How to Add Android Auto to Prime LTD

Discussion in 'Prime Audio, Electronics, and Infotainment' started by N3rd, Feb 20, 2021.

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  1. N3rd

    N3rd Junior Member

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    OK. So this is a new thread and not a reply because it is actually ... a success story on how to add Android Auto to a 2020 (mine) prime limited. And AA Wireless at that !

    Since I have not seen them mentioned yet directly what you should now look into if you really want some Android Auto is "carplay AI box" devices you can also sometimes find them called "Carplay MMB". They are similar to the wireless carplay adapters but based on android.

    I purchased one from Joye Auto but there are probably 15 - 20 different ones and almost all are just rebranded versions of maybe 3 models.

    They look like a USB harddrive (the 2.5" ones) and only have two usb ports , no other connectors.

    There is also a more advanced (aka newer / faster) version that is more of a hardwired unit. I did not get one of those. They are less common and more $.

    The unit is essentlly an Android device that does not have a screen. It runs Android 7 and, in the case of my device, has 4gb ram and 32gb storage on the device. When plugged into the Prius USB port it impersonates Carplay in order to work but displays the android interface.

    If you are just interested in getting something on the display that is not the useless toyota map you can buy one of these devices, connect it to your phones hot spot or get it its own, and functioanlly have android running on your display.

    When any 'Carplay' device connects to the prius the prius shuts down the bluetooth connection to other devices. That is OK because these devices have their own bluetooth link that allows you to make calls.

    In my case though I really just wanted android auto. I could care less about regular android but the AA bit is more complicated.

    Here is the summary.

    - Get the Carplay AI Box
    - Set it up as much as you please. In my case it was nearly no custom setup.
    - Install 'Headunit Reloaded' which is an android app, onto the AI Box device
    - Install the matching WifiLauncher app from the same developer if you want Android Auto Wireless (!)
    - Setup HUR appropriately.
    - Setup the Launcher App

    You can search on the XDA website for a headunit reloaded forum that has plenty of conversation about setting it up. (i am not writing a guide here, just letting everyone know it worked!)

    When you get in the car you turn on the HUR app and the phone connects and you have AA. Thats basically it!


    To note. I have an un-rooted Galaxy S21 Ultra phone (aka new). Your mileage may vary with success.

    THINGS THAT DONT WORK (for me so far):
    - If I try to play bluetooh AUDIO through the Android AI Box -without- headunit reloaded the audio does not play. Calls work just fine.

    - I had to fight the samsung to get it to allow mobile data while connected to AA Wireless. AA wireless uses ... wireless to connect and when it does it can mess up the data flow because the phone wants to go through the wifi connection but the wifi is just connected to the android device that has no data.

    - I am working in getting the HUR app to start automatically. As it is now, when I get in the car I do have to start the app by pressing the shortcut for it. Its possibe with automation (macrodroid / tasker) i just have not yet.

    - the steering wheel buttons for BACK/NEXT and PHONE do NOT work in android auto so you have to use the ones on the display. The volume on the wheel works fine. Supposedly they work more for people that have the more expensive newer units I mentioned earlier.

    - The steering wheel PHONE buttons do work when only connected to the AI BOX alone and not using Android Auto.


    Everything else seems good. I know for non-phone geek folk it may be confusing that I am talking about two layers of android and an app on top but thats what it is. Carplay USB > Android Device in a box > Headunit App > Android Auto on the phone.

    It's convoluted but works and is the closest thing until Toyota pulls their head out of their .. you know.

    Attaching photo here too. It of course says 'Carplay' at the top because the prius thinks its carplay but you can see the android auto actually in use.


    *** FYI you can use headunit reloaded with just a USB link, its easier to setup. But I really wanted the wireless setup. I can get in the car, throw the phone on the wireless charger and in 60 secs have android auto up.

    -N3
     

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  2. priuschatMliang2

    priuschatMliang2 New Member

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    @N3rd

    Thanks for the post! Seems like you're the only one posting about using headunit reloaded w/ that box.

    My Toyota also only has Carplay. It doesn't have wireless charging.

    Android auto uses lots of battery while running. Do you know if the usb port from the device supplies enough power to keep the phone charged while connect to android auto via cable instead of AA wireless?

    thank you!
     
  3. Schrauger

    Schrauger Junior Member

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    This is really cool! I looked through a lot of the threads on xda about this after learning about them here. I'm planning to buy the newer, more expensive version. It seems the extra cost is worth it for me. It runs faster, uses a newer version of android (9.0), and works with the steering wheel navigation buttons for media. $400 from ali express, so we'll see how it works in a month when it gets here.
     
  4. Refurbmike

    Refurbmike New Member

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    Can you link which one you're getting? I also see there's Android 10 ones out there? Why not get one of those?
     
  5. Schrauger

    Schrauger Junior Member

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    Here's the one I went with. For Chery TIGGO 8 New Upgrade 4+32G Carplay Box Universal Car Android System Car Play USB AI Box All metal fuselage|Car Multimedia Player| - AliExpress

    Not a huge fan of the pink, but it claims to be a metal body as opposed to the plastic ones of the same design elsewhere on aliexpress. For the same price, I figured a metal shell would help with heat dissipation a bit better, and I plan to put the device out of sight anyway.

    I didn't see any android 10 ones. Could you link to one you're seeing?

     
  6. Schrauger

    Schrauger Junior Member

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    Not sure about the one OP posted, but the one I got says it has quick charge 3.0. Even if your phone isn't qc 3.0 compatible, it should still be able to push out a good amount of power over usb-a. I haven't tested it though, since it's still shipping.

    With the version that OP has, I think the device only plugs into the carplay usb slot and nothing else, so plugging your phone into the android box will make you share whatever power the car gives to both devices. The more expensive version I'm getting requires you to grab power from the fusebox or similar, so it should be capable of outputting all the power your phone needs.

     
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