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Old 4th October 2012, 19:40   #1
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Default Where are the Android HU's?

When android was released a couple of years ago, I had figured it would make its way onto a number of devices. While you have tablets and a few smart TV's, I had expected it to make major inroads into ICE. It would have more or less met the needs of the car PC segment while catering to the needs of the mainstream as well.
While 7K can get you a low end HU with aux in and a low end android phone with a 3.2" inch display, and 10k could get you a 7" tablet, what's stopping manufacturers - even the Chinese ones from slapping them together into a single unit?
While we've heard a few product announcements, we are far away from an actual product. Functionality wise, these would blow the current products out of the water.

What's the delay then?
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Old 4th October 2012, 20:06   #2
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Default re: Where are the Android HU's?

Actually, its available, here
http://www.megaaudio.co.uk/mega_android.html

Don't know much about the reputation of this brand, but the specs seem pretty good. apart from froyo on it(which won't cause a lot of problems in running apps though)
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Old 4th October 2012, 20:22   #3
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Default re: Where are the Android HU's?

I've had one for a long time now First it was a Galaxy S and now a Galaxy Note with car mount 16gb on the device + 32GB Micro SD and it has all the music and videos I can take on a long road trip. Plus Google Navigation is now active in India. Connected thru Bluetooth, I really don't need really anything else.
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Old 4th October 2012, 20:33   #4
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Default re: Where are the Android HU's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
When android was released a couple of years ago, I had figured it would make its way onto a number of devices. While you have tablets and a few smart TV's, I had expected it to make major inroads into ICE. It would have more or less met the needs of the car PC segment while catering to the needs of the mainstream as well.
While 7K can get you a low end HU with aux in and a low end android phone with a 3.2" inch display, and 10k could get you a 7" tablet, what's stopping manufacturers - even the Chinese ones from slapping them together into a single unit?
While we've heard a few product announcements, we are far away from an actual product. Functionality wise, these would blow the current products out of the water.

What's the delay then?
Its just slow technology adoption by ICE manufacturers. They still try to sell ICE systems with CD changers. They dont realize world has moved on...

I would rather do away with CD /DVD changers completely - at least I havent inserted any CD / DVD into my car's player since ages. IPOD and USB works wonders....
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Old 6th October 2012, 15:08   #5
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

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Originally Posted by tictactoe View Post
Its just slow technology adoption by ICE manufacturers. They still try to sell ICE systems with CD changers. They dont realize world has moved on...

I would rather do away with CD /DVD changers completely - at least I havent inserted any CD / DVD into my car's player since ages. IPOD and USB works wonders....

tictactoe you are absolutely right here. Android has change the world in terms of apps. But i still feel we lag in technology upgradation. We still haven't adopted 3G services fully cause cost is high. I myself using 2G GPRS. Also there is limited connectivity over terrains. If streaming will take lot of time, people will not go for it. Just take our scenario whenever we watch any youtube videos and in middle it just stalls for streaming we get annoyed. So I feel there are lots of ground work needs to be done before going for high end technologies. Still india is lagging in Bandwidth upgradation on broadband. In one of the seminars I attended clearly mentioned that our Bandwidth usage is not even 1mbps per person, where as in advance countries it is more than 10mbps. Especially in USA broadband usage is 60 times more than india. Please note i am not debating here on growth and on good or worse. Just keeping my views. Feel this could be one of the reason for ICE manufacturers are not promoting this devices as a fear of failure.

As u mentioned even i have also not used any CD and DVD's in my car since ages. Only IPOD suffice my requirements.
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Old 6th October 2012, 23:38   #6
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Wouldn't talking about OS instead of functionality be like putting the cart before the horse? An HU is supposed to provide functionality that doesn't need too much interaction with / intervention by the driver. Would a UI layer like Android (it can at best be called that on top of Linux) have anything to do with that? Or the UI heavy Apps that are currently around? Inappropriate, IMHO, for companies trying to make robust products for people who would simply want to listen the radio or listen to their music. For that, one doesn't necessarily need an OS!

