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Recommendations to add Android Auto to my Tacoma

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by brianh321, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. Sep 4, 2019 at 7:03 PM
    #1
    brianh321

    brianh321 [OP] New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for recommendations on how to add Android Auto to my 2017 Tacoma. Here is a picture of my current head unit,


    I've read some recommendations and I've seen some YouTube videos. One option is total head unit upgrade. The other is installing some sort of a "middle-man" unit. The "middle-man" unit uses the double-pressing of the volume nob. This video is an example, https://youtu.be/xRgAyEgejkI.

    What are the pros/cons with these different approaches? Will I lose tire pressure readings, digital speedometer, odometer, other dashboard info with one or both of these approaches, or is that stuff controlled through a different computer? I'm not interested in adding an amp, upgrading my speakers, etc. I'm happy with the other factor stuff.

    I like the "middle-man" approach (please tell me what the correct term is) from the YouTube video because it seems to maintain the factor stuff. Any suggestions? Would the backup camera still work?

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.
     
  2. Sep 4, 2019 at 8:53 PM
    #2
    fxmunoz

    fxmunoz 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4x4 Sport.

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    I am also looking for the same thing, so glad you asked.
     
  3. Sep 4, 2019 at 9:45 PM
    #3
    Crimson Flam3s

    Crimson Flam3s Well-Known Member

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  4. Sep 5, 2019 at 8:39 AM
    #4
    brianh321

    brianh321 [OP] New Member

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    How does the dashboard display work with this unit? Digital speedometer, odometer, tire pressure readings,etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  5. Sep 5, 2019 at 9:19 AM
    #5
    MaTaco_4x4

    MaTaco_4x4 Well-Known Member

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    If you replace the factory Entune radio (Panasonic AT1501 - a 2011era technological device), you can install:

    A) a conventional receiver or nav/receiver:
    Excellent features, OK amplifiers/DSPs, support for 21st century audio codecs.

    Only a few will integrate well with the g3 Taco. Kenwood for example with iDataLink Maestro will mesh m/l seamlessly with what the Entune provides, but with a lot more bells/whistles e.g., transmission temps, torque gauges, etc.

    B) Android car radio.
    Currently, that's a Chinesium Android tablet with a Chinesium amplifier. I don't think the name brands have an Android-based head yet.

    Android Auto support is NOT Android. These radios ARE Android based.

    This is a good option if you're OK with basic electronics and have a clue what Android is / isn't. You'll have a grand time hooking up steering wheel controls, cameras, etc. And you'll learn a lot of things you'll never use again.

    They're surprisingly cheap.

    Big bonus: you can install whatever Android car app you want. Carista, Fusion, Waze, etc.

    C) Hard Core Custom (what I'll probably do)

    Whatever tf you want to, and can, do to meet your needs/wants exactly and perfectly.

    Just dreaming:
    20+20 tweeter, w/ 100x4 door speaker amp, in class AB push-pull MOSFET config, plus a beefier alternator and a custom MOSFET inverter to deliver the +/- 64VDC all of that requires.

    A Rock64 single board computer loaded with Linux Mint with 2K capacitive touch OLED screen, and a custom interface courtesy of me, Qt and C++, or PyQt.

    A Software Defined Radio (SDR) for whatever tf radio signal I want to listen in on. Police, aircraft, military, or FM stereo.

    A uBlox GPS receiver w/ GPS and GLONASS support so our dim af Pentagon douchebags can't turn off my nav system whenever they feel like it.

    That'll give me Topo USA, Spotify, BluRay, full browser support, radio out the wazoo, killer sound, and access to the 400+ PIDs of the Taco's ECUs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  6. Sep 5, 2019 at 9:44 AM
    #6
    brianh321

    brianh321 [OP] New Member

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    Thanks. Option A sounds like the right one for me. Do you know how the dashboard display is affected? My Tacoma has a small display between the tachometer and the speedometer that can display speed, tire pressure, what audio is currently playing, etc. What happens to that display if I were to start making these changes?
     
  7. Sep 5, 2019 at 9:55 AM
    #7
    MaTaco_4x4

    MaTaco_4x4 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the color theme carries over from the Kenwood to the flip-phone display in the dash. I vaguely recall reading that somewhere.

    I don't know though.

    Research what the Excelion/Maestro combo does before you blow $700-$2500.

    Nav adds a LOT to a head's cost, and doesn't do shit compared to the built-in Waze support on, say, the DDX6906S non-nav Kenwood head.

    I still have an Entune in M' Taco.
    Kenwood DDX6906S+Maestro in wife's Crosstrek.

    If I was going to go Option A, I'd go the non-nav Kenwood/Maestro route. You're talking $700 m/l for a semi plug/play kit (with PDF instructions!) from Crutchfield.

