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Thread: Android as a head unit

  1. #1
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    Android as a head unit

    I see there is a lot of talk on the matter here. Brainstorming this idea here. Like to here from anyone doing this.

    1) wireless charging. Using those pad things : will it charge well enough to play music or navigate at the same time? If not usb works.

    2) wireless sound? : will a bluetooth solution deliver stereo sound with good quality? if not audio jack works

    3) Apps: I assume they make some that would work well with a car?

    4) tether, legitimacy here with some carriers but nice to have.

    5) I assume one could BT the phone to the tablet and make calls on the tablet?

    6) thought about remote so I dont have to look at the screen and touch it. Though I could not find one that had a way to control all apps and launch them. Would need to be somewhat custom.

    7) still have my stock unit for cd/dvd/mp3 sticks and what not. and could use the USB OTG do make the nexus use usb media I think.

    Just a thought in progress here, I used a slow windows based tablet for 5-7 years with much luck. Was going to get a fancy AVIC like stereo but want to ponder this first.
    UMPC built in to dash.

    Winamp, game emulators, Touchpad built in to car, DVD player built in to dash, GPS gamrmin moble pc. IR remote for use of a remote control. ps2 supper mini keyboard for when needed.

  2. #2
    Newbie seangh's Avatar
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    I'm really pleased with my AppRadio2 / Android Galaxy S3 / ARLiberator / CarHome Ultra set up in my Miata. With Appradio2 going for cheap and with a 120.00 rebate from Pioneer, the whole thing was 250.00. Yes, connecting is slow and you have to hit "OK" at least 2 times on the head unit before you are fully connected - about 45 seconds all told usually. I had a carpc with win 2000 previously, so I was use to slow start.
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    2001 Miata, Base with convenience package.
    AppRadio2, Samsung Galaxy 3 with ARLiberator & CarHome App front end. :)

  3. #3
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    Is there an interest in getting something like OpenMobile working under Android?

    I am thinking it could replace the default launcher in most tablets.

    I recently found a way to develop C# programs for Android for free which would work well with Open Mobile assuming I can get it to work under android. I am also looking to try and get it working under linux as well. Should be an interesting project.

    Rodney

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I have a wireless charger working, although not mounted in my car, as it's in my junk box now since my phone has a 3 day battery. The plan was to wirelessly charge my phone while it streams BT and WIFI Hotspot to my car PC. I have 2 more of these chargers, one at work and one by my home pc.

    It is a simple palm charging puck that runs off one of those 12V lighter socket to 5V 1A USB converters. I used a Palm Pre phone back, and peeled the inductor off it, then stuck it in the case of my GS3. I soldered the 2 leads to terminals inside the phone, and it charges wirelessly very fast.

    It takes 8 hours to charge my 7000mAh extended battery from 30% to 100% using a normal micro USB cable, but only takes 4 hours to charge the same battery from 14% to 100%. Also I measured the voltage generated by the coil at 5.6V. (under $10 for all this stuff off Amazon) My old 4800mAh extended battery fully charged in 3 hours.

    So my whole point is, using the guts of a Palm charging puck, a 1A 12v to 5v converter, and a Palm Pre inductive charging case back, you will be able to charge and operate AT A MINIMUM, any tablet with a 7000mAh battery or less that runs for 4 hours or more on a full charge.

  5. #5
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    OpenMobile does sound interesting. I found a car mode app and a car home app. These are just convenient short cuts.

    AppRadio2 is no good for my it only works on proprietary apps. the stereo is cool, but why use android if you want allow us to write apps for it?

    ths rray, great info!
    UMPC built in to dash.

    Winamp, game emulators, Touchpad built in to car, DVD player built in to dash, GPS gamrmin moble pc. IR remote for use of a remote control. ps2 supper mini keyboard for when needed.

  6. #6
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    Somebody explain, in simple terms, the lure of Android. What is it you think you're going to get, that you don't get in Windows. I've seen dozens of variations on this thread, but have yet to see anyone explain how the result was better than what was already available. NOT a flame in any way, I need to understand this.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Newbie seangh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_K_U_N_X View Post
    AppRadio2 is no good for my it only works on proprietary apps.
    Maybe I'm not clear on what you want to do, but ARLiberator APP turns your AppRadio2 into a touchscreen for your Android phone - so you are no locked into anything proprietary, meaning you can use any app on your phone at that point. CarHomeUltra is a home screen with weather and speed and up to 60 or so app shortcuts. You can also flip back to your AppRadio2 default mode to use the AM/FM and ipod. It's perfect for me. I had a windows CARPC for 4 years and I don't miss it at all.
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    2001 Miata, Base with convenience package.
    AppRadio2, Samsung Galaxy 3 with ARLiberator & CarHome App front end. :)

  8. #8
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    ok apps for app radio devices, I see.. I'd have to see that in action. I like this quote
    "I really want to thank the developer on showing pioneer how a app radio is supposed to work"
    That was my argument as well. nice to know some one made it work. I sort of wish the radio its self would just do that, though I guess your right it does work that way.

