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82 posts

Master Geek


# 257305 25-Sep-2019 10:59
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It seems like we're in a confusing time with Android Auto, Android Automotive OS, Google Assistant with drive mode and head units powered by regular ol' Android... ugh.

 

A few years ago I put a cheap android powered head unit in my wife's car and it worked mostly okay, but the volume adjust knob has broken and the radio reception is horrible. It's also just too complicated for her liking. For $500 I could replace it with a Sony head unit that works with android auto and that would probably work much better for her - but is android auto on the way out? I also don't get why the cheapest android auto solutions are $500 when all the work is done on your phone and it's basically just an interactive display

 

I know she could just use her phone with android auto, but it wouldn't work with the reversing camera or radio tuner and she'd see this as having two devices and too complicated.

 

I've also seen the dongle adapters that would supposedly work with the android head unit she has and allow it to work like an android auto head unit - but I'm skeptical about this. Anyone tried them?

 

 


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  # 2324470 25-Sep-2019 11:15
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Android Auto

 


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  # 2324490 25-Sep-2019 11:28
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Considering a lot of new cars are now coming with built in Android Auto built in, i'd think it's not on the way out. 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2324492 25-Sep-2019 11:29
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With more and more car manufacturers including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay into their vehicles I doubt they are about to be phased out, but stranger things have happened in the tech world.

 

The advantage I can see with AA/AC is things like maps are always up to date and you get traffic info as well (data connection required). I would guess the money is tied into still needing to provide amplification, radio tuning, Bluetooth connectivity and a reversing camera connection.

 

The current downside (from my perspective) is the Android Auto engineers have decided they know best when it comes to the ‘Do Not Disturb’ function of your phone. It comes on automatically with AA, but worse, coming out of AA it doesn’t return the settings to what they were. One of the joys of Android in the past was you getting to decide these sort of configuration settings, now it is decided for you by engineers in California.





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  # 2324494 25-Sep-2019 11:31
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Dingbatt:

 

The current downside (from my perspective) is the Android Auto engineers have decided they know best when it comes to the ‘Do Not Disturb’ function of your phone. It comes on automatically with AA, but worse, coming out of AA it doesn’t return the settings to what they were. One of the joys of Android in the past was you getting to decide these sort of configuration settings, now it is decided for you by engineers in California.

 

 

Most likely decided by their Legal Department over fear of getting into trouble due to too many distracted drivers...


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  # 2324499 25-Sep-2019 12:04
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Android Auto works fine with my reversing camera.  As soon as I put it in reverse the camera comes on, as soon as I put it in drive Android Auto comes back.  If I want to use a head-unit specific function (e.g. Radio) I just press the radio button on the unit.  Once the radio is playing I then launch Android Auto again to use my maps etc and the radio keeps playing.  

 

It's not on it's way out, it's just been updated and the UI tweaked so it's definitely got life.  Also there's a few manufacturers releasing wireless AA at the moment, so there's a definite roadmap.




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Master Geek


  # 2324500 25-Sep-2019 12:05
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I think I got a little confused - Google initially looked like it was going to can the Android Auto app for the phone, in favour of the impending drive mode for the Google Assistant (but now not). Also a little confused further by Android Auto being 'baked in' to Android 10.

 

I'm guessing all the android Auto ready screens that are going into new cars will just change to display the Google Assistant Drive Mode view in the future? 


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Uber Geek


  # 2348362 5-Nov-2019 07:41
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I replaced my Android 7 unit with an Android 9 unit. What a horrible decision.

I bought it from eBay directly from the manufacturer: Eonon GA2176 2 Din 7"Android 9.0 4Core Car Stereo GPS Navigation Head Unit RDS HD DAB+

It was NZ $300 from their shop.

It sat in customs for 3 weeks, without anyone from DHL telling me. Eonon emailed me. I had to pay DHL NZ $150 due from Customs. I suspect Eonon didn't put my mobile number on the package. Still it would have been nice if DHL sent me a card.

I took it to a shop to install, and they completely missed the fact that I had steering wheel controls. So another day in the shop.

They made repeated attempt to get USB 2 & 3 to work, but couldn't.

I contacted Eonon support to see if I could get a new USB cable, figuring it was the minimum place to start. Even though I bought it from them directly, and literally sent the email showing the purchase, they told me they couldn't find the order. I had to take a screen snapshot of the order, at which point they miraculously found the order.

