Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
To help new members find info, I thought it would be useful to have a newish thread regarding AA on Zoe. We can add links to other posts on how to enable it on older Zoe models, but my main thought was for people considering a new Zoe, so be good to avoid too much thread drift :cool:

I guess the first point to make is that Android Auto only works if you have an Android phone, it does NOT work on an iPhone (it may seem obvious, but someone actually asked me that recently!) Apple have Car Play but that is NOT (and never will be) available on the current Zoe. You also have to connect the phone to the USB socket, it does NOT work wireless (and never will on current Zoe)

A common myth is that AA "displays the phone screen" - which is just not true. An application has to be designed and developed to work with AA and most actually don't. Many won't meet the requirements Google set - you can't be typing stuff in when you drive :rolleyes: You will also typically find the screen on AA is different, again due to their requirements. For example, trying to touch a small icon when driving is not going to work.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
What apps and features are there?

I like that in the latest version you can touch the mike icon and ask a question. Recently I said "What time does John Lewis close" and the nice AA Lady told me the hours for JL in Newbury. It isn't quite Alexa yet, but is answering more and more in each update.

The feature I use a lot is sending and receiving SMS (text) and WhatsApp messages. I am very impressed with the speech recognition, but I do have a clear (legacy BBC type) accent! At first (being pedantic) I didn't like that messages I sent had no punctuation. I then learned you can say "full stop" or "comma" after a word and it puts it in. Fab :)

Personally, I use Waze for navigation and Amazon Music for tunes. I find the Amazon playlists suit me and I prefer it to Spotify. I tried Spotify for a couple of months and it has integration with Waze which is nice, but I didn't like the Android client and found it difficult to find music I wanted. I know some people prefer Google maps over Waze and that (obviously) works on AA.

I sometimes like to listen to my lossless FLAC music in car and am currently experimenting with Rocket Player. I have 128GB in my Android phone, so plenty of space for lossless albums. I will update later on how I get on. Anyone else got feedback?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Does it work on any Android phone?

Officially the phone just needs to be Android 5 or later but not all work, so check with manufacturer before you get a new (or used) phone!

Personally, I found my older phones didn't work well (slow response) so I upgraded my LG G5 to a Honor 10 View which works a lot better. My Moto G4 (my backup phone!) is also a bit slow.
 

·
Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
Joined
·
4,112 Posts
Thank you for starting this thread! I will comment another time on my thoughts of usability.

For now I would like to comment especially for non-UK based forum members that AA might not be available in your country, and if you are not a daring person, you might have done the entire DDT4All stuff for nothing. You'd have to install from an APK with the associated risks, and your native language is most probably not supported.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
I use it nearly every time I get into the car now. One issue I had was the connection kept dropping out and Android Auto would crash. Turns out it was a pile of gunk stuck in the USB C port that needed cleaning or the cable would be loose at the phone end.

Still waiting on a charge point/EV maps application, really surprised Zap-map/plugshare haven't added Android Auto compatibility yet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I find it infuriating that the world is turning into a place where nobody writes anything any more, instead we have to watch banal videos. Incidentally, what an odd place to have a phone mount - on the door window :confused: (Oh dear have opened door and phone has dropped in puddle)

All that 5 minutes told me was that apps that send data to Google Maps will work when the map is running on AA. Wow, kinda obvious. You still have to stop to safely use ZapMap or Plugshare.
 

·
Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
Joined
·
4,112 Posts
Hah, I have the phone in exactly the same spot with a suction mound and a cheapo magnetic breakaway USB inset. You are right it's a weird place but I found it the only one workable. The alternatives are too intrusive (trivial), blocking vents, or too much out of sight (above the dong/lighter tray).

Of course from, what was it, 2020 on, it will all be integrated and much less hassle. TBH I do believe by that time the likes of ZApmap, plugshare, chargemap, plugsurfing, etc. will have a very hard time maintaining their map data. There will be enough interest for the big boys to provide that service integrated in their system (and no, I don't mean the current half-hearted implementation like in the current Tomtom). "OK Google, navigate to a rapid charger with coffee nearby". Ish.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
too much out of sight
That's the whole point of Android Auto. If you need to fiddle with your phone while driving then it is all a fail :rolleyes: I use a magnetic mount gooseneck in 12V socket. A bit low, but works well for me as don't use while driving (*) I will put photo up later.

I agree that it won't be long before Google have proper EV data and also that the TomTom integration is poor! The stupid tiny icons to show what type of charger it is - really? I did find you can filter out slow ones, which does help.

* A work colleague was killed on A34 many yeas ago using his mobile, so no fiddling on phone while driving for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
A couple of things I found:

Car: 2019 R110
Phone: Huawei P20 Pro

If your phone is locked/screen off when you plug it in, the Zoe won't detect it properly, and will only charge the phone, it seems the only way to "reset" it is to switch the car off, lock it and leave it for a while, a bit of a pain, but not too bad if you remember to unlock it before plugging in.

