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  • Android

    Android linux based OS developed by Google looks promising for Car PC usage, because

    - available to Smart phones, Internet Tables, PMP, MID, UMPC, etc.
    - large buttons for touchscreen navigation
    - plays all formats
    - a lot of applications
    - navigation software from NDrive, CoPilot (others to come)

    I ordered the brand new Archos 5 Internet Table 500 GB version and can't wait to get that beast.

  • #2
    mobile OS's won't work well in the car for a number of reasons. I wrote about it a while back: http://tripzero.blogspot.com/2009/05...ments-car.html

    Some apps may work depending on how they are designed, but others won't. Furthermore, Android uses very non-standard components that aren't compatible with other Linux based systems which makes using non-android apps with android apps a pain.

    Your best bet is to use a more standard OS like ubuntu or moblin or LinuxICE. Ubuntu, a while back was toying with the idea of getting android apps to run on stock ubuntu. Idk where that landed though...
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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    • #3
      tried to read your blog but it says link is not valid anymore.

      i think that mobiles are a perfect fit for car - mainly because of electricity (battery and easy cigarette lighter charging) and mobility (device is not only fix in car).

      i dont care much about the os. but have you seen any phone running ubuntu or similar. that is why android is the future (hopefully) comepeting against iphone, windows ce and symbian.

      btw there are many good apps - especially gps navigation programs for android. one reason why i have not switched to linux earlier (lack of gps software) and sticked with windows.

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      • #4
        blog link works for me.

        Anyway, the blog talks about "captive attention". When you are driving, the road should be the only thing that requires your attention. Mobile OS apps like found in android and the UI of the OS itself is designed with the thought in mind that you will be looking at the device and nothing else. Usually, there is too much going on in the app, too much reading, too much interaction required. THAT's why mobile OS aren't good for the car: because they aren't designed for the car, they are designed for that device.

        Some apps can crossover, some can't. You can definitely try it out. You may find it works as a whole fairly well. Or you may be frustrated with certain things.

        You are right though. Being able to take it out is nice.
        Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
        Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
        Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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        • #5
          i agree about the distraction it can cause. but android looks still thousand time better than windows xp with its small icons on touchscreen. okay for most function i was using road runner with nice large buttons, but there is always a situation where you had to go back to xp to do things.

          buttons and steering wheel controls are still best but this is not an os question more of an interface and availibilty. i expect more such things coming up with all those new mobiles and car holder packages than on proprietary solutions we are discussing here.

          p.s. blog did not work from link embedded in email. found it. thx.

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          • #6
            Have you looked at the Android forum? There is an Android SDK and tutorials for developing apps. True about the distraction point..but maybe if someone started developing apps specifically with a CarPC in mind or joining the development community for the Android on Netbooks..with the CarPC community in mind.

            Back when Android was fairly new I toyed a little with Eclipse and the SDK on Ubuntu but did not get too involved with it. I did, however, successfully build Android from source to run on my EEEPC about a year ago..pretty neat I will say..but more tweaking and modifying of the OS will be needed to optimize on a PC. That will be sooner than we think though since they are going to be targeting Netbooks next anyways.
            "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
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            • #7
              See my post after four days using it. It is definitely a GO. Embedding and nice front end makes it a dream for car. Shall I start reading the SDK and develop something.... Hmmm I now have 3 kids and probably not the time anymore to do such things... But still an interesting idea.

              http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/lapt...ml#post1350786

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              • #8
                That's pretty cool. Atleast it does have some type of video output (HDMI). Would be good for a simple media player or navigation.
                "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
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                • #9
                  I commented on this in another thread about using the Motorola Droid as a CarPc. The response there was similar to Kev000 (who, btw, I have the utmost of respect for given his work on LinuxIce).

                  Anyway, it seems to me that all the responses start with the same assumption: the user interface CURRENTLY on the phone is not optimized for use in a mobile (read: vehicle) environment. From there, the logic somehow takes everyone to the conclusion that it won't work as a CarPC replacement.

                  But no one has explained to me why you couldn't design a frontend for the Droid, with in-car functionality in mind. Large icons and fonts, simplified user screens, voice prompts, etc.

                  In other words, I get that there's nothing can do this now. But how do you jump from that to "it won't work as a CarPC"?

                  What's more, once there's a way to connect a larger touchscreen to an Android phone (CES just demoed new Lilliputs that only require one USB cable for power and touch input), doesn't the biggest argument (small screen real estate) against a phone as carpc go away?

                  I am still trying to see the fatal flaw here. If I'm missing something, I'll admit it. I just don't see why the future of CarPcs has to include a PC at all.

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                  • #10
                    I just replied to the other thread, but heh, i'll repeat some of it here. Your goals are noble and the Droid *can* be used as a carpc. There's no reason why anyone can't write a frontend for it, or tweak the existing UI to make it work better in the car. But there really isn't any escaping the fact that the screen is small.

                    I would also add that android sucks. It's a good OS for the phone, but it doesn't really share much in common with standard Linux. Other operating systems such as moblin or maemo are better because they are more open, can utilize standard Linux components (like pulseaudio, bluez, ofono, connman, etc). For example, If i write a cool obd app in Qt, I can run it on the Symbian OS, the N900 (maemo), Windows Mobile AND my car. But not the droid (or iphone). Android is a step above the iphone but it is still an island.

