For many people, one of the big complaints about Android Auto is the lack of available apps. Now there are a number of apps already available on Android Auto, especially when it comes to entertainment. But there are still a few messaging apps that are missing. One of which has just been added to the list of compatible apps, and that is Facebook Messenger. Now this may not be the most popular messaging platform out there – that's WhatsApp and it's already supported – but it is a pretty popular one, making it a pretty important addition to Android Auto apps.
Like the other messaging apps on Android, Facebook Messenger isn't an app that you'll see on the home screen (which looks like Google Now), nor would you be able to access it like you would on your smartphone. Messaging apps are only supported via voice commands and notifications. What this means is that you can send messages to others while you're on the road, only by using your voice. This is a good thing, as the last thing you'd want to do is type on that 7-inch screen in your dashboard while you are driving down the road. Definitely not a good idea, nor is it safe. You can create messages, and also reply to messages through Android Auto. Now when a message comes in, you do have the option of having the system read it to you, over the speaker system in the car. Which may not be a good idea if you are with others in the car, especially if you want to keep that conversation private.
There are also some canned responses that you can send with Facebook Messenger, similar to WhatsApp and Hangouts in the car. The most popular one being "I'm driving right now", this lets the other person know that you are driving, but did get their message and will reply once you are available. It's pretty easy to set up, all you need to do is install Facebook Messenger and then use Android Auto. It's as simple as that. And with the new Android Auto app, you don't even need a compatible head unit or vehicle.