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Foryou Electronics Android Front End - CES 2011

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  • Foryou Electronics Android Front End - CES 2011

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    Although not available yet, the Foryou Electronics double din unit in this video features the Android 2.2 operating system. With it, a plethora of app possibilities can now exist in the vehicle, with a user interface conducive to in-vehicle use. Bluetooth, music, email, radio, internet access, and a fast processor are now all easily possible from your dash.
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  • #2
    Outstanding! Any word on navigation/GPS? Upgradeable to Android 2.3 (Honeycomb)?

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    • #3
      Meh this will be interested when some1 creates a proper frontend for it (cf,rr,..). Boring plain android

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      • #4
        looks promising.

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        • #5
          So, it has an embedded GPS chip and uses google maps navigation. But I couldn't show that because I couldn't get it work. DOh!

          But yet, a FE is needed to make it worth out while. Luckily there are lots of great dev tools for andorid.

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          • #6
            I think Android makes an excellent embedded mobile platform. The knock on Google Maps with Navigation is if you don't have a cell signal and find yourself off route, it can't pull from maps already in the phone's memory to re-route you. I personally don't see that as much of an issue especially near a major urban area. Out in even the dankest parts of America, you can still get GPRS cell and that's enough to provide Google Maps with information.

            But you with a 3/4G radio you can use Pandora, Sirius/XM mobile, Last FM and various other sites that could replace your standard radio. But most stations are streaming, so it just a matter putting their streaming address in the browser and Androids limited but very functional media player would boot up.

            It would drop the price of in-dash units since Android is open source. I see this as win-win for infotainment.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by djfourmoney View Post
              .... It would drop the price of in-dash units since Android is open source. I see this as win-win for infotainment.
              Nonsense! It will initially raise the price for several reasons.

              1. The WOW factor... name ANY new feature on head units that didn't bump the price up initially.
              2. If you don't include a touchscreen (like Parrot?), what does Android give you that Linux doesn't? And if you do include a touchscreen, then your cost rises significantly. And a single DIN touchscreen isn't very useful in any case, so now you're talking about a different form-factor...added costs.
              3. Android may be free, but developers aren't. Somebody has to write the interface to your hardware, it doesn't just magically appear, and that adds to the cost, compared to an existing all-hardware solution.

              I've spent a goodly portion of the last couple of weeks writing code for Android and I can assure you that it is a fine platform...but it's just a platform. I'll leave it to the fan boys to argue the relative merits of one platform over another. Java is java...if you know it well enough, then it just boils down to what the platform makes available to you, and how you go about using it.

              VegasGuy

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              • #8
                I doubt the fact that vanilla Android is installed matters. In fact I think this is better than a Motorola/HTC/Samsung/Dell type of skin/mod/custom UI because honestly I highly doubt Foryou Electronics can produce even a sub-mediocre skin/mod/custom UI. Plus potential infotainment software/frontend developers would probably prefer developing with their target being stock Android instead of a customized Android with mods causing potential development issues.

                I also doubt they'll put any WWAN/3G/mobile broadband technology in there because of cost (none of the cheapo Android tablets are doing it either and plus Foryou most likely can't get a carrier to subsidize it like Galaxy Tab or Streak). Folks buying this thing will most likely be advanced users and already have their Android phones rooted with Wireless Tether installed so that'll solve the mobile Internet issue (assuming this thing even has built-in Wi-Fi). Otherwise, Navigon (and other locally stored map navigation software) and synced media will be necessary for navigation and music.

                A frontend is needed indeed, but I wouldn't look for Foryou to provide much in that department (for reasons stated above). All in all it shouldn't be too hard for a developer to produce a decent first generation frontend. Probably shouldn't be more than an app with Google Maps tightly tied in (always displayed when not navigating) with music, weather and time widgets or overlays with smart show/hide togglers with quick smart action buttons... right?

                Any idea of the built-in storage capacity and whether it takes microSD cards?

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                • #9
                  The funny part is this system is illegal to use or even have installed in at least a dozen states and quite a few entire countries.
                  openMobile - An open source C# Front End (why choose openMobile?)
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                  • #10
                    I think this is a good step forward. Most people get scared when you tell them you have a PC installed in your car. If you have a headunit with Andriod on it they will just think it's like a phone. Though nothing is really changed, it's more of a perception thing.

                    I personally would like something a little less "fragile" than the windows install and the home built stuff that we deal with today. When I can get something that's completed hardware wise, yet gives me the ability to customize then I'll be very happy.

                    As far as legality goes, there are things that you do to make it legal. Most legal navigation systems give you a dialog or warning when you start and disable the functions that are not OK to use while driving. I'm pretty sure that most of it will be disabled when the car is in motion (or not in park) and then the creative individuals out there will find ways to bypass that stuff.

                    In any case, when it comes live and people can buy it I'm sure they will have it modified in a way that it can legally be sold.

                    For pricing I agree that initially it will be expensive. Since it's a head unit with navigation and all that stuff it will probably sell for around $1000, which I would hate to see. Then, hopefully, it would come down to the $500 range within a year or so.
                    Nick - 08 GG Element
                    Custom 3D-CAD Design, Reverse Engineering and Fabrication

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justchat_1 View Post
                      The funny part is this system is illegal to use or even have installed in at least a dozen states and quite a few entire countries.
                      Do tell...

                      As for the idea that it needs a frontend... this is a really bad idea. All of the current FE's use a proprietary plugin system. This would work on top of an already proprietary way to create applications on android. You end up confusing developers: "Which FE do I code for? Why do I have to learn android's SDK AND all these Frontends SDKs?"

                      In the end you have just as screwed up of a community as we have now: a fragmented, sparse pockets of innovation but nothing compelling. You have people building their own frontends on android, people doing random plugins for them and nothing really working together to innovate. Every OEM will end up having their own set of apps/plugins that only work with their systems.

                      If you want to use android, use android's infrastructure system to build apps. Making the icons on the homescreen bigger is a good start. Replacing the homescreen with something better that still uses android's already build infrastructure is a good idea.
                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tripzero View Post
                        In the end you have just as screwed up of a community as we have now: a fragmented, sparse pockets of innovation but nothing compelling.
                        Agreed.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by djfourmoney View Post
                          The knock on Google Maps with Navigation is if you don't have a cell signal and find yourself off route, it can't pull from maps already in the phone's memory to re-route you. I personally don't see that as much of an issue especially near a major urban area. Out in even the dankest parts of America, you can still get GPRS cell and that's enough to provide Google Maps with information.
                          As I have been following Android and looking at doing exactly this I'd like to show you the following because its not all bad.

                          Other improvements include a compass mode, where the map will automatically orientate to your direction, and offline caching of certain areas

                          Read more: http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-...#ixzz1Ar7Y5csq
                          What I would say is that I'd personally like the email side locakable but thats down to the OEM to make a good UI.

                          T
                          My Project Site

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