Communication apps

Android for Cars lets you create calling and messaging experiences that drivers can access from their car screens or through voice while driving.

Calling experiences built with the templates in the Android for Cars App Library are driving-optimized, so they help drivers communicate while staying focused on the road. Similarly, the messaging UI in Android Auto uses easy-to-read notifications and voice-based messaging to minimize off-road glances.


The Android for Cars App Library lets you create apps with lists or grids of contacts that users can tap to initiate VoIP calls. Calls are smoothly integrated with the Android Auto and AAOS calling experience using the Android Telecom framework, assuming you have implemented the Telecom APIs.

Get started

To learn how to design apps with the templates in the Android for Cars App Library, see Build apps with templates.

Templates especially relevant for calling apps include:


Android Auto’s messaging experience currently uses a single, notification-based model for all messaging apps. Text messages arrive via notifications, and users can choose when to respond. Options to play the message aloud and dictate an answer make it easier for users to respond while driving.

Because the UI already exists within Android Auto, there is no UI work needed on the app end. The only design considerations relate to:

  • App icon. Supply an app icon that will be easy for users to identify at a small size, in a badge on a notification.
  • Message ordering. Make sure your app’s messages are appropriately grouped and sequentially ordered.


For a closer look at this experience, see Messaging apps.