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Android Mirroring Options

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  • Android Mirroring Options

    Ok, so I definitely want to use my Galaxy S2 (SGH-T989) as the basis for my next setup in my 2010 VW Jetta

    I've explored my options and here's what I've come up with:

    - Use stock VW RCD-510 w/ 6.5" touchscreen $0
    - Aftermarket video input adapter $220-$290 (depending on which brand head unit I have)
    - Mimics X2 Bluetooth Touchscreen Controller ~$220
    - HDMI to VGA adapter $43
    - VGA to RGB+S adapter $14
    Total: $497-$567


    - Sell stock RCD-510 (~-$250)
    - Buy Pioneer AppRadio 2 $565 (including adapter and faceplate from Crutchfield, but may be cheaper from ebay or other retailers)
    - ARLiberator App $30
    Total Net: $345

    For both setups I'll need:
    - MHL adapter $9 (ebay)
    - HDMI cable $4 (ebay)
    - reverse camera ~$20 (amazon)
    Total: $33

    So.... basically I'm facing the question, "is staying with a stock look worth $150 price difference, and a fair amount of custom wiring??"
    COMPLETED! 02 VW Golf TDI 7" Eee PC Budget Build

  • #2
    Definitely go with Appradio2 using the ARliberator Android app. I just installed the appradio2 in my Civic using ARLiberator and it works great.

    I never even tried the Pioneer Android app due to the poor reviews. ARLiberator allows full view and control of the phone.

    The Appradio2 hardware if very good.
    Keep in mind with Appradio2 you are getting the following:

    Handsfree phone (includes external mic)
    Dedicated Home, MENU and back buttons.
    External GPS receiver (GPS sent to phone over bluetooth) This is important since HDMI will squash the GPS signal on some phones.
    Built in FM Tuner (very easy to mix FM audio with Android audio)
    Speaker level amp
    Good resolution display (800x480 I think). Overall does well in sunlight.
    7" Capacitive touch screen with multi-touch
    Supports steering wheel controls and rear view camera

    Best of all, the dev supporting ARLiberator is very responsive and is constantly adding improvements.

    I bought my Appradio2 from Amazon for $340, I also got the cable kit for $69, I know you can piece together the cable kit for less but I am happy with the quality of the Pioneer cable kit.
    My Celica Carputer Install


    • #3
      thanks for the reply. however, I heard that the pioneer cable was not that good on another forum. couldn't I just use a normal generic MHL adapter and an HDMI cable? what is special about the pioneer cable?
      COMPLETED! 02 VW Golf TDI 7" Eee PC Budget Build


      • #4
        There really isn't anything particularly special about the Pioneer cable kit. A few things to note. I had a half dozen HDMI cables laying around and none of them would fit into the appradio because the overmold was too big. The cable sits fairly deep into the back of the appradio so the thickness of the cable overmolding becomes a factor. I probably could have thinned the overmolding with an exacto knife. A strain relief plastic bracket is also included with the appradio which works well with the Pioneer HDMI cable. I already had a MHL adapter but the USB cable end was only ~6" long. The USB cable going to the Pioneer MHL adapter is over 2" long. This allowed the MHL adapter to be tucked behind the dash.

        I took the case apart on the charging box that came with the cable kit. It looked like a high quality switching regulator. I wanted to wire it directly to the battery but I measured 11mA without it connected to a phone. That wouldn't kill a car battery overnight but it's higher battery current than I'd like so I connected it to accessory power.

        So yeah you can definitely piece together the cables and hardwire a charger for less than the cost of the Pioneer cable kit. What issues do you hear about with the Pioneer cable kit?
        My Celica Carputer Install


        • #5
          read the reviews on the app radio on Amazon. i would be concerned.
          Worklogs: 08 Sequoia Platinum Carputer (In Progress!)
          Skin: MetroSex on the Beach preview

          07 Infiniti Fx35 (done!) & 06 Infiniti M35 (gone...)


          • #6
            Originally posted by RipplingHurst View Post
            read the reviews on the app radio on Amazon. i would be concerned.
            Iíve read the Amazon review and I agree with most of them. Most reviews are disappointed in the Pioneer sw, mainly the Pioneer Android app that runs on the phone. Iíve never tried the Pioneer app so I canít comment on the app. Most people do agree that the Appradio2 hardware is very good. Someone on the appradioforums took their appradio2 apart, the GPS chip is by uBlox, and Bluetooth is by Parrot.

            When using the Arliberator Android app, your only using a limited amount of Pioneer sw running on the Appradio2 to control the FM radio and bluetooth which works very well. The ARLiberator app is key, I would not use the Appradio2 without it. The dev is constantly adding features which is great.

            The Appradio hw/sw works well in the following areas.
            Bluetooth calling: never had an issue connecting my phone via bluetooth for handsfree calling regardless of weather the phone is plugged in or not.
            Bluetooth touch / GPS: works very reliably
            AM/FM radio: The radio interface could be a little improved but it works well and a radio control bar can be launched by double tapping the home button while still having the phone screen displayed
            Capacitive Touch Screen: The touch screen is very responsive, looks great and suports mult-touch.
            Backup Camera: Iíve read the backup camera switchover works well. I just got my Sony XA-R800C camera that Iíll be installing this weekend.
            Speaker level outputs, and amp preouts: works like a traditional radio.

            Itís great to have all this integrated into a standard double din headunit. Install was super easy compared to piecing this all together. I installed the trunk mounted Windows based PC a few years back and this was a lot easier than running VGA, USB, RS232 and various other cables across the car, startup/power supply issues etc. Iím surprised that more people are not takeing this route due to the relatively low cost, low install complexity and high level of functionality.
            My Celica Carputer Install


            • #7
              have you ran your t989 through the paces when it comes to HDMI? i have had a number of issues with mine going haywire when it loses HDMI sync. i don't want to hijack your thread or anything but word to the wise man test it out before you start buying a bunch of extra hardware.


              • #8
                ARLiberator is what you want. Like EB said the value is ridiculous. Capacative screen, FM tuner, External GPS etc etc. Like me, I'm sure you have looked at every option when it comes to mirroring an android phone. As of NOW, there is no better way of doing this, especially for the price point. Head over to and educate yourself a bit before you purchase. It's a great forum and the easiest way to get in contact with the Dev (Stacktrace [Kyle]).
                2011 Tacoma Nexus 7 App Radio Install

                1993 Lincoln town car Carputer Project


                • #9
                  Wow! Thanks for all the great responses!

                  Yeah, I am going to get an MHL adapter first and play with it to make sure the phone does what I want.

                  The only things I heard about the Pioneer cable kit was that it just wasn't such high quality, but I think they may have been talking about the ipod verson, and not android.
                  COMPLETED! 02 VW Golf TDI 7" Eee PC Budget Build