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Thread: Starting an overall Android FAQ

  1. #1
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    Starting an overall Android FAQ

    I've been in car stereo forever, and also app development for mobile devices, and didn't really look into Android in the car until recently. Knowing there are plenty of developers out there looking to write the next app, I'm thinking we should invent some requirements to determine what needs to be done/improved to get the Android working in the car. Also, we should break down a FAQ into sections to understand what apps or mods are needed to handle each thing. Some of these are touched on in the posts, but we need to pool it all together.

    1) Shutting down/turning on with ignition. Power issues
    2) Audio output for car. Stereo vs surround, Blue Tooth vs Hardwired. Different audio outputs per device. At this point I really don't know what time of sound processing these devices are capable of internally or externally.
    3) GPS options. Built-in vs wireless tower tracking vs bluetooth or other external options
    4) Mapping/navigation (loosely linked to GPS). Google maps vs 3rd party apps. voice navigation, etc.
    5) Back-up camera options. Hardwired, bluetooth, etc. Perhaps crash monitoring cam's that react from a certain g-force setting?
    6) Anti-theft options (creative use of 3rd party apps, locators, picture taking, etc)
    7) OBD (interface into car system for display of car information RPM, speed, engine codes, etc)
    8) CAN Bus/iBus, etc. Interfacing into steering wheel controls or advanced car control (heat/ac/temp/etc)
    9) Network connectivity - Wifi, 3g/4g, built-in vs bluetooth network devices, perhaps pcmcia or some other type devices. Possibly tethering to another phone/device
    10) Hardware docks - plugs/and or physical modifications to help the tablets slide in or out vs permanent mount
    11) CD/DVD/Bluray. Are there physical devices/existing car changers, standalone network devices, BT devices, etc, that could provide physical playback of a media through Android
    12) User Interface options - different apps or mods to make the look/feel more "dashboard"-like in a car.
    13) Android utility apps/foundation apps - apps that stop the screen from sleeping, auto setting brightness based on time of day, locational settings, etc. Event triggering, etc.
    14) Car friendly apps (easy to navigate/provides in-vehicle benefit).

    ===

    I'm sure there are some more categories, but those are the ones I am thinking about. Need to crawl through the forum and start to compile. But we should make the list as a) what works today, b) what should be tweaked or developed for the future because of a lack of apps or lack of functionality

  2. #2
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    hey man, nice first post.... i'll be following this as I'm doing an android tablet install in one of my cars atm... to add to what you've posted I'd say the number 1 thing needed that is lacking atm is REMOTE CONTROL... I mean touchscreens are great but when driving & since android can't display multiple things at the same time, like media & navigation, even a way to remotely switch between running apps alone would be a great improvement in use, not to mention even more controls that can be managed remotely would def be an improvement in safe use while driving... I know I've seen guys get game controllers to work for playing games but I'm talking more like remote controlling the native android architecture to some degree... if some sort of program could interface with the use of programmable hotkeys that would be awesome...

    also, as far as audio, I'm trying to get hdmi out converted to optical as a way to get digital audio from the tablet I'm working with, still not so sure of the limitations there but may be a better approach than analog audio out from a headphone jack for those who happen to have the option of hdmi on there device...

    I'm also working on setting up a media server that interfaces with the android tablet through dlna, idea is to have a terabyte drive in the trunk, maybe another more portable & removable 2.5 drive docked in the console as well for easy movie & media loading/transfering etc... working with a seagate go drive atm which is working out well, although with a ton of media I'm noticing a lag as the media software navigates through the media each time.

    developments in these areas will be a great thing for the android in car approach...

  3. #3
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Wow, I'd like to see this. Can't wait when you start your android thread, turbo! I using a nook color & a galaxy tab as my headrests. I have wired power to them, but I'm working on an enclosure now. Audio is going to be via 3.5mm and BT headphones for the Tab. I'm also using the carpc as the source for content (DLNA too), but since the computer media right now is also on a usb seagate go (640GB USB), it's very slow.

    I once ask the guys from JoyCon if they could develop a BT version (currently usb only). Maybe the Android could see it as a BT keyboard? Problem is a bt keyboard won't control the interface I fear.

