The latest Android Auto beta introduces new games for some reason

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

What you need to know

  • GearSnacks is a new Android Auto app that provides access to HTML5 games.
  • The games cannot be played unless your car is parked.
  • GearSnacks is available in the latest beta version of the Android Auto app.

Android Auto is designed to help you keep your eyes on the road instead of fiddling around with your phone. But it appears that the Android Auto developers want to give you something to do when you're parked, and that's playing games. Instead of these being fully-fledged games like Cyberpunk 2077 in a Tesla, GearSnacks is an app that is home to a bunch of HTML5 games for Android Auto.

Source: SmartDroid

GearSnacks was first discovered in a Reddit thread and then further explored by XDA thanks to an APK teardown. Now, SmartDroid (via Android Police) has found the new GearSnacks app in the latest beta update for Android Auto.

Google didn't have much to say about GearSnacks but told us that it's part of their beta program "to test new apps and experiences and get feedback for Android Auto."

Gamesnacks Html5 Android Auto

Source: /u/RegionRat91 (Image credit: Source: /u/RegionRat91)

If the name "GearSnacks" sounds vaguely familiar, it's because GameSnacks is a web portal created by Google's Area 120 team. The portal offers a slew of HTML5-based games designed to run on lower-powered devices like the best Android Go phones. These phones usually are capped at 1GB of RAM and don't have access to 4G LTE networks, let alone 5G networks. Specs like this make Android Auto units perfect candidates for lightweight games that can be played when you're just hanging out waiting for some friends. The introduction of GearSnacks comes after an update earlier this year that added some voice-only games like Jeopardy and TriviaCrack.

To be clear, it's not like you're going to find the best Android games listed here, but instead, you will find games that are just designed to help kill some time. Notably, the games available through GearSnacks are not able to be launched unless you are parked. This should be an obvious addition, but at least there wasn't an oversight made allowing you to fire up these games while in motion.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.