Templated app requirements

Navigation apps should also meet the Navigation app requirements. To learn about other requirements that apply to your app, visit Media app requirements.

General requirements

App developers:

MUST Keep task flows to 5 steps or fewer in length.
MUST Get user permission to access the car microphone before recording audio for voice input.
MUST Use the appropriate method (as stated in Using the Android for Cars App Library) to direct Android Auto users to the phone for actions that are not allowed while driving, instructing them to look at their phone screens only when it’s safe to do so (see Grant permissions on phone).
MUST NOT End 5-step task flows with a list-based template unless the Adaptive task limits feature is enabled (5th step must be one of these: Navigation, Message, or Pane).
SHOULD Keep task flows short (2 to 3 steps in length).
SHOULD Show content (or action strip buttons) for at least 8 seconds before removing that content in an auto-transition between steps.
SHOULD Ask users to grant any necessary permissions when they first open the app.
SHOULD Provide 2 accent colors, if possible, to better accommodate dark and light backgrounds.
SHOULD Provide a back button or other exit mechanism in places where no other actions are available, such as loading screens and actionless Message and Pane templates.
SHOULD Show useful content when opening a template, rather than an empty state with no options for users.
SHOULD Provide shortcuts to earlier steps (for example, when task flows exceed 3 screens).
SHOULD Provide a user entry point, such as a microphone icon, if your app allows voice input (audio recording).
SHOULD Stop recording audio when the user stops providing the input.
SHOULD Refresh content only for the purposes noted in Limiting driver distraction or where explicitly permitted in guidance for specific templates or app types.
SHOULD NOT Use auto-transitions to complete tasks without user action (that is, do not use them back-to-back).
SHOULD NOT Create buttons with states, such as toggles, in places where actions are supported (toggles are supported only in list rows).
MAY Update a list row or grid item’s image, icon, or secondary text to reflect changes.

Purchase flows only

SHOULD Provide shortcuts wherever possible, such as allowing users to repeat previous transactions (“book again”).
MUST NOT Allow users to set up payment methods.
MUST NOT Ask users to commit to recurring payments.
MUST NOT Allow users to select multiple items for purchase in a single flow.

POI apps only

SHOULD Provide a way to launch a navigation app in order to navigate to the point of interest.

App developers:

MUST Make sure all visual information drawn on maps (such as speed information and route labeling) meets contrast requirements.
MUST Draw only map content and drive-related content on the surface of the template.
MUST Draw a light-themed or dark-themed map when instructed to do so.
SHOULD Make sure text drawn on maps uses a font size of 24dp or larger unless it is paired with a visual element (such as a route or road) or is relatively static on the display.
SHOULD Clearly indicate if a task will update the route.
SHOULD Meet or exceed minimum size of 36 x 36 dp for images, icons, and map markers.
SHOULD Use turn-by-turn (TBT) notifications to surface directions when a user is completing a task outside of the Navigation template during active navigation (as shown in Navigation notifications: TBT and regular).
SHOULD Refresh duration and distance values during the drive.
SHOULD NOT Create multi-stop journeys, since templates are not optimized for this type of interactivity.
MAY Use navigation alerts or heads-up notifications (HUNs) to alert users about general navigation-related updates (in addition to turn-by-turn directions), such as traffic ahead.
MAY Customize background color of TBT notifications.
MAY Use animations when they aid in driving.

Template-specific requirements

Use the template-specific requirements to make sure each template in your task flows meets UX requirements and recommendations.

Learn more about the requirements for each template: