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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Total newbie here, so forgive me if I missed a previous post about this (I did a quick search, but didn't find anything). If so, feel free to point me at the appropriate thread.

I bought the Rav4 Hybrid because getting a Hybrid was very important to me and it drove better than a couple of the other cars in the same class (CR-V and Nissan Rogue Hybrid).
So one of the things I sacrificed was the Infotainment system. Entune would have been fantastic about 10 years ago. But these days, I see no point in having a separate music/navigation/communication system.
Therefore, I plan on doing some research into aftermarket systems that support Android Auto. Just not sure what the ramifications would be of completely replacing the Entune system/interface.

Anyone have any experience in this area?

Thanks,
Roger
 

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Someone in these forums did replace it and had a pretty good thread going. I just did a fast search and couldn't find it, though. Hopefully, someone else will come along and remember.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Someone in these forums did replace it and had a pretty good thread going. I just did a fast search and couldn't find it, though. Hopefully, someone else will come along and remember.
Ooh - may have found it (system won't let me post a link) It's in 124-4-4-interior/252786-if-i-install-aftermarket-radio-will-i-lose-any-functionality

Several people talked about it, but no one seems to have actually done it and then come back with a report.

Thanks for prompting me to keep looking . . .
 

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I believe one person did replace his entire system, but had lost a number of the functions Entune provides. The thread is here somewhere, but I remember deciding, the loss was not worth the gain.
 

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Just found this on Google. Looks interesting, Using Android 6.01 and it states will support all functions in the car. Looks good.

Toyota RAV4 2013-2016 Android 6.0 Marshmallow Car Stereo...
Looks very interesting, but I would want some honest feedback, whether
it really does function as it says. Sure looks like a big step up.

I just read an article, stating Toyota has teamed with Mazda, to create a new infotainment system. Unfortunately, it still will not support AppleCare.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Smarty Trend

Just found this on Google. Looks interesting, Using Android 6.01 and it states will support all functions in the car. Looks good.

smarty-trend.com/toyota-rav4-2013-2016/352-toyota-rav4-2013-2016-android-car-stereo-navigation-in-dash-head-unit.html]Toyota RAV4 2013-2016 Android 6.0 Marshmallow Car Stereo...

Wow - that does look great. Not sure about this "Smarty Trend" manufacturer though . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
This looks fantastic . . . unfortunately, the price tag isn't :/

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_500INEW977/Alpine-INE-W977HD.html?avf=Y

This is the only one from Crutchfield that fits the Rav4 and that doesn't have a CD/DVD player. (No need for one and even the stock one I have now doesn't have it).

I know it's almost three times as much as the "Smarty Trend," but at least Alpine is a brand I know and trust. Obviously, I'm going to keep looking. There's got to be something from a good brand that supports Android Auto and that keeps the back-up camera/birds-eye view functionality.
 

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This will probably be long but maybe it will help. I know you are all talking about headunits that have an Android OS built into them, but I have a fairly strong knowledge of Android Auto (as well as Android because I'm a big smart phone/tech blog reader) and will be buying the Pixel 2 when it arrives in a month or so. I also used to install car audio for a living so I've tended to always update my stereo systems in whichever car I purchase. I had a head unit in one of my vehicles for a while about a year ago that was both Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatible.

I agree with the others, you lose a lot of functionality which doesn't seem like it would be the case but I think for me personally it was. This is what I had:



For one your phone has to be plugged in to use it. Not the biggest deal but can be annoying. My girlfriend has an iPhone and I have an LG Nexus (Google designed pure Android phone), so if they were both plugged in to charge you had to toggle which system you wanted to use. That was kind of a pain. Both systems were very simplistic and locked down and you couldn't use your which once plugged in which I found also troublesome. Great for safety, but what if you're the passenger and have your system plugged in for maps for example when my girlfriend was driving and we wanted to use Google Maps from Android Auto because Apple Maps is not good by any stretch of imagination? Well, I lose the functionality of my phone. I mean I could plug mine in for maps and then use her iPhone unplugged in my hands to browse the web while she drives but then I have none of my settings/tabs/apps etc.

