Facebook Messenger notifications now work within Android Auto

When Android Auto finally expanded to be able to run directly on phones we were excited about the prospects of how many apps would expand to the platform, and Facebook is one of the latest to do so with its Messenger service. With the latest updates to Facebook Messenger, you'll now be notified of messages from your friends and families while in the car with Android Auto.

Just like SMS and Hangouts messages before, messages that arrive through Facebook Messenger will provide a simple popover notification on your dashboard or phone. The notification simply shows who sent the message, and you'll have three options: play a voice transcription of the message, press a button to reply with a canned message, or record and send a message in return.

It's worrying to think about joining in on a group chat while driving.

It's important that more messaging services — particularly those as popular as Facebook Messenger — integrate with Android Auto to enable safer use of phones while driving, but I wouldn't blame you if you were of the cynical mind to say we shouldn't be messaging like this in our cars at all. Facebook Messenger chats can have several people in a single group constantly chatting, and the number of messages you could potentially receive on your dashboard while driving could really get out of hand. The possibility of distraction with any messaging app in the car is high, but it could potentially go overboard with a group chat app like Facebook Messenger.

No matter what you're doing in the car or what interface you choose to use, consider just letting those messages stream on by without your attention — they'll still be there for you to reply when you arrive at your destination.

The update to Facebook Messenger is rolling out in the Play Store now (opens in new tab), and if you haven't yet tried out Android Auto on your phone, it's worth giving it a try now too.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • How does this handle voice messages? That is really the only thing keeping me from using Android Auto on the regular, I need to be able to respond to messenger voice messages.
  • I haven't used Android Auto lately... So I can't comment on that. Two applications that I do occasionally use while driving are: Enhanced SMS and Caller ID
    Ultimate Car Dock Full (Pro)
  • The answer is poorly. Android Auto will read out the fact that I have a voice message but I cannot listen to it through the interface or anything like that.
  • Does anyone know when they will add Waze?I know they announced it earlier, but there is no confirmed date
  • Awesome. Now, we can cause car accidents by texting via SMS and Facebook. I can't tell you how many times a day I see people driving in the fast line using one hand to hold and operate their phone. I hope these companies are eventually sued for enabling this.
  • You do understand the point of Android Auto is to get people to use handsfree options on their phones right?
  • I think you're missing the entire point of this technology....
  • U dummy AA is handsfree....
  • So you ppl think "it's hands free" is the same as "it's safe"? No it is not. Anything that makes you divide your attention from traffic, is extremely risky.
    So cjoseph is not the dummy here. It is those who think, that we need a little more distraction while piloting a car...
  • I get that it is hands free. What I'm thinking about is distracted driving. Stats indicate distracted driving is similar to driving drunk. If I'm moving in 3,000 lbs of metal, I don't care to know if someone sent me a message. I don't need to know. I don't need to read it, hear it, whatever. I'll deal with that later. Look at stats on accidents and fatalities since smartphones hit market. You'll see. Hands free does not make it safe. The distraction is still there. When I'm driving now, for the most part, my phone is out of sight, unless I'm using it for navigation.
  • Communication can be vital when in a vehicle. Loads can be changed, destinations can be changed etc. Truck divers use to use CB's when traveling the interstate highways. Probably still do. People listen to the news or rock stations while driving. Hands free to me is the safest way to communicate when driving. Individuals can opt out to use it, configure automatic replies when driving, or respond by voice to texts etc.from individuals they give permission to in advance... This does depend on the app they use. I'll take that any day over people hand texting while driving. I've seen a women hit a bicyclist while driving because she was texting at the same time - her head was facing downward focusing on the phone instead of looking forward out of the window while she was driving. I guess lesser of two evils. I don't know if the actual argument should be if it's the person or the device that causes the accident.
  • Changing the radio station or your AC/heater settings is also distracted driving....you don't do that either?
  • Oh goodie because I just MUST know about new Meme posts while I'm driving SMH.
  • By default, group messages do not show in Android Auto unless you opt to turn them on. So at least there is that.
  • I get the notification of a message from FB messenger but I can't play it or respond to it. Moto Z Play connected to my steep visa Bluetooth.