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    i'm totally agreed on this, and have been myself working on some of the issues mentioned on my current install, i think we should keep your top thread updated with the added thoughts and idea's and ask the mod to make this thread a sticky

    1) Shutting down/turning on with ignition. Power issues
    • Hardwire transformer into accessory outlet
    • Wire power supply with low voltage shutdown into constant power

    2) Audio output for car. Stereo vs surround, Blue Tooth vs Hardwired. Different audio outputs per device. At this point I really don't know what time of sound processing these devices are capable of internally or externally.

    3) GPS options. Built-in vs wireless tower tracking vs bluetooth or other external options
    • External GPS options

    1. bluetooth GPS https://market.android.com/details?i...=search_result
    2. GPS tether https://market.android.com/details?i...=search_result
    [/LIST]
    4) Mapping/navigation (loosely linked to GPS). Google maps vs 3rd party apps. voice navigation, etc.
    • Alternate Navigation Applications

    1. Sygic https://market.android.com/details?i...e=related_apps
    2. Navit https://market.android.com/details?i...also_installed
    3. Navigon https://market.android.com/details?i...=search_result
    4. Be on road https://market.android.com/details?i...also_installed
    5. co-pilot https://market.android.com/details?i...=search_result

    5) Back-up camera options. Hardwired, bluetooth, etc. Perhaps crash monitoring cam's that react from a certain g-force setting?
    6) Anti-theft options (creative use of 3rd party apps, locators, picture taking, etc)
    7) OBD (interface into car system for display of car information RPM, speed, engine codes, etc)

    8) CAN Bus/iBus, etc. Interfacing into steering wheel controls or advanced car control (heat/ac/temp/etc)

    9) Network connectivity - Wifi, 3g/4g, built-in vs bluetooth network devices, perhaps pcmcia or some other type devices. Possibly tethering to another phone/device
    10) Hardware docks - plugs/and or physical modifications to help the tablets slide in or out vs permanent mount
    11) CD/DVD/Bluray. Are there physical devices/existing car changers, standalone network devices, BT devices, etc, that could provide physical playback of a media through Android
    12) User Interface options - different apps or mods to make the look/feel more "dashboard"-like in a car.

    13) Android utility apps/foundation apps - apps that stop the screen from sleeping, auto setting brightness based on time of day, locational settings, etc. Event triggering, etc.

    14) Car friendly apps (easy to navigate/provides in-vehicle benefit).

  5. #5
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    yeah, I don't think a bt keyboard would offer much control UNLESS an app was written specifically for this... an interface like this would go a long way towards making an android install nice but I know nothing about the programming apps end of it to know what can & can't be done on the software end in android

    also I learned something else with this install... with the first tablet I installed in the dash (wifi only tablet) getting a gps lock was pretty difficult & would take some time to get a lock while stationary, when moving at a good clip it was almost impossible to get a good lock while the tablet was docked in the dash. once lock is established though, then gps coverage was fine from that point on, it was just the initial lock that was problematic, but then we come to another problem... if you switch focus to another app & your not currently navigating to a set destination then gps lock would be lost, when returning to gps the whole lock situation would start all over again... I have since switched to a tablet with a 4g radio & even though I have not activated service on this tablet, it still does communicate with the network & it can use the networks location services... this new tablet now, even without service but with onboard 3g/4g radio the lock problem is virtually eliminated, I guess the added support of network location services is all the difference it needs... everything else was identical between these 2 tablets... one was an htc flyer & the other is the htc evo view, there identical except for one being black & the other being white and the 3g/4g radio... maybe something to consider in choosing a tablet... I was about to try & put together an external bt gps to solve this issue but that kinda sucks when you already have an onboard gps built into the tablet to begin with....

    ripplinghurst, on my install I'll start a thread once I get some loose ends tied up, right now I think I have more questions than answers & also the cable I need for my device's HDMI interface isn't even available yet in the usa, I need this hardware in hand & tested before I can even think about finalizing my install so I can finalize the docking arrangement & know weather I need just one plug in on one end of the tablet or 2, one on each side,

  6. #6
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Cool, can't wait!

  7. #7
    FLAC hexxamillion's Avatar
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    Awesome to see more tablet installs. I've been using my tablet in my car for a few months now and I don't have an issue with power. I take my tab in and out so if necessary I just charge when its inside. Keyboards and such kind of defeat the purpose for me with a tab because I prefer touchscreen. I use bluetooth A2DP only and it has worked flawlessly, even with Skype through my car speakers.

    The cool thing about tablets is you can get quite creative and keep it as simple or complex yet still maintain the convenience of mobility which is my goal.
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