Can someone tell me what the point of Android Auto is? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 48 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Can someone tell me what the point of Android Auto is?

Just got my 2019 Veloce as a replacement for my flood damaged 2017 Super and apart from the expected trim and performance upgrades one of the main upgrades I was looking forward to was Android Auto.

What a total disappointment. On the rare occasions I can get it to intermittently talk to my phone all I get is four large playschool toy size icons on the screen which offer maps, phone, media and back to Alfa connect. The car has GPS and I can already access the phone and media functions via Bluetooth.

So what exactly does Android Auto do that I couldn't do before. I would have thought it would have at least offered WhatsApp and messenger functionality along the same lines of SMS messages but not even that.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 48 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Good question! In my opinion an unnecessary distraction!

With phone usage in cars being a hot topic these days and now moves under discussion to even ban hands free phone usage surely mucking about with Apps on a car display screen must also be deemed a safety issue?
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Presumably you think your music system and GPS is an unnecessary distraction and should be removed as well? That stuff about banning hands free is just a committee report being bandied about by a group of MP's which the media picked up on and made a sensation out of. Will never happen.

To me it seems Android Auto is an opportunity missed. The feature on my hands free to have SMS messages read out is very useful except the only person who communicates to me via SMS is my 77 year old mother. Every one else uses WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. I would have thought it would have be pretty straight forward to have my WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger messages read out via Android Auto.
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I quite like it, Waze on the screen is very useful for police alerts etc. You might want to try the new interface (stop AA, clear cache & data then check for new option in AA settings) which gives music controls while navigating plus the ability to select all installed AA applications - useful to switch between Play Music and BBC Sounds from within AA itself, for example.

Connectivity issues are most likely a bad cable. I recently began having intermittent issues and dropouts but using my original phone cable sorted that right out.

I wouldn't know about Messenger but I have had it read my WhatsApp and Signal messages, and I'm sure it asked if I wanted to reply afterwards! Not sure what to suggest for this.
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I'm not sold on it at all. Even when playing music through AA I end up switching back to the Alfa connect, it looks far better. Other than for Tidal I don't use it.
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Originally Posted by emu View Post
I quite like it, Waze on the screen is very useful for police alerts etc. You might want to try the new interface (stop AA, clear cache & data then check for new option in AA settings) which gives music controls while navigating plus the ability to select all installed AA applications - useful to switch between Play Music and BBC Sounds from within AA itself, for example.

Connectivity issues are most likely a bad cable. I recently began having intermittent issues and dropouts but using my original phone cable sorted that right out.

I wouldn't know about Messenger but I have had it read my WhatsApp and Signal messages, and I'm sure it asked if I wanted to reply afterwards! Not sure what to suggest for this.
How did you get your WhatsApp messages up?
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How did you get your WhatsApp messages up?
They appear as notifications and you can choose to play them from there - audio only, no text. Once it has been read it will ask "do you want to reply?" to which it's just a yes or no response.

Unless I'm going mad, but I'm quite sure WA and Signal messages have both been read and replied in my car.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 48 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Looks like AA isn't quite as slick as Apple CarPlay then? - Apple CarPlay is brilliant, basically your phone without touching your phone

Are you sure there aren't some settings you've missed such as what to display / use via AA? It's not something you have to do with CarPlay but given Android is more suited to tweaking, it wouldn't surprise me if they have given the user more of a choice (which sometimes isn't always a good thing).
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I dont have it, can you scroll through your spotify playlists or search for tracks. For me that would be the only benefit of AA vs phone.
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Guys, In some countries, basic spec of Super or even Veloce is without Nav. Nav option is quite expensive (Especially for 8.8").
I took my well equipped Veloce without Nav, but with AA/DAB.
I very like AA. Google Maps is way more better than AR built Nav. In a lot of countires live traffic information does not exist or is very poor/not accessible/not updated, Google in other hand has it really up to date. There are also information about speed cameras since a few months in GM. THere is also Waze if somebody prefers this. And best is that GM/Waze/AA will be constantly improved and in 1,2,3 years will be way better, where if you stick with built in nav/infotainment, you have really as much as you just got - updates and development for existing customers is really fake in case of AR, they do not even keen to share with users newer infotainment firmware - only maps.