You also have to do everything by voice with either system. This also annoys me. On the Corolla which it was installed I had to install the included microphone from Pioneer which was its own PITA to route up the pillar under the roof lining. I'm not sure if there is an adapter to work with our Rav4 built in factory microphones but there may be.

It could read only text messages or in Car Play only the Apple Messages app, or when plugged into my Nexus only the Google Messages app, and responding through voice was very hit or miss to the point of frustration. Not helpful. My girlfriend and I for example use Facebook Messenger to write to each other throughout the day since it's cross platform and easy to send photos, videos, whatever. Neither of those were on either mobile car system.

About the only cool thing I loved about Android Auto was that it usually knew which place you were going based on your usual daily commutes and would pull up traffic information and reroute you automatically before you even left home. This was helpful because for me in the city traffic is constant and there's always an accident somewhere so it's really helpful to know "go city streets and get on the freeway here to avoid accident south of you" kind of thing.

Other than that music used Play Music and I don't find it to be a great app. You could only listen to playlists you had made on your phone and not make them on the fly or adjust them. The EQ settings where crap just like they are on your phone (not great when you're in a car with a nice stereo to tweak things). Basically the only real plus to Android Auto or Car Play was using the maps because as we all know the maps in stock car manufacturer systems like Entune are horrible (I definitely do not use mine after trying a few times over the last year, what a completely terrible system).

But here's the upshot that made me decide to keep my Entune this time around:
  • For one, I LOVE to have a volume knob and aftermarket headunit manufacturers LOVE to delete knobs because they think it looks cleaner.
  • What you lose with Entune is the ability to plug in a USB stick with lots of music and have a quick and easy file access system (this is mostly what I listen to since it has thousands of songs and it's easy to navigate to something and not deal with playlists or cellular signal). Most aftermarket units can do this also but I think Entunes is still old school enough where it's simple like a computer file system to look up or simply play top to bottom in the order you loaded them onto the USB.
  • You lose having a pause button which I use all the time on my Entune.
  • You also lose having easy to navigate buttons like the phone button, the volume button, and of course the aforementioned pause button
  • With Entune you can set which phone does what. So on a trip my girlfriend can set her phone to be the Bluetooth music, while mine is still set to be the "phone" and take or make calls, provide internet/data to Entune etc. This is handy.
  • Entune is universal. Yeah it's archaic and clunky but it doesn't care that your phone is Android or Apple. It doesn't force you to pick one it just works. You get it in and whichever phone is set for Bluetooth audio plays. And since it's Bluetooth we still have full access to our phones on trips and it's not locked down. It's not "ah crap, will you unplug Car Play so I can check something on my iPhone?"
  • My steering wheel controls work. I don't need an adapter (which I bought and was a pain to set up even though it was supposedly supposed to be automatic). I can change volume, change mode, change the track. Easy no fuss or odd functionality.
  • My microphone works for calls because it's all still factory like my steering wheel controls.
  • It probably won't get stolen because it's a factory unit that's limited on functionality.
  • If I dare use the Entune maps then I can do so for a long trip and not worry about using up my cellular data or if I go through dead spots which there are here in Oregon from the Cascades and other stretches.
In the end on this Rav4 of mine I went with the ReCurve unit from Tacotunes. It's a unit designed by guys who love Toyota trucks to interface with the Entune system and provide and clean and adjustable output for those of us seeking to change out speakers and add an amplifier. They spent a couple of years designing it and measuring how the factory units output audio (what frequencies they clip, which they boost and at what volumes, etc).

Works well I find, and over time I've adjusted it to match the cabin acoustics and achieve a sound I like. If anything I'd like to change my amplifier to one that has more crossover controls and only be a 4 channel for the door speakers, I don't need a subwoofer per se I find.






If I were doing this over again with another Android Auto/Apple Car Play system right now (and right now that's still a fairly big if until the software improves) I would only buy the Sony XAV-AX100 below. It's just the cleanest, simplest and most factory looking option without all the other crap or bling. And it's got a volume knob plus a home button and forward/backward. You'd still have to figure out the adaptors for the factory microphone and steering wheel controls but at least it is trying to be functional and look nice.



Anyway, sorry for the word vomit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks!

This will probably be long but maybe it will help. I know you are all talking about headunits that have an Android OS built into them, but I have a fairly strong knowledge of Android Auto (as well as Android because I'm a big smart phone/tech blog reader) and will be buying the Pixel 2 when it arrives in a month or so. I also used to install car audio for a living so I've tended to always update my stereo systems in whichever car I purchase. I had a head unit in one of my vehicles for a while about a year ago that was both Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatible.
Wow - thanks for all the detailed info! I still need to look over some of it in detail, but it seems like a lot of the concerns/issues you have aren't a big deal for me (girlfriend with iPhone, using FB messenger a lot, I don't use the pause button, etc.).

The Sony unit you suggested looks promising! (And thanks for the heads up about steering wheel buttons - that's a must have). Oh - the other thing I need to verify is whether the bird's-eye view will also show up along with the rear camera view. Not sure where that graphic originates. If it's inside the Entune system, that's a deal breaker.

Thanks again! I might come back with some follow-up questions. :)
 

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The steering wheel interface that's most common is Axxess ASWC-1, it's a company that is now owned by Metra, the company that makes most of all the dash adaptors and harness interfaces (Scosche is the other big player). The ASWC-1 is a small black box that you can mount or hide anywhere under the dash and then you just buy the correct harness to plug into your vehicle.

I would guess the reverse camera also would have an aftermarket harness interface made for it that split the factory radio harness which probably includes the factory microphone, steering wheel controls, camera etc into different pigtailed standardized outputs for use on any aftermarket headunit. On my 2012 Rav I don't have the bird's eye view, mine is simply a reverse camera that shows what's behind you up in the rear view mirror when in reverse (but does handily switch to a night mode where everything is monotone but really easy to see even in the dark which I love). When I had the Pioneer Android Auto headunit in my last car (2009 XRS Corolla) it was a simple RCA connection to any aftermarket reverse camera I chose, which also seemed to all be an RCA connection. You then used a specific wire coming from the Pioneer harness to hook into the reverse lights so when those powered on the headunit also then displayed the reverse camera. If you wanted to be more precise you could easily wire up a relay so that the camera would only be powered when the reverse lights were activated and thus not sitting powered on for no reason whenever the ignition was on. But not sure of the life of reverse cameras if that would make a difference or not and they're fairly inexpensive anyway.

You're welcome though, happy to help. If you have other questions I will do my best to answer them for you.

My advice is don't spend any money just yet until you have a plan, it's a surefire way to end up getting nickel and dimed unless you know what your needs and budget are.
 

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Toyota joined with Ford, Mazda, and a few other manufacturers to go with the open source SmartDeviceLink and eschew Android Auto / Apple Car Play. No one wants to pay Google or Apple licensing fees. Though when released I think this COULD be a software update to current head units enabling the features. Considering what the head unit is currently capable of, I imagine the hardware is not the problem. However, that is not how car companies work--except Tesla. This will be probably be a feature on new vehicles only.

Toyota Global Site | Smart Device Link?SDL?

https://smartdevicelink.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks

Toyota joined with Ford, Mazda, and a few other manufacturers to go with the open source SmartDeviceLink and eschew Android Auto / Apple Car Play. No one wants to pay Google or Apple licensing fees. Though when released I think this COULD be a software update to current head units enabling the features. Considering what the head unit is currently capable of, I imagine the hardware is not the problem. However, that is not how car companies work--except Tesla. This will be probably be a feature on new vehicles only.

Toyota Global Site | Smart Device Link?SDL?

https://smartdevicelink.com/
Thanks - this looks promising! But I imagine you're correct that it will only be available on new vehicles. :/
 
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