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  • amb9800 - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    One big issue with this sort of haphazard slapping of Android (with a minimal skin on top) onto a dashboard is that UI integration and reduction of complexity are even more critical in the auto space than in phones. Driver distraction is a major issue, so the normal model of having screens of disparate apps that you touch, navigate through complex menus, etc. is a problem.

    From the video, it looks like they've loaded an iGO app for navigation, but that has nothing to do with the Google-based "Maps" app, which presumably can't do turn-by-turn directions (since it's going through the platform API). So you'd have to search, find a POI, copy the address, go home, open iGO, paste address in there, then navigate. If you want to explore the surroundings (their Wiki-connected app), you have again go home, open that, then switch back to the nav app. Not the greatest (or safest, if you're driving) idea.

    It's cool for a head unit to be able to do everything a phone can, but this type of platform needs a heck of lot more software work to be useful or safe. Auto OEMs' solutions lag the CE market and may seem less fully-featured than this (e.g. you can't play Angry Birds on Ford Sync), but in practice they lack some of the big safety / usability problems you'll find if you try to use this in a real car.

    If you want just a normal Android experience, why not dash-mount a Nexus 10?
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    So some parts of the UI / some applications will be locked out while you're moving. That's just like any normal head unit and just like most other aftermarket devices easily circumvented by a parking break short / cable in the chain.

    Most of the UI honestly looks like it has been tweaked to accommmodate the car, it isn't at all just stock Android slapped on a head unit. For example their launcher is a 3x2, most apps have big text and toggles, nav buttons on the left remain persistent everywhere, etc.

    I hopefully will obtain a review unit and give it a shot.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • ricardoduarte - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Please get one, i am dying to replace the standard single head unit on my civic, with a double head one.

    If you get one could please test sound quality, distortion, radio signal quality, easy of use, touch screen quality, ease of installation, and the most important how hard it is to robbed from the car.
    Do you know if tomtom will release their android version on this also?

    Thanks
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    The sound quality will be crap. Comparable to a $100-$150 aftermarket radio at best. Maybe not even that. Reply
  • shadowmyst8 - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    How do you it will sound like crap? Have you used it? Assumptions... Reply
  • djc208 - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    Seems like a lot of duplication of effort for little gain. Even if they got apps support you need to share the wireless connection from your phone to get any data to the device.

    Personally I think the right approach is like Pioneer was leaning toward, where you get basic music playback and radio/sat interface from the head unit, and everything else is mirrored from your smartphone. It already has all the necessary communication and information on it, and you can upgrade it far more easily than the head unit. All I want is to be able to access the music, apps, and info from my phone more easily while driving.

    Let the head unit concentrate on amplification, distribution, and interface while my phone handles communication, processing, and storage.
    Reply
  • shadowmyst8 - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    That's great. But the idea behind this is that everything is integrated. Try mounting a big 7 inch tablet in your car without it looking ugly... Reply
  • vshah - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Honestly, this doesn't hold a candle to my car-mounted nexus 7. i have jelly bean, full google nav, audio line out, and a full array of applications. I even have a nifty app that lets me task-switch by swiping 3 fingers left/right, or change tracks without looking using a 2 finger left/right gesture. the N7 fits nicely in a dual din slot.

    these proprietary solutions have been lagging behind for years. Why can't someone get aosp compatible internals, stick them in a dual din, and call it a day?

    very frustrating.
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    What head unit did you go for to mate with your nexus 7? All installs I've seen have a single DINN unit hidden or taking up space somewhere in the dash. Reply
  • shadowmyst8 - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    There's no double din that a Nexus 7 will fit in. The Nexus is 7 x 9 inches wide. Most double din's are only 7 inches. The only way you could get it to fit is with alot of modding of your car's dash. Many people aren't willing or know how to do that without paying a hefty price for a professional installation

    The point with this is that it makes it easier. All you have to do is remove your stereo and replace it with this.