                    I say this coming from a developers standpoint. From a user's standpoint, this may only be a slight frustration if any.
                    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
                    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
                    Works on Tizen IVI. Does not represent anyone or anything but himself.

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                    • #11
                      Kev,

                      Thanks, I also replied on the other thread but you make some points here that I think are really important. You are correct that standardization is important. Actually, so far, it's the best argument I've heard for why Android is NOT a good choice. If you design something exclusively for the Droid and it won't work on anything else (or, worse yet, won't integrate some standard formats, apps or components), you are correct that this would be a problem.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cyan View Post
                        Kev,

                        Thanks, I also replied on the other thread but you make some points here that I think are really important. You are correct that standardization is important. Actually, so far, it's the best argument I've heard for why Android is NOT a good choice. If you design something exclusively for the Droid and it won't work on anything else (or, worse yet, won't integrate some standard formats, apps or components), you are correct that this would be a problem.

                        How ironic. I am excited because Verizon just shipped my Android Eris, which by the way, I found a site online that has an OEM video-out cable. In addition I also found an Android SDK that exports your Android phone display to your PC and you can control it with a mouse similar to MyMobiler. You can also video record your screen with it. So...to answer your question..why yes!...I would say now that the Android community is evolving more each day and you can use your Android as a CarPC.

                        The SDK is called Android Screencast. You best believe I will be testing this out when I get my phone. I utilize so many Google apps and services it only made since for me to make the switch from Windows mobile to Android and with the Android screencast, that just put the icing (what yummy icing it is..) on the cake.

                        This blog talks about it: http://www.sizzledcore.com/2009/12/2...phone-from-pc/

                        Project Home:http://code.google.com/p/androidscreencast/

                        I know this may not exactly answer your question because you still technically need a PC for this app but I still say that with such an open development community, you could probably create your own app or search if your phone has a hack for video-out, which would enable you to connect directly to an external display similar to what was done with iPhone or Samsung Omnia.
                        "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hexxamillion View Post
                          How ironic. I am excited because Verizon just shipped my Android Eris, which by the way, I found a site online that has an OEM video-out cable. In addition I also found an Android SDK that exports your Android phone display to your PC and you can control it with a mouse similar to MyMobiler. You can also video record your screen with it. So...to answer your question..why yes!...I would say now that the Android community is evolving more each day and you can use your Android as a CarPC.

                          The SDK is called Android Screencast. You best believe I will be testing this out when I get my phone. I utilize so many Google apps and services it only made since for me to make the switch from Windows mobile to Android and with the Android screencast, that just put the icing (what yummy icing it is..) on the cake.

                          This blog talks about it: http://www.sizzledcore.com/2009/12/2...phone-from-pc/

                          Project Home:http://code.google.com/p/androidscreencast/

                          I know this may not exactly answer your question because you still technically need a PC for this app but I still say that with such an open development community, you could probably create your own app or search if your phone has a hack for video-out, which would enable you to connect directly to an external display similar to what was done with iPhone or Samsung Omnia.

                          I forgot to mention that unlike MyMobiler this app also works on LINUX and MAC...not just Windows.
                          "Live Free!!!...It's all about Open Source"
                          Recent Proj
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                          • #14
                            I dunno, I keep searching for any new android info thinking that since Verizon has picked up android, more people would play around with it and realize the potential.

                            What I am imagining is basically having what luxury cars had before there were navigation units and what not; a portable handset in the glove box that was integrated to the audio system. It would go a step further than that though. Either have a phone that can be hooked up to an external touch display (through USB or whatever, this device IS still a computer) or have the ability to have a computer running android so the two devices can link/network. The way it would work in either scenario is that once plugged into the car, the device goes into the glove box. Your external screen becomes the main focus. Have it open a car mode that allows you to do voice search, navigation, media control, messaging and phone control. Find a way to integrate it with current steering wheel controls. If the separate computer was used, you would have car mode all of the time, with media control and voice search for the media (Microsoft SYNC competitor). When you plugged the android phone in, you'd regain messaging, phone and navigation.

                            The way I look at it, android is open development. There should be a way to do anything. You would have all you could eat data, because technically the phone is pulling the data and it wouldn't be tethered. If you could find a way to network two android systems together where they could share cache or streams or whatever, you could pull data from the active handset and not have to worry about a 5gb limit. You could do the android setup built in, have it multi seat so there would be three screens (each their own console), the first one being the main console with phone access, but then the other two in the back seat so the kiddies have data access etc. I think that the possibilities would be endless.

                            Since this basically is a computer, can't the usb be redone to act as a host? Allowing you to plug a hub in and use lots of other devices on it? So if there were a way to have video out, you could use a usb driven touch screen? Or allow you to plug the phone in to another computer and basically have it become a cluster so that you could share the data/voice connection on the phone, but have the integrated system do the grunt work and the video display?

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                            • #15
                              Believe me or not, Android on an Archos 5 inch screen can be very well used in a car environment. Of course screens can always be bigger but the main problem is not Android or the OS or App but more the touch interface itself. Real buttons and/or joysticks are always better during maneuver of course, no doubt.

                              Kev is just in love with his app, what I understand, but I have a decent UI with Widgets and large buttons which allows me to change music, navigate, etc. with Android - every day for two months now during driving on highways - and this in a bumpy jeep.

                              Have a look at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/lapt...t-install.html to see my install.

                              P.S. if somebody knows a bluetooth trackball or joystick we have the perfect input device for Android

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