They asked if I tried reseating the cable, which of course I did.

Even though I didn't ask for it, they said they'd give me a new motherboard. After confirming they were indeed sending me one, they told me they were out of stock.

That was a month ago, and no word since.

I discovered later even with airplane mode enabled, turning off wifi and bluetooth, it completely freezes when it wakes up from sleep (when I turn on the car) about 1 time in 20 starts. This forces me to use a pin to press a button to do a hard reset.

I should have kept my old Android unit.




 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2348599 5-Nov-2019 19:50
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I used a rental with a android auto head unit and wasn't that impressed.  Sure if it's cheap or included in the car why not but I decided I wasn't going to pay the price of a new headset for it.  All I really need is a decent bluetooth connection to hear my music off the phone and any driving directions (phone in car holder).  With android auto you still have to plug the phone in which seems like a step backwards to me.


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  # 2349023 6-Nov-2019 14:59
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I'm not a technophobe, but I'm struggling to see the point of Android Auto, at least for me.

 

I have an app on my phone for maps, and a charger/cradle, and a BT->FM adapter thing that also provides the 5V for the charger. I never listen to the radio (too many ads), so it's always set to the frequency of the adapter, and the phone automatically starts/stops playing music via BT when it's in the car.

 

Maybe if I had a reversing camera AA would be useful?

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2349030 6-Nov-2019 15:26
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SomePostman:

 

I also don't get why the cheapest android auto solutions are $500 when all the work is done on your phone and it's basically just an interactive display

 

 

 

 

The reason why Android Auto and CarPlay capable after market head units start at $500 is because the manufacturers (Sony, JVC, Kenwood etc.. ) are still trying to sell it as a feature so they are only putting it in their higher end models to up sell people. It is starting to trickle down into mid tier models now and won't be long before its in the base models since it is being so widely adopted by OEMs.


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  # 2349032 6-Nov-2019 15:41
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SomePostman:

 

I think I got a little confused - Google initially looked like it was going to can the Android Auto app for the phone, in favour of the impending drive mode for the Google Assistant (but now not). Also a little confused further by Android Auto being 'baked in' to Android 10.

 

I'm guessing all the android Auto ready screens that are going into new cars will just change to display the Google Assistant Drive Mode view in the future? 

 

 

You might be correct about Android Auto, in that it's simply a form of projection, there's nothing too special involved, so long as the hardware supports it.

 

Native Android, like that in the new Volvo EV, is probably something a little more though.
Or Android Head Unit's (ie eBay example prior).


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  # 2349085 6-Nov-2019 19:55
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frankv: ... Maybe if I had a reversing camera AA would be useful? 

 

AFAIK, even less so then. In reverse you get a video feed from the camera, there is no UI displayed for anything.





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  # 2349100 6-Nov-2019 21:25
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Well if I could justify it I would buy one of these

 

https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-AVH-3500NEX-Receiver-CarPlay-Android/dp/B07MWVWB58

 

I currently have the earlier version which also flips out so fits in single DIN and is connected to a reversing camera (activated by the reversing light) but has a custom interface. Having Android Auto since then Maps etc. would appear on the screen. Now I have to use my phone.





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  # 2349144 7-Nov-2019 04:34
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frankv:

 

I'm not a technophobe, but I'm struggling to see the point of Android Auto, at least for me.

 

I have an app on my phone for maps, and a charger/cradle, and a BT->FM adapter thing that also provides the 5V for the charger. I never listen to the radio (too many ads), so it's always set to the frequency of the adapter, and the phone automatically starts/stops playing music via BT when it's in the car.

 

Maybe if I had a reversing camera AA would be useful?

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you care about how your music sounds, an FM transmitter is in no way the way to go. 

 

Android Auto/Apple CarPlay means you can make adjustments legally to your navigation/music etc, without needing to touch your phone, and with the benefit of a bigger screen. Means you can do things like take calls/ talk to your smart assistant using the factory steering wheel controls too. 


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  # 2350489 8-Nov-2019 22:20
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I've got a Chinese android head unit. The native android is suitably crappy.

I use an app call Head Unit Reloaded. This uses the generic android head unit as an android auto screen. I've found it really good.

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