    I'm not sure how your doing it...
    Reply
  • sauron@mordor - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I agree with the previous poster. This doesn't do anything for me that I can't already get with a big screen smartphone (Galaxy Note II) or smaller ICS/JB tablet (nexus 7) + any run of the mill audio head unit with bluetooth support. This way, I can leave the lowest-tech (audio amplifier) mounted in the car and periodically refresh/upgrade the device with all the brains and increasingly more useful displays? Reply
  • shadowmyst8 - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    And your still running into the same problem that the Parrot Asteroid has. No volume control knob.

    How do you plan on controlling the volume when the stereo is in the glove box? Kind of defeats the purpose of buying a radio...
    Reply
  • sigmatau - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    So this is basicaly an Android device that acts like a cheap MP3 player to replace a dedicated audio system? WOW!

    I went onto their website and they mention nothing about the audio processor/filer used. I guess I'll wait until something that actualy puts audio first over having an Android UI in my car. I'm so tired of these Android car radios that have lots of potential, but always fail on the top thing they are supposed to do: Music.

    I bet a $150 Alpine (ugly single DINN) can outdo this in audio quality. This speaks volumes!
    Reply
  • spiderknight - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    Heh, if it is anything like the Classic, it would be some sort of Wolfson codec. I've read that it has a 7 band equalizer (like the Classic) with a crossover on the sub. That's it. Most $150 head units will have some sort treble and bass adjustment. I had a cheap JVC that allowed a 3 band parametric equalizer.

    I would say this unit would beat all other Android units in the same category as far as sound quality and telephony integration. However, for $600, you could have had a pioneer, or a kenwood DD with crossovers and a little less internets and stuffs. Heck, forget DD, get a pioneer deh 80prs, which has some phone integration, to get a top notch audio system with some change left over for an amp for your sub. You gotta pick your battles
    Reply
  • shadowmyst8 - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    Get a amplifier. Problem solved. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Not sure why so many car makers (realizing that this company isn't a car manufacturer) keep trying to move outside their core competencies.

    SYNC is just awful ( used it in a brand new Focus the other day).
    Reply
  • OmniWrench - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    So how hard would it be to adjust the volume or mute while wearing gloves? Reply
  • PCP69 - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - link

    As opposed to many commenters stating that sound quality 'will be mediocre' (I paraphrase), I have actually installed the unit in my car, together with a Unika steering wheel interface.

    Globally, this is the best unit I have had in a car up to this day. Sound quality is more than adequate, I have not yet have had to resort to an external amplifier - which could be easily done as the outputs are there (probably not high voltage but present anyway). As is a subwoofer output, which I happily use. I still miss a high-pass filter, though, but Android and software updates mean this could and hopefully will be added later on.

    Sure there are some caveats - current lack of hardware acceleration for playing videos being one. Also, I'd most certainly hate having to change volume on the touch screen - using steering wheel buttons is obviously more satisfying.

    I have great respect for Nexus 7 (and similar tablets) installations, but obviously the integration will not be comparable to a unit that includes every necessary input and output well hidden on the backside, even if that actually means you'll have to include some sort of USB ports on your dash (which I successfully did). I'm thinking 4 channel LS, Subwoofer, Video In (not used by me) and Out (used for rear seats), and of course rear view camera with automatic switching (works).

    The GUI is actually well adapted to a car, tethering (any sort) works perfectly with my phone (Android, of course!), and iGO, while certainly not the best sat nav solution I've experienced, does the job nicely.

    I've installed head units in the past (mostly Pioneer, Blaupunkt and JVC), and while they were all adequate at the time of installation, you could not expect any bugs to be sorted out through software updates. Also, on a side note - you could not ROOT them!

    So is it perfect? Certainly not. Would I recommend it? Yes, definitely - even if only with a working steering wheel interface.
    Reply
  • shadowmyst8 - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    I agree. I've seen several comments here where several have said you get more just by mounting a Android Tablet in your car...

    Good luck finding RCA outputs, steering wheels controls, review camera output, video output on a tablet. More over have fun hooking it up to an audio system without having to go through alot of modifications and extra hardware.
    Reply

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