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Thread: What can you do with Android?

  1. #1
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    What can you do with Android?

    Hi!
    Really dont know much about Android since I am more a Windows guy.

    today it seems there are very much different tablets available.
    so my Q is... What can you do with them?
    I am thinking of having one in my car and wanted to know about few things:

    1.Navigation
    if tablet is not equipped with internal antenna, can i plug in a usb antenna?

    2.software
    since it is a different OS, you need apps designed for android?
    Does android have Igo navigation software?

    3.USB support and storage.
    Does it support flash drives, external hard drives, usb hubs, web cameras, touch pads, keyboards... etc.... etc?

    4.Can i just install windows on Android tablet?

    5.Android in car as a carputter generaly used for navigation - worth it?

    thanks guys

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    i believe android is a good platform for a in car infotainment system, it still has it's own advances to make but the android platform is great because it is open source, unlimitedly customizable, and by my standards very stable with the appropriate hardware.

    as far as navigation goes most devices support a internal GPS antenna and the stock google navigation software is wonderful and always up to date and FREE! but if it's not your cup of tea there are alot of different navigation programs you can download off the marketplace which has pretty much anything you can think of and alot of free options.

    If your device doesn't have a built in GPS antenna (hard to find in 7" tablets) you can use pretty much any bluetooth GPS reciever with it, or you can even tether GPS off your android phone if you have one.

    i don't really know of many USB devices that android supports as far as peripherals and memory but almost any device has expandable memory via SD card and most support a variety of bluetooth peripheral devices.

    honestly this is my choice for my next infotainment project simply because i fell in love with android since my first android handset. i think it will be more and more supported in the mobile community with time. there are already alot of great mobile apps for it.

  3. #3
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    1) This was covered above, Bluetooth GPS is your best bet.

    2) You may will have to find in-car friendly apps. As most apps are written for either phones, or tablets, they're written to be used with 100% of your attention. They're difficult and dangerous to try and use in-car.
    The only navigation software currently out for Android is google nav, which requires an internet connection to operate. This means you will have to tether your phone to your android device to have navigation.

    3) If your device has a USB host (like most tablets), it supports external hard drives/flash drives. It probably does not support camera's touchpads, keyboards, or any other sort of USB device. Iirc wireless keyboards work though via bluetooth.

    4) Usually no

    5) IMO no. There are too few applications for in-car use, extremely limited hardware possibilities, and the requirement for full time Internet that makes it definitely not the best solution. Look through the forums, there are a great many discussions on this topic.
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  4. #4
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    I don't recall if android supports bluetooth gps devices. In my bluetooth testing of various OS's, it seemed only symbian and maemo supported external gps devices (tested Android, iOS, WP7, Maemo, Symbian, MeeGo).

    mal is right, the biggest hangup is the interface and required internet connection.
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  5. #5
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    i haven't tried the bluetooth gps myself but i've heard from other sources its pssible, and i've seen the app in the marketplace that lets you teather GPS off of your android handset.

    the biggest hangup for me is the fact you can't use it as a handsfree for your phone that i know of, although i'm sure someone will come out with a solution at some point.

    the interface doesn't bother me, there are a few apps made to improve in car menu navigation but i think the stock destop works fine, most tablets make the widgets nice and big and you can customize it anyway you want. i dont see being able to input easier with a windows based device, the android voice search capability has worked reasonably well for me in the past as well and there are other voice based input apps such as vlingo or gesture based apps in addition to text input.

    i believe i've seen a few navigation apps that you can keep the map data on your SD card so you don't have to have a constant internet connection, but there is more than likely a cost involved and they may or may not charge you for map updates like other services.

    google navigation does have a caching feature so if your going somewhere and loose internet connection your route and local information should still be available.

    i forgot to mention previously that i don't know of anyway to dual boot or overwrite windows onto android hardware since windows only really supports x86 chipsets and pretty much any android device runs on ARM core architecture. there may be something out there but i haven't seen it.

    my suggestion would be to play around with some of the android devices at a local store and check out some of the apps at the market https://market.android.com/
    Last edited by zr2ee; 05-01-2011 at 05:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    thanks for information.

    I allways tought android is more like portatable device and there is no use of having it stationary, like Iphone or Ipad.
    Sounds like it is quite the same as Apple products: looks and works superb, but in the same time it has limited possibilities in hardware/software level.

    I think i should stick to Windows.

  7. #7
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    External HDs can be hooked into tablets with USB ports as long as you format them to FAT32. I have a USB powered 500 gig hooked to mine.

  8. #8
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    it's not what you can do with android, it's what android can do with you.

    A friendly reminder from our friend "Freedom".

    Also, apparently Icecream sandwich will support things like usb keyboards. At least, that's what I got out of Google I/O.
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  9. #9
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    Android tablets are becoming a wonderful choice for a incar system. The major flaw for it that most people will say is that apps arent made to be used while driving and need 100% of attention, and for most apps that is true, but google has done a great job with their navigation making it simple and easy to use and even be able to speak where you want to go. Also there are more and more car oriented apps like Torque which connects to a Bluetooth OBD scanner and gives you information. And google has created a carMode in version 2.2 (froyo and above) which developers can use to change to a different layout when the device is in carmode, or not even be allowed to be used.

    Also Im currently developing a frontend for it that is almost done to simplify launching apps and playing media to make it car friendly. there are already a few apps like this on the market but they dont offer to much as they are just a screen with buttons that you can assign apps to which then those apps arent exactly user friendly, so what Im trying to do is make an app that does that (because it allows for users to use the apps they want) but also have built in items like music, weather, video that are quick and easy to use makinig it safer.

    As for the data connection issue, there are navigation apps available on the market that you can save teh map files to your device so you dont need internet connection

    As for peripherals the newest tablet software is going to have great support for peripherals, mostly bluetooth or usb for the tablets that have usb

  10. #10
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    It is my oppinion that the android platform is the future for any mobile device, including the CARPC. Saab is even including it in there next line of cars (If they find the money to build them). There system is called "IQon" and looks promising.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BOd9oX1p4s

    Tablet are becoming cheaper and cheaper if you buy them from China. I bought myself a Herotab C8 which runs at the exact same board as the samsung galaxy tab. It does not include GPS and bluetooth and has a smaller but still capacitive screen with a resolution of 800x480. The resolution is more than enough for carpc purposes and with a good ROM there is support for USB disks and bluetooth devices.

    I hooked up a bluetooth stick and a RBT-2100 (Sirf-III) bluetooth GPS receiver. Together with "BlueGPS4Droid" (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=833094) is what makes the Tablet suitable for carpc puropses.

    "Torque" together with a bluetooth OBD-II bluetooth receiver will take care of that part of the scope.

    The only thing still missing is proper software, but I think NightJumper is taking care of that. His last screenshot is really doing justice for the android tablet carpc solution.


    A tablet is nice, cheap and becoming more and more available at most stores. If you want to build it into you dashboard permanently you can also buy one of the developer solutions from the manufactories. What about this solution;
    http://www.armdesigner.com/KIT%20S5P...droid2.2).html

    Check out the size of that base board !

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