Please don't misunderstand, I don't want anyone to think I was picking on you. I just wanted to highlight the fundamental flaw in most of these conversations. Android won't make the media player in Centrafuse any better. Or the OBD reader in RR or improve the XM radio in Driveline. It won't make any of them easier to install, configure or operate. They may or may not perform better coming out of hibernation, but its not guaranteed. And their screen appearance and performance may or may not improve. Not only that, but any possible argument you could make for its superiority to desktop Windows could also be made for Linux, OSX, iOS, or probably even embedded Win8 too.
But perception is reality, as they say. Android is the new hotness, and it just seems "better" even though nobody can actually state what the "better" is. Better UI? Purely a matter of taste, but ask the Apple folks what they think about the Android UI. Better performance? To state the obvious, it all depends on what you want to do. No serious gamer does anything on Android. And nobody that actually produces anything for a living does it on an Android PC. Android, much like iOS, is designed for consumer devices, the key word being consumer. Not enthusiast. Not developer...not even hobbyist. It's designed for your mom. So she will be comfortable using it.
And maybe that's exactly where the carPC business should move. Maybe we need to get away from catering to the guys that want to do whatever they want, whenever they want, with whatever they have on hand, and start making the functional equivalent of a toaster oven. A few, well designed, easy to use features in an attractive package. That should be pretty simple, and it would please everyone, amIright?
I don't know, and again, I'm not picking on anyone. Just taking a moment to re-evaluate my decision to pursue a career in retail sales...:lol:
Lol, Well some of what you say is true, and some what you say isn't. There are serious gamers playing on Android (Ouya?) with newer hardware coming out like Tragra 4 and the next gen Tegra 5 opening up all kinds of stuff to the mobile platform such as full DirectX support etc. I don't think Android is necessarily aimed at the simple user, there is a ton of customization to the platform which is part of what make it so popular. I'm not sure Centrafuse on an iOS device would be all that great at all honestly, you'll likely never get the hardware support you would on Android, not to say the hardware support that we need is there, but it's likely a lot easier to get it to work on Android than iOS. I think the main reason Android makes sense for a CarPC is the fact that it's so readily available, the hardware is relatively standardized which should make stability and coding simpler, and there are TONS of devices out there. People could run something as simple as a Pioneer App Radio and their smart phone with mirroring, or they could go crazy and get an Odroid style device, with a custom touch screen, and crazy audio solutions to maximized performance. I just don't see mobile devices losing popularity, and I certainly don't see Android going away anytime soon.
Tell me I need a W8 32 bit machine or whatever you want, I'll get it.
Give me a music player where I can actually find my music without having to sit down at a PC to plan my drive, with decent quality output including digital out, allow for external USB sound if possible.
Make Mitch's SAT radio/ HD radio boxes work
Demand a BU-353 antenna with something comparable to Garmin or even allow Garmin to be used for those of us that still have it.
Demand one of those USB BT boxes that have been discussed on here to guarantee good phone / streaming.
Allow plugins to be added on the premise if they don't work, sorry, they are a third party deal. Uninstall if you are unhappy with it or contact the author.
Allow embedded programs on the same premise, if it doesn't work sorry, live with it or uninstall it, we only guarantee the above to work pretty much flawlessly.
Oh, and one more thing: make the method of licencing the software reliable. Too many times I was away from home & ended up using sat amp & win amp for several days until I got home & had time to fix the licence file issue.
Where do I sign, I'm in. Charge me $100 for the FE if it works, I don't care, I now have what any decent head unit can do these days with the ability to add third party apps and store tons of music and likely better quality sound output (depending on the head unit)
Even if it would cost triple as much as it does now, I would still buy it, provided it would work properly, and I am very sure most, if not all car PC people would, too. And I am not saying I want it completely bugless, I know thats impossible. But at least it should be usable, with basic functions working well. Right now CF has so many obvious bugs, it normally would be considered somewhere around an alpha version. I want at least mid-beta status! Bugs should only be hard to find and not jump around on your screen like, well, actual bugs!
I realize everyone's experience (and experience level) is different. I believe the term "your mileage may vary" was coined to describe the phenomenon.
Here's the first of a 6 part video series I did showing how to install and run Centrafuse 4.x on a clean Windows 7 install. (the rest of the series is available on the Centrafuse Auto channel on Youtube)
The key points are these:
- You must install windows 7 properly, including all the necessary drivers for your hardware.
- You must, must, must run Windows update until you can't run it any more.
- Until you do that, you have failed to properly prepare your system. It is just. that. simple.
- If you have done that, then you can install Centrafuse 4.x and it will install properly, the first time, and it will just work.
No errors, with a full audio/video library, and DVD playback. Again, without errors.
If you don't get the same result, it is because you have not prepared your platform correctly, your driver environment isn't all it should be, or you have some kind of flaky hardware. As you can see from the videos, the motherboard used in the demo is a fairly complex Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe, with Sata3, USB3, BT 4.0, Wifi etc....definitely NOT a barebones system. All of the items shown in the programs and files screen are either directly related to the hardware, directly related to the OS, or are just peripheral stuff like Adobe.
So here's my challenge: I will GIVE a full copy of Centrafuse to the first user that provides documented evidence that they followed this process using Windows 7 and the latest version of Centrafuse, and were not able to get Centrafuse to run without errors. It must be a consumer motherboard, running Window 7 pro or ultimate (I haven't tested on the Home version), and the latest download of Centrafuse 4.4.5.
I took the time to prove it could be done and am willing to put my money where my mouth is. All you have to do is prove me wrong. Sound like fun?
Hm, I dont need another CF license, but Hdale85 would have won it anyway. Bluetooth is never working reliably, no matter how clean you install your system. Not only that, I would also win because as soon as you put your screen resolution to something different than 800x480, the last item in lists isnt visible anymore and often not selectable via touchscreen. There are many more bugs like this. The one I remember best, for example, is that I lose my buttons every now and then. Not really predictable, and thus not easily provable, but as I said before, many have reported this issue, but it still hasnt been fixed. Config files corruption is also still a regularly posted issue on the forums. Also something not easily provable. I dont want to have my screen capturing program running a month before it happens.
But I will make a list and maybe some videos of the issues, next time I set up a clean system, as so many times before, and decide to use CF again.
But that is not the point anyway, as Hdale85 already pointed out. Nobody is running a super clean and stock system forever. Essential plugins and background programs are needed like navigation, COM splitters, etc. And most importantly, it needs to still work properly after a lot of different standby cycles, something you didnt even touch in those videos.