    If you do this, hot-glue a mini-USB cable to the Maestro. Leave the USB-A plug tied up with a bread tie where you can easily reach it, to plug into a laptop. You'll want to fiddle with the many possible alternate functions of the steering wheel controls (short-press, long-press, etc), and iDataLink updates the Maestro's firmware rather often.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  8. Sep 5, 2019 at 11:42 AM
    #8
    narkicu187

    narkicu187 We Are Texans

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    I think the entune HU is garbage, just replace it with something that has it.
     
  9. Sep 5, 2019 at 11:48 AM
    #9
    Crimson Flam3s

    Crimson Flam3s Well-Known Member

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    The only thing that changes in the dashboard is that you no longer get the turn by turn display.

    Everything else is the same, you can even see mpg and tpms, etc on the headunit, alongside the new plethora of features.
     
  10. Sep 5, 2019 at 11:50 AM
    #10
    MaTaco_4x4

    MaTaco_4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Toy Yoda charges $4,160 for that Entune HU. It's gotta be Super Special at that price!

    (2011 Panasonic AT1501, exclusively manufactured for Toyota. Very pricey, not very good, even in 2011)

    Anyone can do a lot better, for a fifth as much.
     
  11. Sep 5, 2019 at 11:55 AM
    #11
    narkicu187

    narkicu187 We Are Texans

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    Couldn't agree more!
     
  12. Sep 5, 2019 at 12:13 PM
    #12
    MaTaco_4x4

    MaTaco_4x4 Well-Known Member

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    You still get turn-by-turn on the head unit if you're using Android Auto or Apple Carplay and the builtin Waze app on the Excelion head.

    I hope Kenwood gets more developers to port their apps to the Kenwood HU, but I couldn't find a Developer program, even with 10 seconds of half-assed searching.

    I suspect it's JavaScript only, so very slow, very limited... That's an ignorant guess.
     
  13. Sep 5, 2019 at 3:49 PM
    #13
    mzamaites

    mzamaites Member

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  14. Sep 5, 2019 at 6:18 PM
    #14
    Crimson Flam3s

    Crimson Flam3s Well-Known Member

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    Well that's a given but I was referring to the turn by turn in the little display between the speedometers.

    It's a cool feature but ultimately irrelevant compared to all the features you gain by an Android HU.

    I never considered them before due to their drawbacks but the most recent ones with a built in dsp and very stable OS are so good that anything else seems obsolete lol.

    Best of all, it was all plug and play and voice command button still works usig google assistant.

    I was able to get google assistant voice calling after rooting it(not natively supported, but root has already been developed and it's plug and play) and using the extra utilities apk that was developed specifically for this HU so I don't see any benefits to using AA/AC, but again I can use a hotspot with my phone and have it connected at all times.
     
  15. Sep 6, 2019 at 3:45 AM
    #15
    MaTaco_4x4

    MaTaco_4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    It's crazy that Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer et al have no Android based HUs. The license fee is peanuts.
     
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  16. Sep 6, 2019 at 5:56 AM
    #16
    5nahalf

    5nahalf Well-Known Member

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    They don't have a Android unit because they can't control the user experience. Part of what makes their products good is that they can limit you on what you can do by making all their own software... Stuff they know works. With Android you can get any app and load it on, this can cause poor performance on the unit that would then be blamed on the company.

    China brand don't care about user experience, they care about units sold. If their company gets labeled a bad brand, they close down and rename it, then start selling the same thing.
     
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  17. Sep 6, 2019 at 6:03 AM
    #17
    rhallmcp

    rhallmcp Well-Known Member

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  18. Sep 6, 2019 at 6:08 AM
    #18
    Taco_Coma

    Taco_Coma Go West Lloyd

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  19. Sep 6, 2019 at 7:39 AM
    #19
    SogBecks

    SogBecks Well-Known Member

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  20. Sep 6, 2019 at 7:47 PM
    #20
    Crimson Flam3s

    Crimson Flam3s Well-Known Member

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    What good is controlling the user experience when the overall experience is archaic and decades behind compared to some of the systems out there?

    I disagree about all "China Brands not caring about user experience".

    While I agree that not all brands are focused on that aspect, saying that all of them are the same is a big generalization.

    The Joying HU that I bought was completely plug and play using factory connections, they have been very responsive with some questions I had, and most importantly, the HU's features worked very good out of the box. Radio, apps, vehicle info and settings, voice command,,better than oem sound quality, touch responsiveness, reliability so far(2 year warranty helps) etc..

    It's not perfect, but it is a hell of a lot more impressive than anything Pioneer/Kenwood/Sony has come up with.

    Android is the perfect system for a HU, and the reason why AA or AC is being pushed by all manufacturers, and that's a watered down version of what you get with this system.

    If people wanna sideload apps and crap out their unit, that's on them, not on the technology, and I said this as someone who has done just that before.
     
    MaTaco_4x4 likes this.

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