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Thread: Android enter car entertainment

  1. #31
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    As for Windows... come on... are you talking CygWin or what??
    Qt-based code can run nearly unchanged on *nix, Windows, Symbian and Windows CE. There are numerous other cross platform toolkits and utility libraries that don't require you to #ifdef everything for every platform. Wx, SDL, OpenGL are some others that come to mind. Even GTK+ and GTK# can run on all those platforms. I'm not even going to go into Mono and everything it runs on...

    Sure, the same arguments can be made against Linux in favor of Windows. But we are talking about choosing between two "free" operating systems. So the question is, which platform will enable me to get my product to market the fastest with the least cost? What platform is the most compelling?

    LinuxICE2 from the first build to the last took about 6 months of sparse part time work to complete using Ubuntu as a base. Android has been out for 2 years now and it still doesn't run on a wide variety of hardware. I've been hearing about Android-based netbooks for over a year now and haven't seen anything. Furthermore, after you do get it running on your platform, you still have to write your UI on top. As for me, I can choose OpenMobile, RevFE or stick with nGhost. Also, the ubuntu things that I fixed for LinuxICE got pushed into Ubuntu which I just happen to also run on my desktop. This maximizes my efforts for more than just my self-serving purposes. You can't really say that about your android contributions.

    I guess what I'm saying is, Android has potential. But I believe the work involved is greater than you would otherwise have if you based off of debian/ubuntu/whatever with Qt/Mono/whatever. The way I see it, there is no compelling reason to use android over what I've mentioned and more compelling reasons not to use it: maximizing effort/influence, more code/library reuse, better device support, more "good-will" geterated from upstream and adjacent communities, etc. Oh, and not using Java also makes my apps run faster.
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
    Current author of Automotive Message Broker (AMB).
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  2. #32
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    Certainly good arguments and if I were looking at it from a commercial point of view I would probably agree. I'm probably guilty of allowing the "over engineering" side of me that wants to do it the way it hasn't been done tempt me.

    As I mentioned earlier, I haven't made any decisions, I just felt the need to fight Android's corner a bit so that both sides were represented. I do that

    Actually I'm glad you're online... I was trying to download LinuxICE earlier to have a look out of curiosity but the download links aren't working for me, neither could I register with your site. I should qualify, I'm trying to use the direct download link, I don't use bit torrent.

    Do you host an apt source for LinuxICE/OpenICE?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzed View Post
    Do you host an apt source for LinuxICE/OpenICE?
    Yeah, the DNS records are all screwed up right now. We should have the link and apt repo back up soon. :S
    Former author of LinuxICE, nghost, nobdy.
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    Yeah, the DNS records are all screwed up right now. We should have the link and apt repo back up soon. :S
    Cool, I'll grab a copy when its available. I guess once I can get full access to the web site I'll be able to find the source? Is it in git/subversion/cvs?

    Do you know whether it runs well in a virtual machine? I was thinking of sticking it on a VirtualBox to have a play.

    I guess I'm taking this way off topic now, tut tut, me being a newbie to the forum too...

    So yeah, Android rocks, and some folks are releasing an ICE app hey, I'll be sure to check that out

    Good talking to you guys anyway

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confuzed View Post
    Cool, I'll grab a copy when its available. I guess once I can get full access to the web site I'll be able to find the source? Is it in git/subversion/cvs?

    Do you know whether it runs well in a virtual machine? I was thinking of sticking it on a VirtualBox to have a play.

    Code is all here in svn:
    http://sf.net/projects/linuxice

    I test it in virtualbox before moving it to the actual carpc.
    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.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunkyks View Post
    Oh, please. Sound is the classic example ever since that guy at adobe talked about it. For all the issues, the sound system is sufficiently incestuous that anything targetted at one sound system will probably work for others, because they all feed off each other. If you really care, just pick one of the three big hitters depending on your needs, and you're good to go.


    This is a thread about car PCs, so let's go to town on standardisation.
    Specifically, interface standardisation, seeing as how interfaces are pretty much pivotal to what makes a CarPC suck or not.

    RoadRunner has a forum about how best to make your interface not like anything else. CentraFuse too.

    The lack of standardisation in car front ends means that this very website has twenty five subforums about different front ends. There's a forum with almost a hundred threads dedicated to talking about front ends not yet popular enough to warrant their own subforum. People use windows, despite the fact that the built in media player completely fails to adhere to the windows HIG. Not to be outdone, Microsoft's flagship application suite doesn't adhere to the HIG anymore either! Feeling insecure in their banality, none of the other common media players decided to go with any standard interface either.

    What am I getting at? I don't see choice as a bad thing, especially in something as highly complex and personal as a CarPC or a choice of desktop environment. But one man's standardisation is another man's choice, and I think bashing linux for choice is possibly not the most effective way to begin what you hope will be a conclusive skewering.

    Gary (-;
    Well sound happens to be the issue I was dealing with at the moment and it was a *****! I'm not talking about playing audio which is pretty much the same for all...i'm talking about audio control.

    Now to jump in....there is a HUGE difference between a standardized architecture and a standardized UI. UI standardization is a whole different concept I'm not going in to (one which RR and nghost fail at). The windows API has been pretty much standardized for >10 years now. Android did the exact same thing with a standardized framework that applications are built on top of. Hell even apple has a standardized API (and I think I just got sick mentioning that ) No need to worry about 10 different xml libraries, 5 audio systems, direct hardware access, etc. Linux was designed to be open and diverse but as such has very little standardized. Hell, even the freedesktop movement (which is the kind of standardization im talking about) covers only a small percentage of the issues. There certainly has been a lot of movement in the right direction lately but theres still a long way to go.

