Skip to main content

How to add app shortcuts to the Android Auto launch screen

Android Auto 2
Android Auto 2 (Image credit: Android Central)

Android Auto helps you stay focused while you're driving by bringing helpful apps and tools to the forefront, and hiding or disabling anything you shouldn't be fiddling with on the road. It comes pre-installed on most new cars these days, but even if you're driving off the lot in a used sub-compact, you can use it completely free with just your phone — and ideally, one of the best car phone holders to keep things hands-free. Here's how you can customize your launcher in Android Auto to keep the essentials upfront.

How to add app shortcuts to the launch screen

  1. Open the Android Auto app.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Under General, tap Customize launcher.

Adding an app shortcut to Android Auto

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Tap Add a shortcut to the launcher.
  2. From here, you can choose to add a shortcut to quickly call a contact, or one to launch an Assistant-powered action. For this example, we're choosing the latter, since the former is fairly self-explanatory.

Adding an app shortcut to Android Auto

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)
  1. Under Assistant Command, type out a phrase you'd typically dictate to Google Assistant, eg. "Turn on the kitchen lights."
  2. Under Launcher Icon Label, give a short name that will appear under the shortcut on the launcher.
  3. Tap Create Shortcut.

Once created, your new shortcut will appear in the list of apps on your Android Auto launcher. While you're in the settings, you can rearrange these shortcuts to put the most important ones at the top of the list by dragging the sorting icon (the vertically stacked lines) to the left of a given shortcut.

Products used in this guide

Have you listened to this week's Android Central Podcast?

Android Central

Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.

  • Subscribe in Pocket Casts: Audio
  • Subscribe in Spotify: Audio
  • Subscribe in iTunes: Audio

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.

  • Some of us no longer have an Android Auto app icon because it was integrated in Android 10.
  • How do I do this in my Apple car?