The ‘must have’ apps for a new Android Headunit

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‘The top 10 apps for an android headunit’

Here is the guide to our top 10 apps for an android headunit. You may have some of these already or they may give you an idea of what apps are available to add to your android headunit to increase its functionality. Don’t see this list as the only apps you need.  Your android headunit is personal to you and you can and should customise it to just the way you like it. Apps help you do this, most of them are free, or at least have free trials so you can try before you buy. The cost is usually small for basic apps like launchers and rise significantly for some SatNav options, with the notable exception of Google Maps and Waze being free.

 

 

1. Google maps and Waze

 

The top use for an android headunit could arguably be for its SatNav capabilities. Every Android headunit has GPS and all it needs to become a SatNav is a free mapping app.
We are are always going to be split here at Android-headunits.com on this subject so the top spot is shared between the top two players of free SatNav

 

 

 

2. Spotify has been demoted 🙁

Please look at our No.5 for an unlimited streaming music landscape replacement that works perfectly on an android headunit.

 

 

3. Online Radio (Streaming FM)

 

Streaming FM and AM style radio stations is the new way to get digital radio over the internet. The biggest advantage of this is that you do not need to be in range of the FM transmitter to receive a streamed service. The downside is you do need an internet connection.
Your radio station choice is very personal to you. With this in mind there are may different apps that are dedicated to streaming either a single channel or a a collection of channels. You can choose which you prefer and it is possible to have several radio station streaming apps on your android headunit at the same time.

Try Radio player app: Radio UK Free, FM radio online.

If you would like to try a station that is a bit more worldly, try the TuneIn app – Paid Subscription service.

 

 

4. DAB-Z

 

DAB+ is a popular addition and is often one of the first hardware addons to an android headunit. DAB+ is digital radio received by an aerial, so there is no data or internet connection required to run it. This can be a huge advantage over streaming when internet is not accessible. Unfortunately DAB is not a worldwide service, but is well supported in the U.K.
The problem that lets down DAB is the factory installed APP. The solution is DAB-Z. The DAB-Z app replaces the factory app for a much upgraded user experience.

 

 

5. Amazon Music

 

Number 5 spot is the new Number 2.
Another streaming service, Amazon Music has access to over 60 Million songs with a large number options for plans to help budget that can be easily updated to cover more devices as the need arises. The option of listening offline and unlimited skips is a plus point for us. If you have prime then getting the amazon music app for your android headunit is a no-brainer. Get yourself a free trial of Amazon Music (limited time deal)

 

 

6. The Launcher

 

Launchers are your home screen. They could be described as the app that makes the biggest single change to the way you interact with your android headunit. There are many car launchers available and they cover many different types of user. We have lots of information about car launchers, so have a look and pick the right one for you.

 

 

7. Torque pro

 

Torque is the free version of Torque pro. Use the free version to trial run the software is compatible with your android headunit. But was is Torque pro?
Torque is the software that communicates with an OBD2 reader. Having an OBD2 reader permanently connected to the car will feed back real time engine information to your android headunit. If you want this information from your vehicles engine you do need a compatible OBD2 reader first, but Torque is the app to use for OBD2.

 

 

8. Youtube

 

When youtube came up as number 8 we were a little reluctant to include it. We are including it in our top 10 apps for an android headunit with a health warning. Do not watch youtube videos while you are driving. Some countries are more strict on on this and we suggest you don’t have the app available on your launcher home screen. Keep the youtube app one or two swipes away from home. This prevents it being seen at a glance of the screen and more likely to be on the correct side of the law.

 

 

9. Firefox Browser

 

While your need for a browser in an android headunit is rare, we like the features of Firefox. One useful feature is the ‘sync’ with the desktop version and phone firefox which allows ‘send to android headunit’ when you found a link tat would be more useful in the car.

 

10. Sygic

 

Sygic is a paid service, offline mapping system for android headunits. You can by a map for any part of the world and install it. No data required. No hotspots or 4g signal loss to worry about. Data is still useful for an offline map to help with traffic prediction route planning though. Sygic has some very advanced features and it is worth looking into if SatNav is your thing.

 

 

 

Spotify (demoted) because of its current problems running in landscape (android headunit) mode. Auto updates brought an unwelcome change to spotify, no portrait mode.
You can try to fiddle around with versions, complain to spotify on their forums and directly to spotify. But we have awarded Amazon Music to No.2 spot now because this just works and that is what we want.

Tunes. You need your tunes in the car. Sat in traffic on the commute or a caravan has overturned and ruined someone holiday. the clean-up takes time and your in-car music can help. This spot falls to a music streaming service that plays your songs. There is a free option, but if you are into your music, you probably already have an account and this can be used on your android headunit.
Update:
With recent problems introduced by the people at spotify, it has become impossible to use it on an android headunit with the version available that the playstore. The solution is to install an older version that supports landscape mode. You can download that version here and follow the instructions to sideload it.

Marshmallow
Marshmallow
An android-headunits.com staff blogger. I am a multi-skilled dogs-body and I also make the coffee ☕

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