Create your app

Creating your media app for Android Automotive OS involves 6 basic design tasks.

This section provides an overview of those tasks. It also describes how both car makers and app developers contribute to the media app experience.

Task overview

Because most of media app design is up to car makers, the design-related tasks for app developers are relatively simple.

Here are the 6 basic tasks for app developers:

1) Plan navigation tabs: Choose up to 4 top-level views of content and decide on icons or labels for navigation tabs.

2) Plan browsing views: Plan how top-level and lower-level views of content will be organized and formatted (grid or list?).

3) Customize playback controls: Decide whether you want to provide custom actions and icons and whether to implement a queue.

4) Adapt sign-in flow: Adapt the provided code to create a sign-in flow for your app, if it requires sign-in.

5) Design settings: Design settings screens for your app, if settings are needed.

6) Provide branding elements: Provide your app icon and accent color, so that car makers can represent your brand onscreen.

Use the links above to access more detailed guidance about each task. For a summary of the design elements you’ll need to provide, consult the checklist.

Division of roles

The table below summarizes the design roles of car makers and app developers in ensuring a unified media app experience.

Aspect of the media experience Car maker’s design role App developer’s design role
Navigating media apps

Decide where the app bar goes and support app navigation and controls that can appear in the app bar

Decide which top-level content views to represent in the app bar’s tabs and provide icons and labeling as needed

Visit Plan navigation tabs

Browsing content details

Determine size and content of grid or list items and implement app header at lower levels of content

Determine format (grid or list) and organization for browsable media content at each level

Visit Plan browsing views

Playing media

Implement playback view and minimized control bar with appropriate media metadata and playback controls, including controls for any custom actions in the app. Provide a queue affordance in playback view and styling for the queue.

Decide whether to implement custom actions on the control bar, and provide icons for them. Decide whether to implement a queue and whether to provide an indicator for the currently playing track.

Visit Customize playback controls

, settings & search

Provide affordances for search and settings on the app bar bar, design search keyboards, and connect users to sign-in screens as needed

Provide sign-in flow (adapted from sample code) and settings screens if needed

Visit Adapt sign-in flow and Design sign-in & settings

Brand attribution

Display the app icon on all content screens and choose where to apply the third-party app color as an accent

Provide app icon and specify accent color

Visit Provide branding elements