If you’re here, you’ve probably heard the news: Android Auto for phone screens is on its way out, soon to be fully replaced with Assistant Driving Mode (accessed through your Google Maps Settings). This affects users from Android 12 onwards, and leaves a lot of people wanting an Android Auto alternative.
To be clear, the end of Android Auto only applies to the phone app version, not the version that’s integrated into your car dashboard. But if you don’t have Android Auto in your car and are now looking for an alternative on your phone, these are your best bets.
1. Google Maps
Yes, it may seem like stating the obvious, but given that part of Android Auto’s downfall is the fact that people simply didn’t use it in favor of Google Maps’ in-built navigation functionality, it’s worth reiterating. Also, there are already signs that Android Auto’s features are are being integrated into Google Maps and Google Assistant.
Now that Android Auto is on the way out, most users will probably jump straight into Google Maps, whose Driving Mode does much the same job. You can use voice commands, call your contacts, play music, and get traffic updates.
When you’re in Google Maps driving mode on Android 12, you’ll now see an Assistant bar at the bottom, which will listen for you to make voice commands much like Android Auto did.
AutoMate is one of the best alternatives to Android Auto. The app has an easy-to-use and clean user interface. The app is pretty similar to Android Auto, though it comes with more features and customization options than Android Auto.
AutoMate allows you to place a call either by using your voice or tapping the number, send messages, etc. Moreover, you can also play music using just voice commands. The GPS functionality is also great on AutoMate, and you can easily navigate to your desired location using voice commands.
The dashboard shows a speedometer, weather updates, media controls, shortcuts to your widgets, etc. The premium version of the app unlocks hands-free gestures, traffic camera alerts, customization wallpapers, and more.
AutoZen is another of the top-rated Android Auto alternatives. It makes use of voice commands for certain tasks, such as calling your contacts, checking the weather, setting up navigation, controling your favorite music player, and more.
Additionally, you can use your voice to reply to messages while continuing your focus on the road. The app shows turn-by-turn navigation, speed cameras and alerts, and speed limits available on the map. It also allows you to do such things as customize the app drawer.
You can access your calendar events with a single tap. There are several other options you can customize to your preferences. Notably, the app also has light and dark theme options as well.
Drivemode focuses more on providing important features instead of giving a host of unnecessary features. It allows users to use their voice to answer or make calls, control music, reply to messages, and more.
The “Do Not Disturb” mode lets you ignore calls or messages and focus on the road. You can configure the Drivemode app to automatically launch when you start driving, which is pretty nifty!
All in all, you can integrate many of your favorite apps with Drivemode’s interface, including navigation apps, music apps, messaging apps, and voice assistant apps, to make your driving distraction-free and more convenient.
The Waze navigation app stands right behind Google Maps in popularity. It is one of the reliable navigation apps that is used by millions across the globe. The app gives you real-time information about traffic, construction, police, crashes, and more. The app smartly changes the route if it detects traffic in your direction. Waze is easy to use and provides various customization options.
For instance, you can enable the speedometer and speed limit features from the Settings menu. The app also keeps you updated about the toll costs on your route and your ETA and also shows the cheapest gas stations along your route, which is very convenient.
You can also play your favorite songs using your favorite music app right from the Waze app. Bored with the same voice of the assistant? You can change to one of a variety of voices to guide you while you take the steering wheel.
6. Car Dashdroid
You can make use of Car Dashdroid as a car home-screen replacement to give it a fresh new appeal. Car Dashdroid gives you quick access to popular apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. You can also reply to incoming messages with your voice without touching your phone.
Personalize the app homescreen with your favorite apps and also change the theme of the dash screen to give it a personal touch. The Car Mode, when activated, offers huge icons, a group apps folder, intuitive music controls, a speedometer, a compass, and much more.
The dashboard also shows you the current weather, temperature, battery, etc. You can set up over 40 shortcuts that include directions to a particular place, opening a specific playlist, or sending a pre-written message.
So now that Android Auto is going away, it’s time to adapt and take up one of the above apps. To take greater control over your Android phone, see how to stop apps running in the background. Or, if your Android loyalty extends to your TV, check out our list of the best Android TV apps.