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Thread: Few questions about android carputer

  1. #1
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    Few questions about android carputer

    Hi, I am new to the android world, btw great forum

    I was going to buy a double din integrated head unit/dvd nav system but in Australia they are $2000 and you cant just buy them from the US for cheap because of the maps.

    Anyway i decided to go down the path of a $200 tablet plugged into my pioneer headunit, just was wondering if it can do everything that i want it to, as I have zero experience with android and tablets in general.

    I just want it to play music, movies run a few different GPS programs and utilise cameras. No internet will be required.


    1. Is there a simple app that is intutive where I can switch between these functions?

    2. Is it possible to make it turn on/off when it detects the battery to be charging/not charging?

    3. How long would it take to switch between functions, for example GPS and reverse camera?

    4. Can most android tablets be operated entirely from the touchscreen?

    5. with an android tablet, can you plug say 4 usb devices into it using a powered USB hub, and use them similtaneously and is there any limit to the size of an external HDD that you can connect?

    6. Are drivers readily available for items such as USB cameras, external HDD's, USB GPS antennas etc?

    Finally, which android version would be the best for a carputer?

    Thanks for any advice, it is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate
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    Your questions shows that you are really new to android , so first I'll recommend messing with the system before installing a tablet in your car

    as far as your questions
    1.There was a frontend attempt ( AndCar ) , but the dev seems to stop supporting/developing it. Most launchers will provide you with enough flexibility to do whatever you want with a little bit of work..
    2.Yes , using apps like Tasker
    3.Depends on the OS/Device - usually quick enough
    4.Not most but ALL of them.. Android is Touch-Oriented as a system
    5.You need a USB OTG/Host capable device
    6.external HDD ( FAT32 ) , Keyboard , Mouse - most devices with usb otg/host support them out the box
    For other usb devices you need app/drivers which might be harder than you think
    for example USB cameras are not supported on any device I know at the moment
    Drivers must be compiled with the specific device kernel , so it isn't like installing driver on windows machine

    As far as android version , there is no doubt that it's Ice-Cream-Sandwich ( ICS )

    If you have any more questions or need me to elaborate on a specific subject feel free to ask..
    HeadUnit : Car-Pc | Processor : JBL MS-8 | Front Stage : Woofer - Mpyre 65M , Mid - Dayton RS100-4 , Tweeter - Tang-Band Ceramic 25-1719S | Subwoofer : Hertz HX250D | Amps : A/D/S PQ10 , Hifonics Olympus XI , SPL AB03445 | Wiring : Sommer , Neutrik

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
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    To comment on touchscreen-for-everything:
    Before ICS, you almost certainly would need a Home button as well as Back button.
    ICS is a lot more touch-screen oriented, and I believe it has the capability of having "hardware" buttons as touch screen buttons, so no actual hardware buttons are required.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    Actually you can find soft-buttons apps/mods for earlier versions ( CM7 tablet tweaks for example... )
    But I agree ICS is far superior..
    HeadUnit : Car-Pc | Processor : JBL MS-8 | Front Stage : Woofer - Mpyre 65M , Mid - Dayton RS100-4 , Tweeter - Tang-Band Ceramic 25-1719S | Subwoofer : Hertz HX250D | Amps : A/D/S PQ10 , Hifonics Olympus XI , SPL AB03445 | Wiring : Sommer , Neutrik

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. Looks like ill have a crack at it.

    Youve clarified a lot for me, just a few more quickies though,

    When you say i need a device with USB/OTG HOST, how can i verify that the product I choose has this? They all seem to at least have a mini USB port.

    Also, can you run more than 1 app similtaneously, say GPS and media player? Finally, i know im probably pushing it with android, but can you have buttons that always remain on top, so no matter what your running you can have a few media player buttons on top?

    Im thinking of buying this cheap ICS android, the brand is Ainol, and i know its a cheap chinese one, but unfortunately its the only one I can find that will mount properly in my car, due to the size restrictions, I am limited to 190mm x 115.

    Thanks again for the advice

  6. #6
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    Oh and also, most importantly, is it possible to hook up a USB gps antenna so I can use GPS all the time wihtout relying on a net connection?

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate
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    To learn about a specific tablet do a search on Google/XDA-Developers forums
    You also need to check if the usb device you want to connect is supported on that device ( or at all )

    You can run more than one 1 app simultaneously , and yes there is always-on-top bar that will allow you to control even music although not as intuitive as car-made-in-mind front ends ( but it's not something to worry about imo )

    Ainol Novo7 are ok , but it's a series and there are number of models ( Elf , Advanced... )
    Some are good , some not - do your research before buying one
    Go over XDA forums and look at the development status of the tablets you are interested in , it will give you some basic sense of what you need to expect
    but tablets like novo7 you likely won't find there , for chinese-tablets info you can look in slatedroid for example
    HeadUnit : Car-Pc | Processor : JBL MS-8 | Front Stage : Woofer - Mpyre 65M , Mid - Dayton RS100-4 , Tweeter - Tang-Band Ceramic 25-1719S | Subwoofer : Hertz HX250D | Amps : A/D/S PQ10 , Hifonics Olympus XI , SPL AB03445 | Wiring : Sommer , Neutrik

  8. #8
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    Hey e32lover,
    I've recently installed an Acer Iconia A100 in my Civic. I use Tasker to perform actions when the ignition is turned on/off. It's got GPS built-in so you wouldn't need to use a USB one. It comes stock with the Android 3.x (Honeycomb; it's slated to be updated to ICS very soon) so all actions are performed with the touchscreen.

    I've posted a thread with video over in the Projects forum here.

  9. #9
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by btbond View Post
    Hey e32lover,
    I've recently installed an Acer Iconia A100 in my Civic. I use Tasker to perform actions when the ignition is turned on/off. It's got GPS built-in so you wouldn't need to use a USB one. It comes stock with the Android 3.x (Honeycomb; it's slated to be updated to ICS very soon) so all actions are performed with the touchscreen.

    I've posted a thread with video over in the Projects forum here.

    Just wondering what options you have set in tasker ? Have you got it to standby the tablet when power is removed and then display on when it's back on ?

    Steve

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdRsKuLL View Post
    Just wondering what options you have set in tasker ? Have you got it to standby the tablet when power is removed and then display on when it's back on ?

    Steve
    That's basically it Steve. When ignition (power) is on, the screen timeout is set to infinity. When off, it's turned to 7 seconds, which is the minimum, and I turn on airplane mode and pause media (I've left music running overnight by accident).

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