With the release of Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, today’s newest rides come with supreme smartphone integration already built into their dashboards. What do you do if your car isn’t equipped with a recent-year infotainment suite or navigation system?
To help you out, Automotive Training Center (ATC) rounded up our picks for today’s best Android and iPhone car apps by category.
Best Dashboard Replacement Apps
If you don’t have a newer car that’s compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, these apps can act as high-functioning replacements when your smartphone is secured by a dash mount.
DashDroid: If you don’t have Android Auto, DashDroid, a free app inspired by its slick setups and intuitive functionality, is the next best thing.
Large bold category buttons guide you to your contacts to make a call, music to access playlists, or navigation to open Google Maps and Navigation. DashDroid’s integration with “OK Google” allows you to keep your hands on the wheel while maintaining control.
Open Road: Recreating Apple CarPlay for iOS in an app comes Open Road. Open Road’s simplified and clean screen layouts make it easy to use, and you can customize your main view to put your most used icons, like calling your spouse, opening music, or activating maps, side by side.
Open Road costs $1.99 from iTunes, but has the capability to plug into other free apps, including Find My Car and Car Driving Recorder.
Top Navigation Car App
Waze: For navigation and staying up to date on traffic changes, Waze remains the top performing app. Available for both Android and iPhone users, Waze is a new breed of navigation software that offers all the capabilities of GPS navigation with the added aspect of receiving real-time feedback from other Waze app users about road conditions.
When another Waze driver reports an accident, slowdown, or police activity, Waze users can instantly see where it was reported on their routes. The granular aspect of Waze’s feedback is pretty neat. From a down tree limb obstructing a lane to a truck stationed on the shoulder, Waze helps keep you aware of the road ahead.
Miscellaneous/Fun Apps for Car Lovers
We also reviewed several Android- and iOS-compatible apps that auto enthusiasts will enjoy downloading and playing when they’re not in the driver’s seat. Check them out below:
Car Logo Quiz: Think you can instantly recognize a car by its logo? How about over 250? Available free on Google Play, Car Logo Quiz is the true test of your car brand knowledge.
State Plate Bingo!: If you’re going on a long road trip, State Plate Bingo! for iOS provides hours of entertainment. This $.99 app allows you to keep track of the states of plates you see as you work your way toward finding all 50 and see interesting facts and statistics each time you add a new state.
Learn More about In-Car Technology
If you enjoy learning about today’s up-and-coming vehicle technology, check out the articles in the technology archive of the ATC blog.