AA (and ACP) have though big disadvantage - USB cable connection. However, there is solution on the market which works (not perfect, it is beta version) - AAGateway. The guy who did this, works on it only in free time as hobby project so progress is slow.
I have in my car 2nd phone (my old one) which works as hotspot and WiFi bridge for AA - it is connected permanently to USB in armrest storage, setup to enable Hotspot when powered via USB and disable it when power is gone (to conserve battery). My master phone runs Android Auto (and master AAGateway), and so I do not need to take my phone out of my pocket. I guess in say year or so time, there may be off the shelf solution like this looking as USB stick, which will offer such plug&play WiFi bridge.

AA recently got new UI layout, much better in use and look - right now you need to enable it in options.
Since spring 2019 it also supports wide screens adding secondary screen in place of AA logo on 8.8" - unfortunately it looks like currently it is locked by car infotainment (some cars like Jag or Mazda I heard are unlocked and offer secondary screen on wide displays). I guess that is matter of time and pressing to AR customer support to get some infotainment update which unlocks that feature.

It is also expected that over time there will be more apps which could work with AA.

Yes, there are Whatsup messages working with AA as well, though e.g. no picture preview shown yet - I guess it may be matter of time when they add things there.

Summarizing, for me AA is must have and I'm very happy/daily user of it.
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Originally Posted by t1grm View Post
Presumably you think your music system and GPS is an unnecessary distraction and should be removed as well? .
Music No, Sat Nav potentially yes depending on the interface and level of self discipline of the driver.

As a former Police Officer I have witnessed first hand the misery and injury caused by people messing about with their in car IT devices whilst driving.

Fiddling with things that can easily be left until later is without argument an avoidable and unnecessary distraction.

That's my opinion, take it or leave it!
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Music No, Sat Nav potentially yes depending on the interface and level of self discipline of the driver.

As a former Police Officer I have witnessed first hand the misery and injury caused by people messing about with their in car IT devices whilst driving.

Fiddling with things that can easily be left until later is without argument an avoidable and unnecessary distraction.

That's my opinion, take it or leave it!
The point here is though that they're not supposed to be fiddly and usually aren't, for myself Apple Carplay is much safer than touching the phone screen as I don't have to. I just press the voice button on the wheel and tell Siri what's needed. Allows me to have the phone enclosed in the storage out of sight. .

It's just in this case the OP is having usage issues.
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I have Android Auto on my Merc. I think it's crap. Apple Play on the other hand I think is much better.
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I couldn’t live without it now, although for people who don’t use much tech I can see it would be unnecessary.

Thanks to CarPlay I can have all my Spotify library to browse in the car via its controls, podcasts for the commute, I can hear and reply vocally to both SMS and WhatsApp, I can use different navigation apps which allow both on-foot and driving directions so it can guide me right to a location, I can prepare routes on my phone in advance before getting into the car, send from computer to phone whilst at work/home then it’s straight up in the car.

I regularly drive to new cities etc with work so the nav options are a lifesaver and a big music fan too. Has opened up so many more options and easier to use and more responsive than any in-car system.
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... That stuff about banning hands free is just a committee report being bandied about by a group of MP's which the media picked up on and made a sensation out of. Will never happen....
It should never happen, but I fear it will. However, enforcement will be nigh impossible.

Is a handsfree call really any more distracting than a conversation with your passengers?

In my opinion, though, any use of a touch screen whether Android Auto or just the SATNAV is a real hazard.

Andy
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I agree Android Auto (after market system not in an Alfa) is excellent. Phone in glove box, Spotify, waze, google maps, WhatsApp and messenger messages read and can verbally reply. Does all I need and legally. Easy to use.
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(Post Link) post #17 of 48 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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It should never happen, but I fear it will. However, enforcement will be nigh impossible.
.....
Andy
In The Netherlands, they are now testing camera's above the road that can automatically detect drivers using non hands-free phones .....
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/0...while-driving/

I see the tehnology appearing in more countries (UK, Australia, .... ? )
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-...phone/10624648