Yes, the optical drives are redundant, and since last year almost all the after-market HU manufacturers have models without. However, as long as music is published on optical media, optical drives will be around. Of course, techies in India will still find it difficult to believe a majority of the people around the world still buy CDs. Around the world, OE systems come with Aux-in AND (iPod / iPhone capable) USB inputs in the car (albeit not in all cars in India, where one can buy a car WITHOUT a music system at all). That solves the Android, or for that matter ANY OS, issue - just connect the phone or tablet of your choice.
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Old 7th October 2012, 09:06   #7
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

my reason was
1. a 7" tablet + a low end HU has features in the range of some of the most expensive ones (bluetooth, streaming net radio, capacitative touchscreen, navigation, OBD2 info via bluetooth etc)
2. once you integrate them, you can have even more possiblties (fancy DSP, multichannel TA & EQ , unlimited visualizations, GPS security..) things which may not be possible with a regular tablet
3. An android may be overkill, but its still vastly more usable than most of the UI's that come with the current crop of touchscreen HU's
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Old 7th October 2012, 10:49   #8
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

Another problem in introducing a ICE based on Android or any other such Smart phone or Smart Device OS is the amount of time it takes to boot . An average Android device would take anywhere from 30 secs to a minute to boot which reduces the instant gratification of switching on a music player and listening .

Also all these operating systems could over a period of time slowly start slowing down due to usage and build up ( I am talking over a period of months not days).

Having said that my dream is to buy a nano and connect an blue tooth OBD port connector and stream real time engine data to a cheap 7 inch tablet in front of the driver. A kind of fast and furious kind of interface. Softwares like Torque can display realtime speed, revs, temperature, throttle positioning etc. Added benefit of GPS and mapping if the Tablet supports. For an additional 3-4 k connect an head unit like JBL 333 series and connect the headphone to the head unit .

Full fledged entertainment system.
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Old 7th October 2012, 11:06   #9
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

Sony, Panasonic has already released Android based HU in Japan. It was showcased in Embedded Systems Conference, Tokyo earlier this year. It has some wonderful features such as a Mirror Link client, DLNA embedded into it.
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Old 7th October 2012, 11:15   #10
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

Pretty interesting topic, but is android operating system (OS) ready for being integrated into automobiles. Automobile have their own set of standards and a companies will have to deal with lot many conformances.

Imagine you stop your vehicle and try to crank it, the drop in car battery voltage because of initial high current drain should not reset the device OS, else you will be waiting for the OS to boot up and then start the required services, almost similar to hibernation on your laptops/desktops.

Else you need to have your own separate battery backup plugged in to make sure the on board computer works fine. If you look at the onboard MCU, they are pretty much designed without any RTOS or a bare minimum OS to handle quick boot times.

Once the OS integration is standard which is true for some high end vehicles, you really donít need to buy a separate ICE apart from just installing the Amplifiers and speakers. In fact central locking and many other features can be integrated, which will be a big dampener for all car accessories stores
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Old 7th October 2012, 12:05   #11
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

I think Android OS can only be used to provide add-on functions. The basic player and amplifier section of the HU should remain the same.

I dont want a delay each time a crank my engine for the HU to boot up slowly. They need to have fast and slow boot functions separately.
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Old 7th October 2012, 12:42   #12
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

Well srishiva, if you want add on functions with android, it defeats the entire purpose of operating system. This will be a heterogeneous solution, where we end up adding OS just for the sake of adding it.
Imagine when phones were just launched with no OS, they had to support hardware based or hardware acceleration based music players, which was like a feature.
When Nokia launched 6610 which was Symbian OS based device all you had to do was download a MP3 player and viola you have a music player, you could now download codecs and you had option to play any type of music, mp3, wma, aac etc.
Operating systems are like your system coordinators, as long as the power supply fluctuations don’t reset the system, the advantages you get with it are innumerable.
Imagine what Android has made Samsung today, whereas Google themselves are not able to profit from it, though they are the owners of this OS.
On similar lines is FIAT MJD making profits for MARUTI in DDiS Avatar.
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Old 7th October 2012, 13:38   #13
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

Some android HU's reviews are good

http://www.parrot.com/asteroid-range/coming-soon_usa

Last edited by GTO : 8th October 2012 at 16:42. Reason: Please avoid a dotty...............post...........like............this..............
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Old 7th October 2012, 15:52   #14
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Default Re: Where are the Android HU's?

if fluctations/boot times are what worries you, add an internal battery (like we have in most car PC's) android has battery support & power management out of the box anyway. And add an instant on/off sleep mode like my atrix 2 has.
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Old 8th October 2012, 03:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn
... add an internal battery (like we have in most car PC's) ...
You really must stop hating K.I.S.S. principle. And Car PCs don't have an internal battery.

Last edited by DerAlte : 8th October 2012 at 03:53.
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