Gen4 base radio - can it hook up to Android at all?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Mambo Dave, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Junior Member

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    So I'm still trying to make a purchase decision. It seems to have come down to a 2019 Gen4 L Eco (I don't believe the LE version gets any better in the radio department), or the Kia Niro LX model.

    The Kia, far and away, has the better 'infotainment' device (much larger LCD, Android and Apple Connect) - plus the extra room of a true hatch-back.

    I'd like to get the Toyota for the reliability, but the ancient radio system (I think it may even have a CD player slot, lol) is abhorrent - it's sickening how neglected the dash and connectivity seems to be, but my 'education' was from a young salesman who didn't seem to know much about the new Prius. The point of the vehicle purchase is to have a business car for visiting clients throughout a sizeable area, so having Google maps up on the LCD screen, and the LCD screen being visible, is desired.

    Talks with one of the dealerships went into crazy-town when I asked about if I could get a Prius with satellite radio. They had no idea, but knew it wasn't an option on the lower models.

    I don't want to have to support Apple phones for obvious reasons, so I'd like to keep my Android for Google maps, and have those maps show up on the LCD of whatever car I buy. Can the Prius base radio do this?

    Thank you.
     
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  2. The Professor

    The Professor Active Member

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    I moved from a new model Kia Ceed to the Gen 4 Prius. My wife has a new Kia Picanto. Take my word for it. Absolutely do not get the Kia if a Toyota is a choice. I'd describe the Prius Infotainment system as "It's not great, but it's not terrible". The Kia's is slightly better in some ways, worse in others, but overall marginally better.

    However, the Prius is just an absolute dream to drive over the Kia. It's more comfortable, more responsive, far quieter (when not completely silent), uses half the fuel, the drive train is unequalled, and even if my Prius was 3x the price of a Kia, I would still absolutely choose a Toyota. The Prius is fun to drive, even after 18 months of ownership. The Kia is just another car.

    But don't take my word for it. There's a reason the Prius is always ranked much higher (usually at or very close to the top) on many comparison sites, and Kias aren't.
     
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  3. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Junior Member

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    And I absolutely understand that. I even went as far as to research market values for equivalent-priced 2017 Prius and Kia Niro at 54,000 miles (so, trade in value), and the Toyota was worth ~$1,500 more.

    I'm just trying to get to the straight scoop on if Toyota really did leave the radio system to be the most antiquated in the industry, or if it will connect to my Android. The sales guy didn't know much at all, so I'm hoping here.

    It's either that, or the very crazy idea of having a $400 Pioneer radio installed into a brand new 2019 car. I'm not even a high-end radio type of person, and have only ever replaced one radio - and that was on a 15-year-old truck where the radio needed changed out.

    So, does the Toyota base radio work with Android in any way?
     
  4. The Professor

    The Professor Active Member

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    Other than playing audio through Bluetooth or a headphone cable, and providing mobile data, phones don't interact with the current infotainment system. There are third party add ons that require some pretty scary fitting that can provide Android Auto support, while keeping things like the reversing camera.

    If you're looking for native Android Auto sort, it doesn't do it. That being said, neither did either of the Kia's we owned (2016 models).
     
  5. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Junior Member

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    Looks like the Pioneer MVH-1400NEX will fit the factory connections (plus and play). I really don't want to tear into a new car, but it's not like there's much choice if I'm going to be in the vehicle as much as I am my pickup truck.

    The base model 2019 Kia Niro has both Apple and Android Connect apps.

    I have an offer in to two Toyota dealerships right now. It's a bargain-basement offer for an out-dated vehicle, but if they want to up their numbers this month or next, it's there. I feel like I should consider a low-mile used Prius V - the station wagon style - instead. If I'm going to be stuck with no connectivity, I might as well at least have the extra space of the wagon. Too bad they stopped making it.
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Doooo iiiiittt!

    I can’t believe I waited a whole four days before gutting the factory system in ours. We put in a Sony with both Apple & Android connectivity and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I don’t want to buy a car that can’t be converted to aftermarket.
     
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  7. vettevert

    vettevert New Member

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    Any pics post install?
     
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  8. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Junior Member

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    LOL, you're hilarious.

    I'd rather be buying a car that came with the most minimal of expectations in a 2019 supposedly 'advanced' car.

    Was there a kit available for your Sony to plug right in to the wiring harness, backup camera, etc? Steering wheel controls still work?
     
  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    That’s a whole other topic. I was similarly frustrated when I was shopping. Then I realized… they’re all awful. There’s no sync at all between good vehicles and the infotainment systems inside them. And I could either sit around and complain, or I could plan to get a good aftermarket rig, build the cost into the budget and enjoy driving the benefits for a long time.

    Yes and no. I bought it from Crutchfield. They also sold me several adapter devices and cable harnesses and mounting accessories. They offered to combine the various wire harnesses together into something that would have been plug-and-play, but I declined that additional service. I’m very comfortable doing my own wiring. I did retain the use of the rear vision camera, the overhead built-in microphone and the steering wheel controls. Each required a little adaptation but none was difficult or unexpected. The mounting kit and trim panel fit perfectly. It’s been in the car over a year now and everything still works properly. And now that I’ve got a generic mount and wire breakout, updating to the next whizbang thing will be even cheaper and easier.
     