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I know I'm old, but really. When you are driving your car you should be driving your car. When you drive through a city or a town, look to see how many people are walking along looking at their phones and not looking where they are going.
The world is phone mad. We went on holiday recently with some friends, to europe. We saw quite a lot of great things. But one of my friends has been gripped by 'phone fever' He is looking at his phone the entire time we are stopped anywhere. As a result he doesn't communicate with anybody. Doesn't enjoy what we are seeing and saying to each other. He may as well look at the places we are visiting on his phone in his bath!!
If I look at buying a car and it has an 'Infotainment ' system fitted, then I know that car is NOT for me.
I know I am a dying breed, but there are so many goons on the road out there you can't afford to be mucking about with a phone or anything like a phone, android, app, buttbook or any of those other gormless things, people are obsessed by.
Drive your car.
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In The Netherlands, they are now testing camera's above the road that can automatically detect drivers using non hands-free phones .....
https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2018/0...while-driving/

I see the tehnology appearing in more countries (UK, Australia, .... ? )
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-...phone/10624648
Enforcement of any hands free legislation will be difficult was my point

Andy
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(Post Link) post #20 of 48 Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Enforcement of any hands free legislation will be difficult was my point

Andy
Why ?. You just automatically get the fine sent home, like speeding ticket.....
It's the same as when police see you using a phone now.
If it's high enough, and the chance of getting caught high enough, it should act as a detriment for a next time

In The Netherlands, they've now also made it illegal to f.i. use a phone while on a bike etc.

Last edited by jwq; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:00.
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I use Apple Car Play with Waze all the time. Works fantastically every time.
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For me Android Auto has only a couple of uses.
I can press the voice control button on the sterring wheels and say 'navigate to caffeine and machine' or 'GBK' and I will get either Google maps or Waze direct me to my destination. Much easier than stopping the car, getting my phone out, gooogling the address, typing it into the car sta nav only to be taken to somewhere in the vicinity of my destiantion (google maps will take me directly to the building I'm interested in if it is a business). And they have much better traffic reporting.

The problem for me is that it is USB only and my USB cables so far keep disconnecting; not sure if it is the cable or the software.
Also, if I want to change the album I have to switch back to the cars interface then back to AA for navigation as I use a USB hard drive with all my music on in the car (plugged directly into the cars USB interface).


Any sort of messages are a distraction and should not be used whilst driving.
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Android update

Looks iike Android Auto has had quite a major refresh recently. Have a look at these reviews.

New Android Auto compared to Apply Carplay

Android Auto reviewed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r1200rt View Post
I know I'm old, but really. When you are driving your car you should be driving your car. When you drive through a city or a town, look to see how many people are walking along looking at their phones and not looking where they are going.
The world is phone mad. We went on holiday recently with some friends, to europe. We saw quite a lot of great things. But one of my friends has been gripped by 'phone fever' He is looking at his phone the entire time we are stopped anywhere. As a result he doesn't communicate with anybody. Doesn't enjoy what we are seeing and saying to each other. He may as well look at the places we are visiting on his phone in his bath!!
If I look at buying a car and it has an 'Infotainment ' system fitted, then I know that car is NOT for me.
I know I am a dying breed, but there are so many goons on the road out there you can't afford to be mucking about with a phone or anything like a phone, android, app, buttbook or any of those other gormless things, people are obsessed by.
Drive your car.
Yeah I don't think you've quite understood the concept. It's to allow you to use your phone features as you use your phone so you're NOT distracted trying to work out how to make a call. That's making / receiving calls, messages and Maps. Not for browsing and reading Facebook / Twitter etc.

Anyway. Hope all this has helped the OP lol.
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Yeah I don't think you've quite understood the concept. It's to allow you to use your phone features as you use your phone so you're NOT distracted trying to work out how to make a call. That's making / receiving calls, messages and Maps. Not for browsing and reading Facebook / Twitter etc.

Anyway. Hope all this has helped the OP lol.
Any function which involves a touch screen is likely to involve distraction and hence is potentially unsafe so I'd not waste money on Android Auto or Car Play. In any event, my Quadrifoglio is an early one in which the hardware doesn't support them

The infotainment system as-is allows you to make a handsfree call by voice activation, if the voice recognition recognises names in your contact list.

As far as SATNAV operation is concerned, I'll set up my destination before setting off either using the built-in SATNAV or that on my iPhone.

I am content to accept incoming calls handsfree at times when traffic conditions permit, but generally it's to say that I'll ring back when I'm next stopped.

3 or 4 times in 2 years, I have made short calls on the move to numbers in my contacts list. Generally, this has been to advise a revised ETA at my destination.

Andy
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