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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings Fellow Gen3 6ers,

I teased this idea over a month ago, and I'm finally ready to reveal my results. As with anything, this will NOT be for everyone, however it is my attempt to address our long-standing woes with our current Infotainment System. I also would like FEEDBACK and RECOMMENDATIONS, so I look forward to your responses. Let's begin:

HARDWARE:

The Android Infotainment System (AIS) is using a 9" - 10" Android Tablet in our passenger cabin to provide basic Infotainment Features. I chose for this project the DigiLand 10.1" Quad-Core Tablet (16GB SSD / MicroSD Slot - up to 32GB Storage / 1024 x 600 Resolution / Wireless 802.11 B/G/N). It fits very well in the cavity...almost seamlessly:





LINK: Digiland 10 1" 16GB Black | eBay


NOTE: I also recommend a matte-finished screen protector, that's fingerprint resistant.

LINK: 3X Supershieldz Anti Glare Matte Screen Protector for Digiland 10 1" DL1010Q | eBay

To secure the tablet, so that it would not slide or fall, I used Tiny Self-Adhesive Black Hemispherical Rubber Bumpers and cut them in 1/2, and mounted them around the cavity at the base and sides, allowing me to slide it in and out without any major modifications:





LINK: Self Adhesive Rubber Feet Round Tiny Black Bumpers 96 | eBay

OR

Self Adhesive Rubber Feet Hemispherical Black Bumpers 100pcs Size 10 2mm | eBay


SOFTWARE:

The Software used for this project is "Digital Car for Android" by CdRsKuLL



LINK: Digital Car - Front end for Android tablet | Android Development and Hacking | XDA Forums



This program is an Android Launcher that works in conjunction with your present launcher. It allows you to place SHORTCUTS to your favorite Apps for quick and easy access. To capitalize on this for the project, I realized I needed the following type of apps:



Screenshot of Digital Car. NOTE: The transport bar at the bottom is HIDDEN when the software is loaded.

RADIO: FM Radio Included on the tablet (Requires audio jack to be active) and TuneIn Radio (Requires Internet Connection).

MUSIC PLAYER: Google Play Music, MixMatch (Lyrics), and Audio Glow (Customized Equalizer Visualizations). NOTE: There is a built-in Media Player, however I liked the "visual effect" from USING these applications:


PICTURED ABOVE: Google Play Music visualized by Audio Glow (my customized theme) and MusicMatch displaying lyrics w/o an internet connection (as long as it has shown the lyrics before)

VIDEO PLAYER: Vudu (Downloadable movies from UltraViolet) and NETFLIX (Requires Internet Connection).

NAVIGATION*: Navigator FREE.
* - Looking for BETTER Alternative. Please reply w/ your suggestions.

SETTINGS: Configure which apps to use (Shortcuts).

SOCIAL: Facebook (Requires Internet Connection).

VOICE CONTROL: Used utter! for some voice command (Requires Internet Connection for some features) to launch apps.


EXPERIENCE:



Overall the program works great, and has a floating shortcut to access the main screen once another app has been opened. It is BETA software, but fairly stable. Along with the shortcuts to my favorite apps, when you press the logo in the center, it provides a speedometer and compass (kinda cool). I enjoyed this setup travelling 2 hours back home, and the bluetooth connection allowed for me to utilize my library of songs, and voice guided navigation during that period, expending approximately 30 - 35% of the battery (without a recharge). I'm researching a right-angled USB plug to keep it connected, so that will not be an issue, however in "dressing it" so that it's not a complete eyesore, I'd like to hear some of your ideas / suggestions. Thanks for your time and attention...and may you all have a Prosperous 2015!!
 

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Looks like you have a workable software selection. If you decide to commit to going with a tablet solution, think I would consider paying a skilled installer to make it look more factory like though.

Have you consider an ODB 2 reader with bluetooth for real-time metrics/stats etc? While our cars aren't turbo, it would be a cool feature to have.

Hope you are able to get it exactly where you want to...I hate and despise the factory head unit in my touring. If I keep the car, gonna have to do something about it eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Learning Exercise

Looks like you have a workable software selection. If you decide to commit to going with a tablet solution, think I would consider paying a skilled installer to make it look more factory like though.

Have you consider an ODB 2 reader with bluetooth for real-time metrics/stats etc? While our cars aren't turbo, it would be a cool feature to have.

