I think the point about Android is very much the same point about the iPhone interface. It *seems* easy and intuitive and thus would be ideal for the car. What you find out is that it actually requires a great deal of hand-eye coordination that is not nearly as ideal for situations where you are covering 100 feet per second.
Meego seems to be a bit more flexible on the device side than Android, which was designed for handsets. So, Meego will be a better choice for a tablet sized display. The conventional wisdom you are encountering is saying that Android integration is a dead end and Meego is the way forward. That's why devs don't want to waste time on Android.
Here I go ( expecting to have an :angrymob: ) -- but this whole arguement about iphone, android, or whatever else not having a good interface for the car is somewhat annoying. And that from someone who likes LINUX solutions. If we were to be honest, the interface is a minor/none issue. The reason being is, wait for it, THERE SHOULD BE NO INTERFACING WITH THE GUI WHILE THE CAR IS IN MOTION. None, zero, nada, nothing. I have the Meego interface running in my car, and it's just as distracting as picking up my phone (Droid) and using it's navigation features. When I'm being smart, I set things up like I want them before I put the car in drive (or reverse, as the case maybe).
So... If we encourage people to do thier interfacing (at least most of it) while the car is in park -- the hand/eye coordination issue becomes somewhat mute, and now features becomes more important.
Morals of what should or should not be done when the car is in motion aside, people do use the vehicle's entertainment system while the car is in motion. The more captive attention the interface requires, the more risky that interaction becomes. IMHO, the interface should be designed so that A) the most basic and widely used controls are accessible at a glance (ie pause, play, mute, etc) and B) navigating the UI is only at most 2 touches deep.
I Android certainly doesn't meet these requirements, iOS doesn't either and I don't think MeeGo IVI in the current state fulfills these requirements.
Encouraging users to pull over to use their entertainment system is nice, but it's not going to happen. Better voice recognition would be a plus, but we really don't have that in the open world. Not even open source android has that capability legally. Also, Car manufacturers aren't doing anything to prevent interaction while in motion and that's in the face of distraction is a much bigger issue for them because of potential lawsuits.
Anyway, we can disable interaction while in motion but I don't think anyone will like that.
Okay, what is the alternative? Let's say you want to change the song you are listening to? How does that work?
Originally Posted by nasa
The best and easiest interaction I've found is with FlickTunes. A swipe of the finger changes the song. That's still interacting with the GUI.
streetdeck and openmobile have the same functionality.... we can never remove all distractions but the goal should be to minimize them. You can swipe a touch screen without your eyes ever leaving the road-hence it being a less distracting interface.
Originally Posted by Bugbyte
tripzero really explained it well (not the first time on this issue)... meego ivi in its current state is no different from android (as far as distractions go)... an integrated solution will be the future. I hate to use an automaker as an example but take a look at the my ford touch system. Its fully integrated, with one glance you can see music info, next nav instruction and any other import info for the driver or interact with the entire system by voice (no more distracting then talking to the passenger).
Might I also mention that Google has the best voice recognition software I've ever seen to date as well? Google Voice Search, and Voice Dialer have proven to be very accurate in finding what they are designed to find without taking my eyes off the road while driving. It's also possible to write apps that make use of that same Google recognition engine as well, so the possibilities are endless with what can be achieved in a carputer using Android.
Apps can be written as home launcher apps or just as normal apps, which can provide the custom frontend to give you the proper look and feel that you would expect in an automotive application as a control panel in an automotive dashboard. My smartphone already has an app which was preinstalled in the ROM called: 'Car Home' which was designed to be used when docked in the car, to provide a more user friendly interface to access some of the common functions a person may use while driving (i.e. bigger buttons to access Music app, Navigation app, Voice Dialer, etc). It is not the perfect replacement for Centrafuse in its current state obviously, but it does illustrate that it IS possible to build Android apps that are vehicle friendly, and could potentially replace software like Centrafuse. The Android world has done its best to try and make software for smartphones that can 'do anything' to replace all other computers while on the go, so shouldn't the carputer world try to make software that can fight back and make you happy you had a carputer, because it can do everything? I'd love a carputer that can also be a phone and do everything my smartphone can already do, and more (like control systems on the whole car like it can do).
Before I got into testing software, I was an ASE Certified Master Auto Technician for 15 years (well I still even keep my certification alive today), and I used to maintain and repair automobiles of all makes and models, and I've seen BMWs with their fancy fiberoptic iDrive computer systems all the way over to Pintos with their intuitive 2-button AM radios, and I've been into computers and various states of scripting, hardware/software testing and development for many years as well, so I'm not a total 'NEWB' here. I've studied the undercarriage of Android and its core functioning as an OS for quite some time now, and I feel that it would be able to be suitably adapted to function as a nice OS for a 'carputer', but it seems as though I do not have much support coming from this small group of carputer enthusiasts whom have responded to this thread so far, so I guess there's not much else to be said, right?
This was, after all, just a 'Product Request', and so it is just that, just some request from some boob over here in the corner of the galaxy, so take it for what it is...
Yes, the topic of taking android and writing stuff on top has been well discussed by developers in this forum. I think it all came down to the question of: if you don't have legal access to all the valuable things that google provides (ie, voice, navigation, the app marketplace, etc) and you have to rewrite all your software anyway, why use android at all? What differentiates android from any-other-linux-os at that point?
Seems like you have already gotten the value add things to work on your system. That's not a solution that we can even remotely promote in these forums. There should be a solution that doesn't require side-stepping licensing and terms of service. I've already pointed out numerous issues with drivers and porting issues with android that aren't as much of an issue in other distributions of Linux. From your post, I think you are running into several of them yourself which is preventing you from fully utilizing android.
As a product request, why not have it? I'm sure mp3car could link to the android x86 version in the app store. Whether I'm right or wrong about it will be manifest by people actually running it in their car PCs.
How hard would it be to get fully licensed from Google to be able to offer their services on Android, including the Market? Do they charge money to get licensed?
I was under the impression that Google would support licensing without money, since it brings their utilities and search services to a wider demographic, and thus earning them more money anyway. Has anybody even researched what the requirements are for getting Google's support for such a project?
Or do the forces in this forum have other agendas which inhibit the promotion of Google's services?
I doubt it's either easy or cheap. Otherwise the android-x86 project would already have a license right?
Originally Posted by Samsonite801
Google's TOS is really what inhibits the use of Google's services in this forum. There's a lot of people in this forum that would like to use it but can't because it's not very useful without those services or because of hardware compatibility issues (or both).
Originally Posted by tripzero
not saying either way.. really whatever works for someone works for them.. but THIS is a quote from Nokia.. the primary architects of meego.. I wouldn't expect any other sort of comment from them honestly (maybe more pr friendly i guess.. but yeah)
android's only problem is the small screen and it's only "semi open" nature IMO, look to HTC to see that it's just a back end for any front end you want. it's just so much work to make their back end work on decent hardware for our purposes