The Best Apps for Android Auto

May 20, 2021 • Zachary Amos


Our top apps for Android Auto will help you fall in love with your morning commute. With these on your phone, you’ll be ready for your next drive — whether you’re prepping for a major road trip or your routine drive to work.

For Android users, Android Auto is one of the best new features that the platform’s added in recent years. The app allows you to mirror apps from your phone to a car’s central console or entertainment system, making it easy for you to entertain yourself on the road. If you want to get the most out of it, check out our picks for the best apps.

1. For News and Talk Radio: SiriusXM

Just because your car comes with a radio, you don’t have to limit yourself to whatever is on while you drive. With SiriusXM, you’ll be able to browse more than 300 radio channels with the app’s Android Auto-ready interface. Whether you want to listen to news, music or talk radio, SiriusXM will have you covered.

2. For Music: Spotify Premium

Just want to listen to music? Spotify — one of the top music streaming platforms of 2020 — is fully compatible with Android Auto. With the app installed, you can browse a catalog of more than 50 million tracks or listen to playlists that Spotify curates based on your personal taste in music.

If you don’t have a Spotify subscription, however, it may be worth upgrading or looking for another app. The free version of Spotify is pretty limited and lacks some basic features that most people look for in a music-playing app. For example, you’ll only be able to play your favorite playlists and albums on shuffle, making for a less-than-optimal listening experience.

These alternatives are also worth checking out:

  • AIMP: A freeware audio player best for Android users with a large digital library of music to play.
  • Pandora: A radio-like streaming app that adapts to your tastes.
  • YouTube Music: A Spotify-like streaming service with fewer limitations.

3. For Podcasts and Audiobooks: Audible

If you love to listen to books and podcasts while on the road, Audible is a must-have. Audible is compatible with Android Auto and is one of the best apps available when it comes to audiobooks and podcasts. With a massive range of titles to choose from, you’ll never have to spend a moment on the road in silence.

Some streaming services, like Spotify, also host podcasts — meaning you may not even need to download another app, depending on what you already have installed and what you want to listen to.

4. For Navigation: Waze

Waze, one of the most popular navigation apps, is also compatible with Android Auto. With the app, you’ll be able to plan routes and navigate using voice commands or touch control. You’ll also be able to easily report traffic incidents and road hazards with the app’s touch interface.

If you prefer Google’s own navigation app, the Google Maps app is also fully compatible with Android Auto. While Google Maps lacks some features that Waze offers, it’s a great alternative to have installed — and, best of all, it’s installed on most Android devices by default.

Stay Entertained on the Road with These Apps for Android Auto

Android Auto makes it easy to use your phone’s apps and take advantage of your car’s entertainment software — like its heads-up infotainment system and speakers.

These apps are some of the best when it comes to usability with Android Auto. Each is compatible with Auto by default and features a special, simplified UI for use in the car. Whether you want a little help navigating or just want to stay entertained, these apps are some of the best to have.