maandag 13 januari 2014

Using Android in your car, full guide


So today, i'd like to write about utilising your android tablet/phone in your car.

What could one possibly want?

  • (Offline) navigation to adresses in your phone its address book & realtime traffic jam avoidance
  • Watching TV (either via DVB-T, preloading via wifi or via 3g/4g online streaming)
  • Listening to real FM/DAB+ radio
  • Skype videochat (via 3g/4g)
  • Playing music via bluetooth to car radio
  • Realtime onboard diagnostic displays (requiring bluetooth)
  • Handsfree calling
  • Rearview camera
  • Play games

What's best for your wallet basically depends on if your current car radio is capable of bluetooth.
Because if it isn't, you could even take out the whole thing, hook the tablet/phone output to a basic amplifier.
If you have an old casette player, you can buy a special fake casette with a mini-jack connection.

If your car radio is bluetooth capable, good. You can send music to the car radio via bluetooth. The bluetooth default password is usually 1234 or 0000.

Navigation is done best via google maps. Even offline navigation. It has an option to download maps for offline use.
You will need free space on your device.
Let your route be calculated with wifi still enabled so that any traffic jams will be avoided.

Watching TV /listening radio via DVB-T:
First, you will want to check if your area has any decent DVB-T coverage.
If so, you would want some specific usb device.

For example:

These devices require android 4.0.3
You need this app:

Watching series/movies via wifi or 3g/4g streaming:
 You will want to follow my android HTPC guide on this blog, the part about XBMC.
To avoid roaming costs, XBMC plugins 1channel and icefilms include the option to download movies/episodes.
Ofcourse there are endless apps for streaming TV, but all i can say is i strongly recommend using1channel and icefilms XBMC plugin.

Listening to real FM/DAB+ radio
so you took out the piece of junk broken radio that some guy left there in your epic classic car..
Listening true FM can be done via different methods.
First, you could simply buy a tablet with a build in FM receiver.
For example, Lenovo A1000 is a nice budget pick.

Second option, there is a cheap app, but with very limited device compatibility.
List of device compatibility

Next, there are some special devices for sale:
Lingo iVy via USB
TechniSat DAB radio DAB+, FM via Bluetooth

Skype videochat
Nothing hard about this, just make sure you buy a tablet/phone with a front camera that also supports a sim card, obviously.

Realtime onboard diagnostic displays
So, your car is from after 1996? Congratulations, there is an ODB connector hidden somewhere.
Buy an ELM327 bluetooth device (take good care not to buy a fake one), plug it in, connect,
install the app Torque:

Rearview camera
Its easy if your phone/tablet android version is atleast 2.3. Just enable wifi hotspot in your tablet/phone, buy a cheap wifi camera, log it in your network.
Now just create a shortcut to your browser on your mainscreen, which instantly visits the camera its local url.

So, maybe you would want to both charge your phone and plug in a DVB-T and/or FM USB dongle?
Simply buy the smallest hub you can find, and get an mini-usb male to usb female adapter.

All you need now is a proper mount/location for the desired configuration in your car.

1 opmerking: