know Want to get the most out of WhatsApp? Some features -- hidden and obvious, new and old -- are essential to improving your experience. Here are some of the best. Read More works with Android Auto too. It carries a similar feature set to other messaging apps in Android Auto.

Say Send a message to Jim on WhatsApp to start a new message. You can also hear new messages and respond with your voice. Just remember that you won’t see these messaging apps appear anywhere in Android Auto’s menus like the music apps do.

If you prefer Telegram over WhatsApp WhatsApp vs. Telegram: Which Is the Better Messaging App? In the battle for the best messaging app on Android, who takes the cake: WhatsApp or Telegram? Read More , it’s also available with the same features.

Download: WhatsApp Messenger (Free)
Download: Telegram (Free)

9-14. More Messaging Apps

Since most messaging apps 5 Best Free Messaging Apps for Android Need a free way to send messages to friends and family with your phone for free? Check out these apps. Read More carry an identical suite of features in Android Auto, we won’t cover them in-depth. Instead, here’s a quick list of additional messaging apps that work with Android Auto the same way:


Prefer to listen to the radio instead of your music collection while driving? Android Auto has several apps for that.

15. iHeartRadio

If you don’t like the radio stations in your area, iHeartRadio has hundreds of options How to Find the Best Internet Radio Stations In this article, we explain why you might want to start (or go back to) listening to internet radio, as well as showing you how to find the best internet radio stations for you. Read More . Using this app, you can tune in to radio stations across the country.

In Android Auto, you can easily tune to your favorite stations or find new favorites based on genre.

iHeart Radio on Android

Download: iHeartRadio (Free)

16. TuneIn

Another popular radio app, TuneIn lets you listen to thousands of radio stations for music, sports, or talk — whenever you like. Use the Android Auto app to quickly start listening to the perfect station no matter what you’re in the mood for.

TuneIn on Android

Download: TuneIn (Free)

17. Scanner Radio

If you want to pretend you’re going undercover in a movie, this is the app for you. Instead of tuning to radio stations nationwide, Scanner Radio lets you listen to police, emergency, and amateur radio 5 Reasons You May Want a Ham Radio at Home Ham radio is a hobby that has an unfashionable reputation. But that's totally undeserved, as becoming a "ham" has some serious practical advantages. Here's why you should consider learning all about it. Read More . Some might find this a bit weird to listen to while driving, but maybe you enjoy hearing what’s going on in major cities. It could also help keep you up while driving late How to Stay Awake While Driving with These Anti-Sleep Apps Drowsy driving leads to an unbelievable number of accidents every year. All of them can be prevented with common sense tips and some help from technology. Stay awake and alert with these seven mobile apps. Read More .

In Android Auto, use the Top 10 Scanners to see what’s popular, or Nearby Scanners if you want to listen to something local.

Scanner Radio on Android

Download: Scanner Radio (Free)

18. More Radio Apps

Most of the apps that work with Android Auto are local radio station apps. There’s not much reason to use these since you have so many other options for music. But you can give them a look if you think you’d be interested.

additional radio apps for Android

Navigation, News, and Audiobooks

We conclude with a few miscellaneous apps that don’t fit into other categories.

19. Google Maps

Chances are that Google Maps is already on your phone Google Maps on Android: Everything You Need to Know Does Google Maps on your Android device feel a bit daunting? We've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about using Google Maps on Android. Read More , but it’s still worth mentioning here. Tap the Navigation icon in Android Auto to open Maps and get where you’re going. Use your voice or tap the Set Destination box to set your destination, or just leave the app up to see traffic around you.

The Android Auto version of Google Maps uses a simplified interface, making it easy to navigate without a lot of clutter getting in the way.

Google Maps on Android

Download: Google Maps (Free)

20. Waze (Car Unit Only)

While Google Maps is the trusted standard for navigation, Waze’s Android Auto app includes handy features that might win you over. Thanks to other drivers providing info, it alerts you to accidents, traffic, and even police waiting to catch speeders on your route. Waze also helps you find the cheapest gas on your route and reroutes you automatically if needed.

