Android Auto Alternatives: Top In-Car Infotainment Systems for 2024

Scott Daly

Android Auto

When considering a suitable alternative to Android Auto, various options are available that might match or even exceed your expectations for in-car connectivity and usability. Android Auto sets a baseline by providing a user-friendly interface for accessing music, navigation, and messaging through your car’s dashboard screen. Some drivers, however, seek different features or prefer an app that better aligns with their specific needs. For such users, several third-party applications have emerged as worthwhile alternatives.

These apps generally mimic the core functionalities of Android Auto, like voice commands for hands-free operation, and extend different perks that cater to a driver’s preferences. For instance, customization options such as changing the layout of the dashboard or having a more comprehensive navigation system are often reasons why some may opt for an alternative app. Regardless of the choice, the main goal remains the same—to keep the driver’s focus on the road while enabling access to their digital tools in a way that’s both safe and convenient.

Beyond Android Auto: Excellent Alternative Infotainment Systems

Android Auto is popular, but it’s not the only game in town when revamping your car’s infotainment. If you’re looking for an alternative, or your vehicle doesn’t support it, several excellent options are available in 2024.

Top Android Auto Alternatives

Here’s a breakdown of popular options and their standout features:

Infotainment SystemFeaturesBest for…
Pioneer Head Units (DMH-W4660NEX, AVH-W4500NEX)Large touchscreens, wireless/wired CarPlay & Android Auto, HD Radio, customizable interfacesThose seeking a full-featured upgrade with seamless smartphone integration
Alpine iLX- Series (iLX-W650, iLX-107)Shallow chassis for easier installation, excellent sound quality, Android Auto/CarPlay supportCars with limited dash space and audiophiles
Aftermarket Android SystemsCustomizable Android interface, access to the full Google Play Store, GPS navigationTech-savvy users who want total flexibility
Dedicated Car Screen Add-onsWireless Android Auto/CarPlay, portable design, voice controlAdding smartphone mirroring to any car without requiring installation

Choosing the Right Alternative

Consider these factors when picking an Android Auto alternative:

  • Compatibility: Ensure the system fits your car and offers the specific connectivity and features you need.
  • Installation: Decide if you’re comfortable with DIY installation or prefer professional help.
  • Budget: Options range from affordable car screen add-ons to full-fledged head unit replacements.
  • Features: Do you simply want smartphone mirroring, or do you prioritize extra features like advanced audio, built-in navigation, or DVD playback?

Additional Notes

  • Apple CarPlay: Most Android Auto alternatives also support Apple CarPlay, so consider this if you’re in a multi-device household.
  • Research Thoroughly: Before purchasing, read reviews, and compare specs. Check the manufacturer’s websites for detailed information.

Key Takeaways

  • Alternatives to Android Auto provide similar capabilities and additional customization.
  • Choosing an alternative often depends on a driver’s individual needs and preferences.
  • Safety and convenience remain central to the design of any in-car connectivity app.

Exploring Android Auto Alternatives

The alternatives to Android Auto offer diverse options for connecting smartphones to car infotainment systems. They allow you to operate apps safely while driving.

Popular Third-Party Applications

AutoMate, Car Dashdroid, and AutoZen are popular third-party applications that stand out. These apps replicate key features of Android Auto, such as navigation and music controls. On the Google Play Store, users can find these apps. Each app offers a unique car mode that enhances the driving experience.

Android Auto alternatives like Drivemode: Safe Driving and DashlinQ – Car Dashboard Launcher focus on reducing distractions. They support essential functions like calls, messaging, and music without requiring extensive interaction with the screen. For instance, AutoMate allows hands-free command over these functions.

Comparing User Interfaces

While Android Auto sports a user-friendly interface, its alternatives also aim for ease and intuition. Car Dashdroid has a less attractive but similarly functional interface. The user interface (UI) in these alternatives is customizable, which is not as prevalent in Android Auto.

These apps pair with vehicles’ systems either through a USB cable or Bluetooth for seamless integration. MirrorLink and Apple CarPlay for iPhone users offer compatibility akin to Android Auto. They connect to the car’s dashboard, providing a holistic car experience.

Alternative Navigation Options

Navigation is crucial for driving. While Google Maps is standard with Android Auto, alternatives like the Waze Navigation App and HERE WeGo offer additional features. Waze, for example, can show a speedometer and speed limits, and provides real-time traffic updates.

Voice Assistance Beyond Google Assistant

Voice control is vital for safe driving. Apps provide this through Google Assistant as well as other systems like Microsoft Cortana. With AutoZen, you can use voice commands to control various functionalities. It allows drivers to stay focused on the road, making voice control a key feature in driving safety.