  7. #37
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    UI standardization is a whole different concept I'm not going in to (one which RR and nghost fail at).
    Curious... Perhaps you mean LinuxICE's UI isn't "standardized". Because nGhost itself has a common UI toolkit to build your UI and OpenICE has rules on how UI's should be designed. LinuxICE's UI isn't consistant as many of the apps use different UI toolkits. Part of the problem is nGhost's toolkit is rather cumbersome to use outside of nGhost which is one of the weaknesses of the platform.

    In this case I would respond that meh, I got lazy for LinuxICE2 and wanted to get something out rather than spend forever making every app conform to the standard.

    As for standards in general, people tend to make up there own (like i did for openice). Linux has lot's of mini standards for every distro or toolkit or subsystem you happen to be using.
    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.

  8. #38
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    Some people keep repeating themselves here because they ignore that new platforms are coming up.

    I had two custom built CarPCs in the last five years (Laptop and Intel Little Valley). All Windows XP based - mostly ran with Roadrunner and spent hours
    integrating apps, tweaking it, looking for a good GPS solution etc.

    Since half a year I am using the Archos 5 Android Tablet with 500 GB storage, Wifi, FM, GPS, Bluetooth, DVB-T etc. etc And is just right for the car and
    mobile enough to use when attending conferences to surf the net.

    Of course it is not developed (UI) for car usage and I dont surf while driving. But with the concept of widgets you already have a good out-of-the-box ui for
    daily use.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    Curious... Perhaps you mean LinuxICE's UI isn't "standardized". Because nGhost itself has a common UI toolkit to build your UI and OpenICE has rules on how UI's should be designed. LinuxICE's UI isn't consistant as many of the apps use different UI toolkits. Part of the problem is nGhost's toolkit is rather cumbersome to use outside of nGhost which is one of the weaknesses of the platform.

    In this case I would respond that meh, I got lazy for LinuxICE2 and wanted to get something out rather than spend forever making every app conform to the standard.
    Yea thats what I meant... theres a whole mixture of toolkits used for the various apps which kills the UI standardization.

    Quote Originally Posted by tripzero View Post
    As for standards in general, people tend to make up there own (like i did for openice). Linux has lot's of mini standards for every distro or toolkit or subsystem you happen to be using.
    If everyone creates there own standardization...then isn't that no longer standardized

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    Android is just as good for cars as it is for tablets and phones

    First things first I like many of you am a developer. For the last 9 years I've primarily developed on or for Linux based systems and I have no ties with Google Inc. I believe Android would be a great choice for car entertainment systems. I have not read all the posts in this thread (I read about two pages).

    Well, now that I got that out of the way lets get into why I joined this forum to comment on this thread.

    This is like the third time I've visited this forum and found posts that have IMHO weak arguments for why Android won't work as an car entertainment platform.

    1. Android benefits from Linux but Linux doesn't benefit from Android.

    While there may not be code being passed back and forth Linux is definitely seeing some benefits. Android (and Ubuntu) in my opinion has done great deals for raising Linux awareness. Think of all your friends that didn't know about Linux 2 years ago that know about it now. Anything that is highly successful as Linux brand (I use that loosely) is great for the community. It gets Linux in the hands of more decision makers, more bloggers, more people that will in some way help pour more money into Linux and or open source development.

    As far as the "I can't use this code anywhere else" argument that is not true. If you use a framework like Appcelerator that can build for Android, iPhone, and the Desktop. Also, who cares? I don't want to run Eclipse, Netbeans, Open Office, Gimp, or Brasero on my car entertainment center. All I really want is a way to listen to Pandora, Skype and Google voice, GPS with Google Maps, a browser, a Gmail client, weather widget, backup camera, and a couple of other apps to pass the time if I'm ever waiting for my wife to come out of the store or something. The last time I checked Linux doesn't need anymore of those apps.


    2. Android apps won't work with non-phone platforms.

    I'm a developer you're developer. If someone tells me my app can make more money if I change it to work with a different type of hardware I'll probably do it. A good example is the iPad. How many now works with iPad badges have you seen this week?

    3. Android vs MeeGo

    I believe MeeGo looks very promising especially the two projects merged. On the other hand, there is almost 20,000 Android apps at this point. That is major no matter how you try to spin it that is a major selling point. Why? Because developers are already gravitating towards the platform. I really dislike MS products but they have a huge advantage because there is strength in numbers. Certainly Android doesn't have more of a following than the iPhone/iPod/iPad group but we're gaining on them. Does this mean that there isn't room for innovation from another camp? No, absolutely not but lets face it at this point its a war between Google and Apple at this point. They are both smart and have tons of cash. Until someone puts some major marketing money behind the platform it won't happen. I hope it does.

    4. GPS

    This will happen sooner than you think.

    5. Car UI design
    This is happening now if I'm mistaken. If I am mistaken please give me and know that it will happen soon you can bet your life on it. There are too many custom Android interfaces out now for it not too happen.

    6. 4G

    Which platform will auto makers be willing to team up with networks to bring 4G services to first? Scratch that you can already do that with the 4G hotspot from Sprint.

    I hate to start my membership into the MP3Car community with a small rant but some of the comments in the thread kind of rubbed me the wrong way.

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