1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Tablet as Radio

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by Bucko2017, May 13, 2019.

  1. May 13, 2019 at 8:53 AM
    #1
    Bucko2017

    Bucko2017 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Member:
    #261137
    Messages:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ron
    Vehicle:
    2017 TRD Sport 4x4 DCSB
    20190513_104010.jpg
    Entune just wasn't serving my purposes but I didn't want to go to the trouble and expense of installing a new head unit. I had purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (the greatest Android tablet ever made) off of eBay a few years ago and thought I would see how well it would work as my radio interface. The answer is surprising well. The dash is designed in a way that a few simple strips of velcro will hold the tablet securely. I've had the tablet velcroed to my dash for almost a year now and it has never moved. In fact, the velcro holds it so well it is rather difficult to remove from the dash. I was worried about the tablet pressing the buttons on the radio but there is just enough clearance.

    On the radio I have my phone set up as the bluetooth phone device and the tablet as the bluetooth music device and if I get or make a phone call the tablet will mute while the phone is in use. The only downside I've encountered so far is that occasionally I will have to go back and set up the phone as the bluetooth phone device again. Normally I use Apple Music since it is free with my Verizon account, and the display in the dash shows the song names and all the steering wheel controls function to control playback. If I'm using google maps the music will mute when there are voice prompts.

    For charging the tablet I got this off of Amazon. The first one lasted about 10 months and died so I'm on the second one.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U2DGJD2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    For power I tied it into power feeding the radio, drilled an out of sight hole in the bottom of the trim piece, and fed the power plug up to the side of the tablet. The power source is hot all the time so the tablet is always fully charged. The tablet is active on Verizon's network so I'm always online. There is a monthly fee to have the tablet on your carrier's network.

    It is nice having such a large display, especially using google maps at night on trips. The radio doesn't sound that great anyway so I don't really notice the sound quality being any worse since everything is through bluetooth. You could run a headphone cable to the aux in port if you wished.

    Overall it serves my purposes well and actually works better than I though it would. The tablet is 5 years old now, way past any updates, and I've already had to repair it twice, so at some point I'm sure it will cease to function. If it does I'll probably look for another cheap used Verizon tablet off of eBay. Just thought I would share my positive experience if anybody else was considering doing this.
     
    asudevil and xxTacocaTxx like this.
  2. May 13, 2019 at 12:32 PM
    #2
    pinktaco808

    pinktaco808 Hot Steppa

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Member:
    #40651
    Messages:
    4,048
    Gender:
    Male
  3. May 27, 2019 at 1:31 PM
    #3
    BenevolentMachination

    BenevolentMachination Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Member:
    #241207
    Messages:
    110
    Ground Zero
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tacoma 3RZ 4WD Xtra
    If you are interested in repurposing your "old" tablet with software created by a super sweet Android enthusiast, check out XDA-Developers.com (Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2).

    You may want to read-up on:
    Rooting for newbies: What is root and what can I do with it?
    Rooting for Newbies: How to gain root access
    How to Install TWRP

    If you are serious enough, you can allow this to be a project in and of itself; you must take your time reading about flashing a custom ROM after installing and backing up the stock firmware, or else flashing that sweet ROM of your choosing will potentially brick your tablet (it becomes an unbootable paperweight).

    Unofficial LineageOS ROM for Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

    Developer of the Unofficial LineageOS ROM states:
    Before tossing it aside after buying a new tablet, this may be a project you will be interested, if you have the time. The upside to TWRP and a custom ROM is that there is great potential to renew "old" devices; just because Samsung no longer supports the device with operating system updates, does not mean no one does (although realistically, devices do end up out of support eventually).

    I must reiterate; you must read. Just like, "Measure twice, cut once."
    You also must match the device's model number to the files you're going to flash/install on it; there are usually two to three different configurations of files solely based off model numbers alone, let alone versions of those files.

    The best feeling is the moment your device boots up after all the work you've put into repurposing it, and it runs like new; just like a motor starting after putting hours of work into it and it runs so much better.

    It takes a programmer/hacker mere interest in a device to manipulate/hack its software, thereby reconstituting it as a desirable purchase to a niche group of enthusiasts, who find joy in repurposing "old" tech.

    - Owner of a 19 year old Tacoma
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    asudevil, ptc075 and xxTacocaTxx like this.
  4. May 28, 2019 at 4:53 AM
    #4
    Bucko2017

    Bucko2017 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Member:
    #261137
    Messages:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ron
    Vehicle:
    2017 TRD Sport 4x4 DCSB
    I really appreciate the response and the information you provided. I'm actually familiar with the XDA forum and it has proved to be a valuable resource for not only the Note Pro, but also many other devices that I have had. I've used it to root and install TWRP and custom ROM's mostly with great success, but have also bricked a device beyond recovery. Unfortunately, from what I've read all the root methods discussed on the forum will not work for the 905V Verizon model which is what I have. Since I mainly just use the tablet for google maps and apple music, being stuck at Lollipop is not really an issue so far.

    I've been a big Android fan in the past but the lack of updates is something that really irritates me. While Apple typically provides updates for devices for at least 5 years I've bought Android devices that never received an official update. Even with high end devices from major manufacturers like Samsung you are lucky to get updates for 2 years from the introduction of the device.
     
