Hi, my first post here. First of all, I'd like to apologize in advance, if my English is not perfect - it's not my native, but I hope you'll all understand me.
Well, I've been browsing this forum for some time and read about all kinds of awesome carpc projects. Now I'd like to accomplish something similar too.
Since my first Android phone I've been an "Android fan-boy", my Nexus 4 is third Android phone for now and I also have an Android tablet, and Android is awesome, especially rooted. Well naturally because I like Android, I'd like to replace my headunit with Android too. I've thought about some options but all of them have pros and cons. This is why I am posting here - the ultimate CarPC forum.
Some of the options I've been thinking of wiht pros and cons:
1) 7" Android tablet
* kind of easy installation - find a way to attach it into dash, run some wires and it is ready to go
* sort of cheap, I'd only need a tablet and some wires, as I've also got an amplifier and decent speakers in my car
* can be removable if installed accordingly
* operatable on battery (it is a 50:50 pro, cause we've got cold winters here in Estonia, up to -32C (-22F) in rare occasions)
* I have to rely on USB host function in order to attach USB peripherals
* depending on ROM/kernel, won't be able to charge in USB host mode
* battery - I think tablet's battery won't be able to survive the winter
* won't be able to upgrade/change hardware if needed
2) Pioneer's AppRadio
I was able to test AppRadio 2. It worked like it should work out-of-the-box. I could use few apps, but it seemed to be for Apple fanboys really - boring. I also tried to use ARLiberator and ARUnchained apps with my rooted phone and tablet, but the results did not satisfy me. Long BT connection, touch didn't work with my phone (worked with tablet), wrong resolution using my tablet, inverted XY axis etc - too much hassle for me. For pros, it would be the easiest installation as it is standard double din and in my opinion it was super beautiful. Also I'd get usual fader, eq etc options
3) Android stick/miniPC/you-name-it
* relatively cheap
* since it is as small as pen drive, installation would be super easy, I could hide it anywhere
* WiFI, BT etc
* usually have USB host and SD card options out-of-the-box
* acceptable community, for rooting, tweaking etc purposes
* many come already pre-rooted
* decent hardware
* I'd need to attach it to a touchscreen, which would be hard or even impossible, because I'd need to find drivers for touchscreen
* usually they don't have GPS capabilities
* kind of long boot time
4) Full-mirror Android phone/tablet to external touchscreen
That kind of setup would be awesome, but is there actually anything like that available? I've seen MimicsX2 on the web, but it seems to be very expensive. I'd like any information about this setup, so if anybody knows anything about it, I'd appreciate any info.
5) Android x86
I've been thinking about building a "regular PC" and installing Android as operating system. I tried it out on my laptop and it worked surprisingly well.
* easy to change/update hardware
* easy to install USB peripherals
* battery would be replaced by special PSU, so no need to worry about battery in extreme temperatures
* already root access
* requires more room than any other installation (actually not a big problem)
* as the computer would run on Android, I'd also need touchscreen drivers, which could be PITA ar even impossible
* higher power consumption than any other options I listed
So these are the main options I've considered for now. I may have forgotten about some of the pros/cons I've listed but I think I listed the most of them. Well I may be considered as "Android fan-boy" but I've also been thinking about Windows + touchscreen. Alltough I like Android GUI more than Windows', Windows would be easier way to go. Easy USB peripherals, no compatiblity issues with touchscreen drivers etc. So I'm also opened to supercool Windows CarPC solutions.
My main needs:
* Well, music ofcourse
* Navigation (I use iGo Primo on Android and I love it. Is there any navigation software for Win7/8 comparable to iGO? I need offline maps + voice commands
* OBDII live data and fault code reading (I have BT ELM327 dongle that I use with Torque on Android)
* Videos/Youtube etc stuff, for when I'm just sitting in car waiting for someone. I'm not going to watch movies on the road ofcourse, but for longer parking periods videos and that kind of stuff wouldn't be bad
* As low power consumption as possible
* As low cost as possible (well this is certainly relative, but I think you get the idea)
* Needs to withstand extreme cold temperatures
I would really appreciate if you guys could help me out. I hope you'll have time to read my long-long post and comment about it. I'd really like to have computer in my car, but I need help from guys like you in this community.
Please comment my options and help me decide what environment to build in my car. Thanks in advance!