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Thread: Android

  1. #1
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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. #2
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    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.
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  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    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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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.
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  7. #7
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    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.

    Archos 5/7 Internet Tablet

  8. #8
    FLAC hexxamillion's Avatar
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    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. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
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    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.
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