  5. May 28, 2019 at 5:50 AM
    #5
    BenevolentMachination

    BenevolentMachination Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Member:
    #241207
    Messages:
    110
    Ground Zero
    Vehicle:
    2000 Tacoma 3RZ 4WD Xtra
    You are welcome; I appreciate you knowing what you do, about Android. As far as I have read, Android devices can vary quite a bit with root-ability. At least the tablet, once you have a new one, can become a hand-me-down or a casual 'round the house for entertainment.

    Updates are indeed hard to come by when manufacturers choose to (or are forced to) drop support as if they are a second-rate producer. Thankfully some devices are supported on XDA Developers long after a device's manufacturer no longer supports a device with at least OTA (Over the Air) updates.

    Apple does support their iOS devices longer; that is not a fair comparison. Considering development of tech is constantly changing, Android manufacturers must maintain a place on the market with new devices, while Apple is strictly proprietary; their technologies' strength lies in their engineering, quality control, and support.

    Most iOS devices are much more stable than Google's Android devices are. Not only because of the wide range of hardware going into these Android devices, but also because the Play Store accepts a much wider variety of quality in their applications; more apps on more devices from multiple developers and manufacturers.

    Since you clicked it, I am going to say:
    There are a lot of non-phone devices which use Android outside of the smartphone market, so there is going to inadvertently be more developers of Android than iOS; this makes Android development exciting and made for anyone interested in becoming a developer for smartphones.

    This is where XDA Developers come in; they usually support devices long after manufacturers cut devices out of the manufacturer's business strategy (for whatever reasons they have). This whole idea around repurposing "old" tech is exciting. Imagine what would happen to Apple if they released their source code; their whole paradigm would tank. Users would stop buying new devices and repurpose "old" devices.

    It is both a sad thing that Android manufacturers choose (or are forced) to stop supporting relatively new devices, but also what makes Android so exciting; it's ever-changing and improving.

    Oh my gosh you clicked it again!
    Android as far as I know holds more market for devices than iOS, but comparing manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Huawei, etc.), I would say Apple beats them (without doing any research; because Android is divided between all these manufacturers, but Apple is the only developer of iOS.

    Okay since you opened this too...
    Just found this nifty resource on TacomaWorld; BB Codes.

    I myself have garnered interest through reading about Android and have been on a mediocre search for a drawing tablet (usually comes down to Samsung's S-Pen-enhanced tablets). If I bought a tablet though, it would not be from Verizon; I will no doubt attempt to root and flash a custom ROM on it (Because, why not?).

    I really appreciate the idea of mounting a tablet on the dash in place of an expensive and easy to out-date GPS headunit; smartphones have small screens and reading directions and street names are quite dangerous while driving; the larger screen and bigger buttons most likely make listening to music and reading direction much easier (obviously I do not account for Bluetooth, which not everyone will have). Most Bluetooth-enabled headunits have troubling user interfaces, anyway. A tablet is a great solution for vehicles.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
    asudevil likes this.
  6. Jun 19, 2019 at 9:09 AM
    #6
    Mountain2018

    Mountain2018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Member:
    #253346
    Messages:
    246
    Gender:
    Male
    Harpers Ferry/Leesburg VA
    Vehicle:
    2018 4x4 SB gray
    I am a little late discovering this thread but have question on tablet use. I have been useing a sony xperia 8.0 mounted on dash and mainly for Waze (nice compliment to my Uniden). Have always liked these super light weight, nesr waterproof tablets with two charging methods. But OP caught my attention indicating steering controls used with the samsung. (I have a galaxy 3 9.6 for travel but felt a little cumbersome/big for dash).

    How does one enable controls on the tablet to work with the Tacoma? I primarily listen to satelitte and it would be a huge improvment (and much safer if attempting to change channel) if i could adjust from wheel. Currently run Sat/ thru BT from phone and rarely change stations.
     
    asudevil likes this.
  7. Jun 19, 2019 at 10:03 AM
    #7
    Bucko2017

    Bucko2017 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Member:
    #261137
    Messages:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ron
    Vehicle:
    2017 TRD Sport 4x4 DCSB
    The steering wheel controls work when I'm playing the tablet through the stock radio as a bluetooth source. When I use Apple Music or Amazon Music the volume control and other playback control buttons work and the track info is displayed in the dash if that screen is selected to display. With satellite radio you may be able to only control volume, not sure since I don't use it.
     
  8. Jun 19, 2019 at 7:57 PM
    #8
    Mountain2018

    Mountain2018 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Member:
    #253346
    Messages:
    246
    Gender:
    Male
    Harpers Ferry/Leesburg VA
    Vehicle:
    2018 4x4 SB gray
    Ahh....ok, think you may be right on sat. Can not remember for sure but think I did a BT connection with the Samsung tablet and could not get volume or channel to work. Though it seems obvious the volume should work just as when connecting any BT player, as when the phone is the source of the satellite.

    Thanks for info and will play around with it some more. I was hopeful in you possibly found an add on device able to allow better control from the function buttons on our steering wheels.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top