    I still would need a flip out single din as I dont have room for the double.
    Last edited by S_K_U_N_X; 06-09-2013 at 12:08 PM.
    UMPC built in to dash.

    Winamp, game emulators, Touchpad built in to car, DVD player built in to dash, GPS gamrmin moble pc. IR remote for use of a remote control. ps2 supper mini keyboard for when needed.

  9. #9
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    Somebody explain, in simple terms, the lure of Android.
    Yes most windows users do need it explained in simple terms, i'm just kidding with you. Seriously though, I'm a windows user and did a computer car for a long time. For me I'm just done with it and the android os is made for mobile(you can keep your stupid windows 8 crap). android os is much to my liking ( preference ) and I love the world of apps. simple answer? its just makes sense. There is no answer that will convince anyone android is better its all about preference. This topic is well done over and I think it deserves its own thread. ?
    UMPC built in to dash.

    Winamp, game emulators, Touchpad built in to car, DVD player built in to dash, GPS gamrmin moble pc. IR remote for use of a remote control. ps2 supper mini keyboard for when needed.

  10. #10
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    i recently ditched a half finished Windows car-pc in favor of an Android tablet to replace my entire factory head unit. i've replied to your bullet points below based on the knowledge that i've managed to get thus far, some of it may already be out of date as the Android carputer option is still evolving constantly. i think Android (and perhaps somewhat iOS) based carputers are breathing new life into this whole scene...


    Quote Originally Posted by S_K_U_N_X View Post
    I see there is a lot of talk on the matter here. Brainstorming this idea here. Like to here from anyone doing this.

    1) wireless charging. Using those pad things : will it charge well enough to play music or navigate at the same time? If not usb works.

    why? not saying it's a bad idea, just curious what you are after with it?


    2) wireless sound? : will a bluetooth solution deliver stereo sound with good quality? if not audio jack works

    depends on the bluetooth receiver. i am perfectly happy with the logitech one i'm using, though i've heard plenty of cheap ones that sounded like crap. however, i'm not an audiophile and there's plenty of people that can still hear the difference. some devices and ROMS supports USB Audio, and you can use a USB DAC from someone like Fiio for the cleanest sound. some tablets have docking stations or cables with audio output that make it nice and simple and a clean interface. most people avoid plugging into the headphone output since that's usually doesn't make for a clean install.


    3) Apps: I assume they make some that would work well with a car?

    plenty! there are plenty of navigation, OBDII apps, streaming radio & video, mp3 & movie players, data loggers, trip diaries, service record journals, etc., etc.

    there are a couple of "home screen" replacement apps dedicated to a car use, but i don't see the point. it's not a windows or mac desktop, it's already optimized for touch and mobile use. get a different "launcher" app than the default and you can customize the icons, spacing, animations, theme and all that jazz. most every app days also has a widget too - so i've got pandora, mp3/movie player, and weather widgets all on my homescreen along with a themed set of icons to launch the common apps i use.



    4) tether, legitimacy here with some carriers but nice to have.

    i have verizon with a shared plan, only cost $10/month to add the 4G tablet onto the plan and then no need to worry about tethering - but either way works.


    5) I assume one could BT the phone to the tablet and make calls on the tablet?

    i've heard of apps to use a paird phone to do SMS from the tablet, but i don't know anything about doing voice, just haven't looked into it.


    6) thought about remote so I dont have to look at the screen and touch it. Though I could not find one that had a way to control all apps and launch them. Would need to be somewhat custom.

    some bluetooth audio receivers also have buttons to control the media. otherwise you're probably looking at a custom solution. i was able to get my stock Grand Cherokee steering wheel buttons to control my tablet, but it took writing a custom app and a fair amount of research on how they talked over the vehicle bus systems. i've seen other people doing some neat stuff with Arduino's and a bluethooth shield and then just about any hardware you could use with a typical car-pc.


    7) still have my stock unit for cd/dvd/mp3 sticks and what not. and could use the USB OTG do make the nexus use usb media I think.

    when you use an OTG cable, you are making the tablet the "host" so it can connect to a "peripheral", the only time the tablet acts as a peripheral itself is when you use a normal USB cable to connect it to a computer... depending on the version of android you end up with, then if you can put the tablet in "usb mass storage" mode, you might get your stereo to see it as a drive. keeping the stereo can be a good idea as there aren't any super simple plug-n-play ways to get FM on the tablet (except for a few tablets that have FM receivers build into them) - it can be done, but everything i've seen so far had at least some custom elements.


    Just a thought in progress here, I used a slow windows based tablet for 5-7 years with much luck. Was going to get a fancy AVIC like stereo but want to ponder this first.

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