At the moment, Android Auto does not officially support widgets, apart from the clock that is shown in the split screen mode, but there is a way to unofficially bring the widgets or, at least, to have access to a single widget: with Widgets for Auto.
Widgets for Auto is one of those Android Auto apps that Google doesn’t like, like CarTube, Fermata Auto, or AA Mirror Plus, and it works in a similar way: it lets you choose a widget to display in Android Auto.
Your car widget
As of today, Android Auto does not officially support widgets. If you have a favorite widget on Android and you would like to have it also on your car screen, you can do it with the Widgets for Auto application. It is a very simple open source app that all it does is show a widget of your choice.
To install Widgets for Auto you can choose to AA Store, an installer and downloader of this type of application for Android Auto. You can install it on your mobile by downloading and installing aastore-1.0.2.apk from this Telegram channel. The process is as simple as tapping on Widgets for Auto, press Install, wait for it to download and start the installation. If this is your first time using the app, you will need to give it permission to install apps first.
If you prefer, you can install the app directly, without using the AA Store. You can download the APK from here and by following its author’s official instructions here, which involves activating unknown sources in the Android Auto developer settings.
Next it is time to open Widgets for Auto choose the widget that you want to take in the car. The application is extremely simple, so there is basically only one button: Add Widget. Press it and then you will have to choose a widget from among all those that are present on the mobile.
Unfortunately, there is no preview or the size of the widgets, so you will have to trust the icons and their names. Once you choose a widget, yes, you can preview it in your window. What you see in Widgets for Auto will be what you see later in the car, although keep in mind that it will stretch to take up most of the screen.
After configuring the widget, connect the mobile to the car and open Widgets, which is the application with which you will see the widget that you have configured before. While it is not as practical as having the widgets directly on the home screen, it is the best we can hope for until Google officially includes them.
The application will then show the widget in large occupying practically the entire screen. If you want, in the settings of the application on the mobile you can make it even larger, full screen.
This assumes that some widgets appear a bit stretched not having been designed for such a large size, although this depends a lot on how the widget is designed. Some adapt better than others.
In our tests, the system has worked reasonably well. The widgets are visible and even you can interact with them, although whatever is opened or changed will be on the mobile and not in Android Auto. For example, if you tap on a chat on the WhatsApp widget, the WhatsApp conversation on mobile opens.