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  10. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Don't forget that "Leadfoot J. McCoalroller" has a different car - a PRIUS c. So nothing inside is the same.

    But no, it doesn't use Android or Apple Auto/Carplay. Personally, I haven't missed it - I use USB sticks for PodCasts - but the quality of a CD is far better than either BlueTooth or Carplay for music.

    The infotainment system has also some ECO displays too - not sure if you'd get them with the Pioneer?
     
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  11. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Junior Member

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    And that's about all I would even be asking for. Thank you for your reply. I may ask you a question in the future if one of these dealers comes through with accepting my offer.
     
  12. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Junior Member

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    Thank you for your replay as well. I threw out all 200-some CD's of mine - right into a trash bin - back in about 2008. That's how dated CD's are, so it's sad that the car still comes with a CD player as opposed to a modern LCD radio with the proper apps.

    I probably won't be one to be overly focused on the ECO displays. This area is a race track from one end to the other if it isn't stop-and-go due to an accident. The car will be thrashed to keep up, and if I'm hitting 35 to 38 MPG averages, I'll be happy.
     
  13. The Professor

    The Professor Active Member

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    I agree CDs are no longer needed. I'm genuinely surprised they're still so common.

    However, the Prius Infotainment system does natively, and fully, support up to two USB drives with MP3/AAC files. So you can easily put your music onto one of those bean size USB drives (which you'll never even notice plugged in and won't get in the way), along with album art, playlists, etc, and you'll be able to play by album, artist, folder, genre, playlist, random, etc.

    Assuming they're not ripped at a low bitrate (e.g. 128 or lower) there is no human ear on the planet that will be able to determine the difference to the original CD when played back on the car's audio system.
     
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  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    This is true, I have a different car. From what I’ve seen, this means a different mounting bracket and trim bezel would be required. I haven’t found a significant difference in the wiring or feature compatibility.

    I did lose some car info displays- the eco stuff. It all seems to be duplicated on the upper display- at least as much as we care to see anyway. We always leave it on the “simple” mode where it just shows a fuel gauge anyway. We didn’t buy the car to push the edge of hypermiling, we just buckle up and drive and trust the computers to save us fuel. It’s been working.
     
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  15. ETP

    ETP 2019Prius(Limited),Highlander HYB Plat,B52-D,G,F,H

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    Blue tooth works good for most folks. I use a USB 32GB FAT 32 stick with a high bit rate rip. The Prius system somehow always manages to mess up a few folders and randomly move songs to a location that can't be found.

    Yep, you have to use the onboard Navigation system or just set you phone on the center console with voice and use the large screen for reference.

    So great info hear!
     
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  16. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    CD quality is better, but mostly the presentation - particularly for classical music.

    The big issue with MP3 USB drives is that it always re-sorts the tracks. And it's just wrong to have the Andante Movement first, followed by ... ugggh the Presto, and finally come to the Allegro - of another Symphony. Just wrong.

    Yes, I know you can dummy each MP3 somehow - I wasted 3 days trying, thought it was all sorted, and then put them in the car, and PRIUS did it's own thing AGAIN.
     
  17. The Professor

    The Professor Active Member

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    I hear you... No pun intended.

    So while professionals, in a studio or laboratory setting, using calibrated audio equipment that costs several times the cost of a new Prius, can determine the differences between CD audio and low bitrate MP3, the cutoff was 192Kbps, even for the professionals. For most people it is 160Kbps, and that's in the above setting. Outside of that scenario, such is using the relatively terrible audio hardware in a car, and in such a noise polluted environment, it's as low as 128Kbps.

    That being said, many systems, including the Prius', have separate audio settings for each input (i.e CD and MP3), which means they're often adjusted by the user to be different and hence sound different. But that's nothing that can't be adjusted by them to be the same. Also, the MP3 itself can contain suggestions for audio adjustments. For example, mine have all been through analysis software and have the gain attribute set, so that all my MP3s are the same average volume when played back on hardware that uses that attribute. These, again, can make them sound different.

    But, people's claims that MP3s sound worse than a CD, when all other variables are the same, is mostly urban myth, with a little bit of a 90s relic (very low bitrate, to reduce storage) thrown in.

    So, yeah, they can sound different, and that difference can be worse (or better), but it's not the MP3s fault.

    Anyway... My MP3s can play in the right order. I believe I tell it to play a folder, and the MP3s have file names that include the track number at the start, e.g.

    01 - Some song.mp3
    02 - Another tune.mp3

    And so on.
     
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  18. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Junior Member

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    Really, though, how bad is an MP3 tune's range loss compared to Satellite radio? I've been using satellite radio since January 2016, enjoying the music (in the truck's sound system, which really seems above par for a stock truck ... Fiat ain't all that bad if they can make me love the Ram 1500 as much as I have), but I can tell that the quality isn't there sometimes. Surely mp3 songs have to be better than the bit-rate we get via satellite :D
     
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