Hope you are able to get it exactly where you want to...I hate and despise the factory head unit in my touring. If I keep the car, gonna have to do something about it eventually.
I've actually looked at the ODB2 Bluetooth Sensor, however I'm wondering IF it would interfere with the tablet's communication to the car? Anyone here tried it with a PHONE to see IF the ODB2 can send BT to PHONE, and PHONE to CAR?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wireless Charging

It looks cool. Charging via usb cable would suck, don't know if you are super technician but could see if you can get to connect to the car system.
IF there was a WIRELESS Charging option for this setup, that would be IDEAL. I don't know of any tablets w/ that built-in yet. Also this is more of a SUPPLEMENTAL idea, hence the minimalist setup. This experiment has helped me contemplate one of the ANDROID Head-Units and implementing this setup in to it. IF ONLY the Command Knob could be used, however a Voice Controlled Solution may have to compensate for that.
 

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Sorry to revive a bit of an old post. How has this solution been working out for you? I really hate the stock HU but I don't want to lose control of options like lock time out, headlight auto off, etc in the stock HU. Being sable to slide in a tablet would be perfect. Also I have a 3D printer at work I could use to try and make a proper holster for it. I'm in Charlotte as well, would love to see your setup sometime!
 

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Ipad Air 2 on dash

I am reviving this old thread to thank the user who gave me this idea. I used an Ipad Air2 (with cell data) with an otter box case, that is secured with a magnetic mount that locks in to the cd slot. No need for the rubber bumpers. I have used it for many months and it has never fallen. I also used a 90 degree lightning cable to charge the tablet. I linked the audio via bluetooth to the tablet, and my cell phone for calls. Amazing that Mazda allows you to connect two devices at the same time.
I use waze, apple maps, pandora, spotify, amazon music without any problems. One gripe would be that I have to take down the tablet to view the back up camera, and that the layout for pandora in a tablet is terrible. Please use with caution not to endanger yourself or others on the road. I use siri voice command to switch between apps, and the steering wheel controls to skip or adjust the volume.. The camera has a partial view of the front, so it can record if needed.
I can get by with this setup until carplay or android auto is available. I am sure that this can be done with an ipad mini, but only on older models with the NB1 dash style.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Crumbs! Didn't see this sooner...

Sorry to revive a bit of an old post. How has this solution been working out for you? I really hate the stock HU but I don't want to lose control of options like lock time out, headlight auto off, etc in the stock HU. Being sable to slide in a tablet would be perfect. Also I have a 3D printer at work I could use to try and make a proper holster for it. I'm in Charlotte as well, would love to see your setup sometime!
Not sure you're still active here or not, but a 3D Printer solution would have been nice. As far as usage is concerned, I DO use it on occasion and LOVE IT. I have decided to go all out on an Android Solution. I found some interesting alternatives than the ones currently showcased, and I have an interesting ALTERNATIVE to the current command jknob. IF you're around, hit me back up because I could use a 3D solution for the Command Knob!!
 

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I had a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 integrated into the dash of my last car.
It worked well, but had some little issues that made me decide to get away from it in the Mazda.
One of the biggest issues was that when it got cold (if I left it in the car) it wouldn't charge until the battery warmed up. I live in Michigan, tho...so if you live down south, you might be OK.

I used Tasker to have it perform certain functions...

Like, when the car turned on, it would turn on Location Services and WiFi...then I could also use Tasker on my phone to see that when it saw the tablet, it will turn on a hotspot.

When it turned off, it would close down Location/WiFi and put it in Airplane mode so the battery draw isn't so bad.

I tried Digital Car early on, but decided to just setup a screen with all my common apps (Rocket Player, Waze, Google Maps, etc.)

Worked well. I think with a little modification, an 8-9" screen could be adapted easily to fit behind the factory bezel.

I used an OTG cable, with a modified Amazon Basics 4 port hub, an Anker smart car charger and a USB Buddy to handle power duties. I used a Behringer UCA222 to give me optical out that I ran to an Audison BitOne Signal processor. I also had an SDR AM/FM tuner, but it didn't work real well, and I had a backup camera interfaced, but the app got updated, then didn't work anymore.

I've decided to go with a Pioneer AVIC-4100NEX in the 6. It's a much easier way to integrate a full seclection of features than a tablet. And like I tell everyone, the Mazda radio has great features, but none of them work for crap. The 4100 has a ton of features, and they always work. It gives me Android Auto and Apple Car Play as well.


When the rest of the pieces show up, I'll install it.

Jay
 

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Also, I used an Arduino to integrate my factory steering wheel controls with the tablet and processor. There's a piece called a "Joycon EXR" that allows you to interface steering wheel controls with an android tablet. I used my Arduino to interface some of the controls with the tablet and the rest with the controller for my processor. I plan to use an Arduino to integrate the the knob with everything.

There's also a company that makes a similar knob setup with a programmable IR...

Gauging interest in Group Buy for iDrive style remote control - Car Audio | DiyMobileAudio.com | Car Stereo Forum

This is from a few years ago, so I don't know how available these are, and I haven't used one, but it seemed related to the thread.

Jay
 
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