Unfortunately, Waze is only available if your car supports Android Auto. If you have a compatible vehicle, you should try both for your Android Auto navigation Waze vs. Google Maps: Which App Will Navigate Home Faster Waze and Google Maps are both solid navigation apps, but which one is the best? Read More and see which you prefer.

Download: Waze (Free)

21. Audible

Prefer to listen to audiobooks instead of music when you drive? Audible has you covered. Use the Android Auto app to listen to your downloaded audiobooks. If you’ve never used Audible, check out our recommendations for what to listen to in your free trial 10 Great Audiobooks to Listen to During Your Free Audible Trial Audible is a great way to listen to audiobooks! Here are some of the best audiobooks to listen to during your free Audible trial. Read More .

Download: Audible (Free app, subscription required)

News Apps

A selection of news apps are also available for listening in Android Auto. You’ll find them in your list of music apps once installed.

What Are Your Favorite Android Auto Apps?

We’ve covered the best Android Auto apps you can use. Some of them didn’t make the cut, but we imagine nearly everyone will be satisfied with this selection. Now you can listen to music or whatever audio you prefer, navigate in style, and message friends if needed, all from your car.

If you’re curious, find out how Android Auto stacks up against Apple CarPlay Android Auto vs. Apple CarPlay: Which In-Car System Is Right for You? Today's leading in-car entertainment systems are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But which one is better? Which has the better features? Which is the most useful to drivers? Read More .

What Android Auto apps do you use? Are there any other apps you’d like to see adapted for Auto? Tell us down in the comments!

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Roger McCoy
    January 9, 2020 at 1:40 am

    I'd like to see Nexx garage door app adapted...when I'm away from home, it could alert me to movement of my door and allow me to operate it through my car stereo at a distance..

  2. David Onder
    March 11, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    I would like to see a voice note system, s I can leave myself notes

    • Topcat
      July 2, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Why not use the ok Google facility to set a reminder in your calendar.

      • Sandra Remson
        October 13, 2019 at 2:39 am

        Once you're driving and in android auto I think it would not work. Have to try it though.

  3. Wim Stam
    January 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Great apps are also "MyTuner Free" and "MyTuner Pro" More then 50000 radio channels from all over the world.

  4. jax
    December 15, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    The Overdrive app which gives free audio books using your library card to login works great with Android Auto

  5. Charlie Ray
    November 21, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    If AA actually worked these apps would be great. For those of us on Android Pie AA will not work on the cars display. Head over to the Android auto support forums for the unrest.

    • RA
      November 28, 2018 at 3:37 am

      Never one problem. Works fine for me always, no matter the Android OS from developer preview to full release on multiple vehicles.

    • RA
      November 28, 2018 at 3:38 am

      Never one issues through multiple Android OS versions from developer preview through full release, even on multiple vehicles.

  6. Gabe
    October 20, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Seems strange to write a story for people that haven't heard of these apps and post it on the internet. Wouldn't telegraph or messenger pigeon have been a better medium to reach these folks?

  7. Aniket Pharande
    October 19, 2018 at 8:12 am

    SoundCloud on Android Auto, India

  8. Steve
    October 9, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Waze works with the android auto phone app now. You don't need the car unit.

  9. Michael Sammler
    October 2, 2018 at 2:05 am

    The Libby app (I think it will replace Overdrive) now works with Android auto. So you can get audio books and music for free from your library and play it in your car. Syncs with the windows PC app. And you can download the audio files when you have WiFi, and delete the files when your done.

  10. George
    September 30, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Hello,I am George.I'd like to learn if there is a weather forecast as an app for android auto.thanks.

    • Ben Stegner
      September 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Hi George,

      I don't know of any weather forecast apps for Android Auto, and don't think we'll see any as I imagine they'd be too distracting.

      However, you can tap the microphone icon in Android Auto anytime and ask Google Assistant for weather-related questions and it will read them out loud. That's the best solution, I think.

  11. Adelina Lee
    September 28, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    In recent months, WhatsApp has stopped working on Android Auto for many users, likely due to upgrade to Android Pie. Notifications no longer sound and using voice command to send a WhatsApp message will not work. No fixes.