Sound quality is awful - I have the Bose upgrade, and I was really disappointed when I first used it, as playing music from Amazon music via AA sounds really flat, like it's a badly compressed low bitrate MP3 played through cheap speakers (much worse than the stock speakers/headunit on my 2006 civic!). Playing through Bluetooth instead, the difference is night and day!!

Fuzzy screen - I use Waze for navigation, and while readable, it's quite blurry, I assume this is because it doesn't run at native resolution. One of my colleagues who has a 2018 Megane has noticed the same thing.
 

·
Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
Joined
·
4,112 Posts
That's the whole point of Android Auto. If you need to fiddle with your phone while driving then it is all a fail :rolleyes:
In my defense, that location was choosen years ago and before installing AA (guilty: only activated two weeks ago). I have it on CanZE Consumption almost always. And it's not about fiddling, it's about sight, visibility. I don't want to look down and just loose that essential bunch of milliseconds when the guy in front of me does a panic stop. Or comparable (or worse) scenario's). Actually, it's quite a fiddle-unfriendly location.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I guess for people who want to watch CanZe (or Youtube :eek:) while driving, a high up location makes more sense. I don't look at my phone (CanZe is good but is NOT driving compatible IMHO) so am happy with my setup.

I like the magnetic mount as easy to plonk on. If I have a passenger I sometimes move so it obscures temp dial, but OH is fine with where it normally is.

IMG_20190203_123020348.jpg IMG_20190203_122957497.jpg

The USB power cable is Dashcam which I will be hard wiring soon...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
I find it infuriating that the world is turning into a place where nobody writes anything any more, instead we have to watch banal videos.
I was replying to @Plugger1, if you don't want to watch videos then don't click on them. :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Phone: Honor View 10 on Android 9

I often connect my phone with screen off and once the USB C is connected, phone wakes up and is recognised by car as AA. I have never had the phone not recognised.

The Rlink screen is not particularly high resolution, but I am happy with screen quality in Waze. I had to use my old Moto to take photos so not great, but if you open large size you will see text is not fuzzy.

Sound is a subjective thing, but I am fine with Amazon Music on AA. Amazon stream at lowish bit rate, but I find sounds acceptable. I have Bose and am expecting better quality from Rocket with FLAC, but haven't yet had chance to test properly. Might do that later today.

IMG_20190203_123033837.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I was replying to @Plugger1, if you don't want to watch videos then don't click on them. :p
I thought it might be something really new and exciting, but yeah won't bother again :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I have a 2017 Q90 and Google Pixel 3 XL phone - did the DDT4ALL update and unlocked Android Auto. Zoe recognises my phone and launches AA; however, the screen is constantly blurred and fuzzy making it unreadable. The same phone and lead works flawlessly in our Kia Niro.

Any ideas?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
This comparison with Youtube doesn't make sense. CanZE is for the most part a dashboard extension.
It wasn't meant as a comparison, it was pointing out that some people do that stuff. A Black Cab driver in London was swiping on a dating site while driving us :eek:

But I can't agree with your "dashboard" analogy. A dashboard is passive, but your app (by nature of being on a phone) invites people to fiddle with it while driving. Now, you and others here might not, but many (I can assure you) will change screens and fiddle with settings.

Anyway, I am breaking my rule about keeping focus on AA. So I will bring it back with "when will CanZE support AA" ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Probably worth making clear to people finding this thread:
  • Zoes manufactured before mid-2018 do not have Android Auto enabled by default, but can have it enabled via a hack that needs some extra hardware and software;
  • Zoes manufactured after mid-2018 should have Android Auto enabled already, you don't need to do anything extra to enable it
The exact date that separates those two categories is a little unclear, but I reckon it was round about July/August 2018.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
My Zoe was delivered end June 2018 with AA enabled. I guess it might have been done at PDI but knowing my dealer, I frankly doubt it :rolleyes:

Also, do make sure you have updated Rlink via SDCard using the Toolbox. It is possible that AA was updated after first Rlink release. Since last October I have not experienced any of the issues some people have reported above, but I did have problems with my old LG G5. I guess it is possible that some issues were fixed in Rlink and were not my phone?

With regard to audio quality, I have listened to my FLAC on Rocket Player and it is very good with Bose using AA. I will do a separate thread on it as not Zoe specific.

Incidentally, from AA specs it seems audio from phone is over USB at CD bit rate 44.1K at 16 bit (~1.4Mb), so lossless should sound better than MP3 or streaming. As for DAB - "euch" is all I can say, but with MP2 encoding at around 100Kb what do you expect! I guess OK for BBC Radio 4 :D
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
About this Discussion
24 Replies
11 Participants
GMCK
Speak EV - Electric Car Forums
A community for enthusiasts of all makes and models of EV from BMW to Tesla, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi and more. Join the electrifying discussion today!
Full Forum Listing
Top