Best Smart Assistant Car Accessories Android Central 2020
We all love using our voice assistants at home and on our phones, but if you drive a lot, you might be wondering about the best car accessories that allow us to use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant while on the road. We've compiled a list of some of our favorite gadgets, apps, and accessories that allow us to use these powerful services in a safe and pleasing manner while driving. For your convenience, we've broken down our recommendations into sections for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and universally compatible accessories.
Best Car Accessories Amazon Alexa
Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is arguably behind Google and Apple in the car, but that doesn't mean there aren't some cool gadgets that can bring the Echo experience into your automobile. Here are some of our favorite Alexa devices for the car.
This two-in-one device from iOttie will securely hold your smartphone in place and keep it in your field of vision while your driving, but it has another trick up its sleeve. Amazon Alexa is built-in, so you can access the voice assistant from the app on your phone hands-free, with no need to touch or unlock your device while driving. You can ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, or display directions on the screen.
Two of my three family cars are not equipped with Android Auto or Apple Car Play, so this little device has been a lifesaver for hands-free smart assistant access. It simply plugs into the cigarette lighter/power port and enables you to interact with the Roav and Alexa apps on your phone using just your voice. A nice bonus is that it has two USB-A charging ports, so you can keep your phone powered while you use it.
The Echo Auto is Amazon's first-party solution to bring Alexa functionality to any car. It has a slim profile with the iconic Echo LED light and a physical mute button. Although this image doesn't show it, it does come with an AC clip mount to keep the Echo Auto securely in place.
If you need a replacement mount, or if you see yourself switching your Echo Auto between vehicles, it never hurts to get a spare. This clip mount has the added benefit of putting the speaker closer to your mouth and the LED closer to your line of sight.
If you prefer your turn-by-turn directions from the mapping gurus at Garmin, then this Alexa-powered device just might be for you. You can ask Alexa to create to-do lists, add items to your grocery, control your smart home devices, or play music via Bluetooth through your car's speakers. The device also has a built-in dashcam.
If the previous device appeals to you, but you'd prefer to have a display for your directions, lists, and weather, the DriveSmart 65 is the way to go. You do miss out on the dashcam, but the navigation experience is much richer here.
Best Car Accessories Google Assistant
If you're fortunate enough to have a car with an infotainment system, you might have access to a built-in Android Auto display. Of course, newer Android phones can serve as their own Android Auto displays as well. In addition to that excellent experience, here are some of our favorite devices to enhance the experience of using Google Assistant while driving.
The easiest way to get the Google Assistant in your car is through this app that puts an Android Auto display on your phone. Connect your device via Bluetooth, and you're off to the races. Just be sure to pick up a phone car mount so that you're not looking down at your device while driving.
If you like the idea of some of the Alexa-enabled devices mentioned above, like the Anker Roav Viva, but you live in a Google Assistant world, then the Bolt is the device you need. It's even more compact than the Roav Viva while still including two USB-A charging ports.
This is one of the most popular and affordable aftermarket infotainment displays. It can work with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and is the perfect conduit to the Google Assistant. You can access your apps like YouTube Music, Pandora, Waze, and Google Maps at a tap or with your voice.
Best Car Accessories Universally compatible
These accessories will come in handy regardless of which voice assistant you prefer to use while driving.
Even if you are fortunate enough to have a built-in infotainment display, you're still going to need to have your smartphone with you to access Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. So why not keep your phone handy, secure, and charged all at the same time with a Qi mount like this one?
If you aren't concerned with built-in Qi wireless charging but still want your phone to be visible and secure, this car mount from iOttie is one of the best on the market.
An alternative to phone mounts or clips is a good dashboard pad. It won't be ideal for every vehicle, but if your car has a large, relatively flat dashboard, then you can plop your phone in this, and it will prevent them from sliding around or moving as you drive, turn, or run over potholes.
This device works best with phones with headphone jacks, a dying breed, but there are still a number of them out in the world. It works to eliminate the buzzing noise that sometimes occurs when the audio source (your phone) and the speaker use the same power source. Again, it's not for everyone, but you'll know if you need it.
Take your voice assistant on the road
If you don't have a fancy infotainment system, we recommend something simple like the iOttie Easy One Touch Connect Pro for interacting with Amazon Alexa. It keeps your phone visible if you need to glance at the directions, yet it provides a hands-free way to interact with the Alexa app on your device.
If you prefer Google Assistant, the Anker Roav Bolt is a good hands-free option.
Of course, there are heads-up displays from the likes of Garmin, Pioneer, and others that bring a more modern, touchscreen infotainment option if that is what you prefer. And then, of course, there are many phone mounts, chargers, and other accessories to keep your phone charged, in place, and ready to be of assistance.
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