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Thread: How do I launch a W8 app from Driveline?

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    How do I launch a W8 app from Driveline?

    Specifically I want to be able to launch Navmii, a new nav app that is stored in the W8 format (not in program files with an exe)
    . I get an error message when I try.

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    I will have to try this when I get home and see what's up. I've never messed with any Metro app, but I know they can run on the desktop now. So embedding them should be possible.

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    Cool, thanks. I'm using a Winbook like you have in the TR7, and aside from the powered hub connected GPS puck being dropped (GPS Direct issue) when I turn off the car and resume without a reboot, I am having pretty good success with things. I may put a time delay on the usb hub power to keep it alive for 10 minutes or so after key off to get around it, or just have the tablet power down completely at key off since it starts so fast from cold boot. We'll see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClockWorK View Post
    I will have to try this when I get home and see what's up. I've never messed with any Metro app, but I know they can run on the desktop now. So embedding them should be possible.
    Actually not so easy. They are still running inside a WinRT "wrapper" that looks like a regular window, but isn't. So all the usual tricks that you would use to grab the handle for the window and size it down to your container don't work. The thing on win8x is, you can just swipe between desktop and metro apps. So you can have your frontend app running full screen on the desktop, and Namii running full screen on Metro and just swipe between them. Of course, this only works well with a multi-touch capacitive screen...very hard to do with a mouse or a regular single-point touch panel.

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    Does the wrapper have a handle? I'm guessing it does, but nothing to tie back to what's actually running inside of it.

    :-\

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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGuy View Post
    Actually not so easy. They are still running inside a WinRT "wrapper" that looks like a regular window, but isn't. So all the usual tricks that you would use to grab the handle for the window and size it down to your container don't work. The thing on win8x is, you can just swipe between desktop and metro apps. So you can have your frontend app running full screen on the desktop, and Namii running full screen on Metro and just swipe between them. Of course, this only works well with a multi-touch capacitive screen...very hard to do with a mouse or a regular single-point touch panel.

    That's what I was doing, but the voice commands from Navmii don't always come through when it isn't in front.

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    It sure seems like a stacked deck against windows FE's compared to an android OS when it comes to voice control, phone integration and nav. Too bad that MS went the way they did. An average end user is still facing a ton of challenges to get a seamless system to work as well as an OEM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flylear45 View Post
    It sure seems like a stacked deck against windows FE's compared to an android OS when it comes to voice control, phone integration and nav. Too bad that MS went the way they did. An average end user is still facing a ton of challenges to get a seamless system to work as well as an OEM.
    If you want it to work as seamlessly as OEM, buy OEM. No carPC ever built works as "seamlessly" as OEM, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And I'm 100% certain Android won't get you there any better than Windows. But that's not why most folks want a carPC. They want one because it can do MORE than OEM. It can do what THEY want, not what Ford or GM wants. And they're willing to accept a few rough edges in order to get it. Plus, they can spend the next 5 years with their sandpaper smoothing those rough edges off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGuy View Post
    If you want it to work as seamlessly as OEM, buy OEM. No carPC ever built works as "seamlessly" as OEM, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And I'm 100% certain Android won't get you there any better than Windows. But that's not why most folks want a carPC. They want one because it can do MORE than OEM. It can do what THEY want, not what Ford or GM wants. And they're willing to accept a few rough edges in order to get it. Plus, they can spend the next 5 years with their sandpaper smoothing those rough edges off.
    Preaching to the choir, reverend. I get the same issues with my hotrod projects, too. OEM's do a great job of making things work and last a long time for the most part. It's very hard to build a car using a lot of aftermarket parts and achieve the same reliability and overall 'finish'. Designers and engineers earn their money.

    Seamless is the 'grail', though in a car-pc IMHO. The environment demands it.

    This tablet install I just did cost less than 1/2 of what the Thunderbird one cost a few years ago, and was twice as easy to set up, and works better, but some things are still hard to get just right.

    I have GREAT respect for guys like you and Clock who make it possible to get as close to OEM as we do, and thank you for your efforts. I just think Microsoft is making it very hard for you. I wonder if Sync rights protection is a possible reason.

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    Couldn't agree with you more about the ever-decreasing cost of carPCs. From a hardware perspective, we really are living in a golden age.

    Interestingly enough, not a lot of consumers consider the OEM infotainment experience "seamless". In the latest JD Power survey of consumer satisfaction in the first 90 days, the #1 complaint, across ALL brands was confusing, difficult to use or just broken.....(wait for it)....infotainment systems. Despite a LOT of press hype, there really isn't anyone (OEM or aftermarket) out there doing it all "right". Of course, part of the problem is that "right" means different things to different people. Hence, carPCs still have a little ecological niche to exploit.

    I just think Microsoft is making it very hard for you

    I understand this perception, and Microsoft's late entry into the whole "apps" frenzy is partly to blame, but you have it exactly backwards. With the advent of Windows 8, Microsoft introduced their "apps" framework with WinRT. You basically had two separate environments on your PC, the traditional desktop, and Metro. And although they have become much more integrated in windows 10, there still isn't what you would call seamless interaction between the two environment.

    But it's the Windows desktop environment that makes Centrafuse, Driveline, OM and RideRunner possible. And it's the LACK of that feature on Android and iOS that has made it difficult or impossible to duplicate the features most people have come to expect in a carPC frontend. Putting aside the problem with hardware drivers on Android and iOS, it's the fact that they are both smartphone-first operating systems that creates a problem. from day one, they were designed to have a single app running in the foreground, updating it's UI, and they still work that way. You can't have navigation, weather, Pandora and a web browser playing a video all visible on the same screen and all updating content at the same time. only one of them can be in the "foreground". The rest can certainly run, and can even update their content. But unless you interact with the control surface to bring them forward, you won't see that change. There are of course exceptions to every rule, and some clever work arounds, but the fundamental concept of the app framework, is individual applications that occupy the entire screen and perform a single function.

    The desktop experience (in most OSs) is the exact opposite. Multiple applications open at the same time, sharing screen real estate and information as needed. It's the robust framework for sharing data and programmatically interacting with other running processes that makes Windows pretty flexible for this kind of programming. You can do it in Android (or something that achieves much the same effect)...its just harder.

    Final comment - I'm often reminded of the great Tom Petty song "The Last DJ" for the line "As we celebrate mediocrity all the boys upstairs want to see, How much you'll pay for what you used to get for free...". Back a few years it was all about Web 2.0. The browser was the app that could do a million different things. But as a business model, that sucked. So instead, we get a million little apps that only do one thing. On a phone, it's probably the right way to do things. But as the basis for a carPC system, I have my doubts. Still, it's what kids are used to today, so I suppose that's what will happen.
    Last edited by VegasGuy; 06-26-2015 at 12:13 PM.
    ClockWorK and flylear45 like this.

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