Unofficial Android Auto SDK, custom apps

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Emil Borconi

Recognized Developer
Feb 18, 2008
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Tg. Secuiesc / Kezdivasarhely
Sure but using AA 2.9 won't work for ever.

Basically it's a cat and mouse game now. Google will always have a better way to block the apps, since they are in total control of the AA apk and Play services.

The holy grail would be - as someone said before - to transmit audio and video to the AA head unit by using a completely different app. But this is probably very hard.

And that indian YouTube moron is still keeping his blog and apk downloads online which will probably make Google search for a better way to block.. Probably the next step is to block v. 2.9 in Playservices. This is possible easily as you can try to revert to a really old AA version - that won't run on latest playservices.
I would use a different approach if I was Google. By default all apps are blocked only ones in whitelist will work, whitelist is server side, aka game over for any errors party app.

Creating a replacement AA is well.... Uhhhhh there are so many challenges with it...
As a first off you need to be able to do an SSL handshake with the headunit and you need to be able to react to all the things in the correct way, more or less this is dines but in opposite direction in HUR. Then you need to write an app which can capture screen on android and inject touch events and so on, which is either a root app either a system app. Potentially you can mock up something with accessibility services but that is also getting reviewed and closed by Google. So easier sad then done. Then you need to find a way to make your app still capture screen even when the device goes in standby and the screen is off, otherwise you will put too much pressure on the battery of the phone if screen is always on. Yeah sure it can be done but not healthy for battery. In a nutshell I think it's too much work and beside that will really unleash all the wrong potentials... I know you can buy an android powered headunit and have it fully unlocked but I wouldn't like to add another way to having distracted users while driving (I was one of them in the past with age you tend to see things differently....)
 

ktwo

Senior Member
Jun 20, 2009
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Well i dont mean it has to be full mirroring, so we wouldn't need to capture screen or events, but provide some surface where we can draw on. And then the app is extended with plugin apks Just like AA does not mirror anything but just is a sandbox for apps written with the SDK. I read something about OAP v2 (Open accessory protocol) isn't AA written with that one?

I would be ok with Google having a whitelist but then whey should make reasonable requirements to get an app approved and open it to individuals. Now technically only big corporations can get an app approved.. Id be inclined to say if there was a law which would allow video in motion or ensures that any liability of the company providing it is excluded they would probably even allow ads and put their own youtube app on it since the cash flow would be huge.

Also the requirments should be really reasonable.
And by that i don't mean only voice control or 6 taps max. No video in motion is fine but why that stupid UI handycaps. Its so stupid.. Any car on the world lets you select an album freely in the Audio player. Even Apple has a much better Car Interface.

Also basically there are often three options to get content to display in cars:

- Car Play
- Android Auto
- MirrorLink

Now the big question would be - On which (if any) of those protocols could a service be made which doesn't have limitations. If the app connecting to the headunit and the apps itself are completely open source, probably no company is going to fear liability. If this were possible its much harder to block them as the update would have to be made to the stock head unit and thats almost impossible for most cars.
 

Emil Borconi

Recognized Developer
Feb 18, 2008
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There is one more side of this coin. Car manufacturers are basically giving up a quite significant revenue stream by allowing carplay and android Auto on to their units (think about all the expensive maps, stream service, and other updates which now are obsolete). It is possible that they also have some word /saying on what apps goes on and what not, but this is only a theory of course.

If anybody want to try building a mirroring app be my guest I will support if needed by I have no intention, neither the capacity to work on a project like that.

Also if he/she starts building this that person does need to come up with an SDK for that as well.... It's a huge task to take on...
 

ktwo

Senior Member
Jun 20, 2009
170
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M
As for the SDK i would make it as simple as possible: HTML5/CSS/JS.

Once i is possible to draw something on the screen the rest is probably a piece of cake.. But as you said.. thats the hardest part of it ;(
 

fotbal5

Senior Member
Feb 26, 2011
261
75
Timisoara
I still think that Google is forced by car manufacturer's to close 3 party applications. My reasonings:
- Like other said before if you use you're phone to view Youtube is it still Google problem.
- If you look at Google Maps or even better Waze ( you can add markers on the road) it is not the same as looking at a video (no man in his right mind will watch a video).
- if they wanted they can make a compromise, make a special AA app that can stream only audio from a Youtube playlist.
- they can whitelist official 3 party apps if the wanted and flag the rest....
So i think they are pulled back by car manufacturer's.
One thing i still don't like about AA is the lack of availability in many countries.
 
Last edited:

auto-fan

New member
Feb 17, 2018
4
7
And that indian YouTube moron is still keeping his blog and apk downloads online which will probably make Google search for a better way to block.. Probably the next step is to block v. 2.9 in Playservices. This is possible easily as you can try to revert to a really old AA version - that won't run on latest playservices.

I think you should delete this post. You do not have a right to pass derogatory remarks against any person, even though he may be wrong.
 

Tiemichael

Senior Member
May 10, 2013
390
98
tried it but thumb down:crying:
I understand some participants of this forum have found a (easy) solution to get all these great apps running under AA V3.0
I also understand that it's a 'cat and mouse' game with google, and published solutions might trigger Google to close available loop-holes.

But it would still be great if those (like myself) who are not so deep into Android and Android Auto can somehow get hold of these easy solutions or workarounds.
Other wise the great work done by all app-creators will only be available for a few experts and not the 1000+ others.
Maybe PMs could be a solution ...
 

xanthrax

Retired Senior Moderator - Vampire
Guys, calm down please, would you ?
If there is something on someone`s post you might consider it offensive just report it and let the moderators deal with otherwise the thread would turn into a cheap pub with ugly music .

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Dan - frum moderator
thread cleaned ... a bit
 

julianwue

Member
Mar 2, 2017
12
3
Wow! Google what a move. I have to say I am just dissapointed, but can also understand Googles actions in this case. On the one hand its super danger in so much cases to play around with an interface while driving. E.g. Youtube while driving is a silly idea. But did you ever see the menus and structure the on board units and radios have themself? Google is not in control of this and I know so much cars I would love to have a 2 click interface to do some activities. With self made apps, the level of distraction could be lowered in so much ways.

I ordered a brand new car with Android Auto and so on, some time ago. While I waited for the car, I developed a super useful app, which Volkswagen and co never could offer. In my emulator setup all was fine and working. In some testing cars I was running it successful. And now when the actual car is arriving I was super happy to test it, and now the functionality is gone. The big problem on this case is that Google keeps its own SDK hidden, which is for sure not a bad idea, but come on... how can apps and creativity be used around the world if you give only a few people (maybe not the most creative people in this world) access to this material. And as you can see, you see nothing or a variety of ONE app. Waze. The only one app that can be used with Android Auto so far, and hey without Waze owned by Google this also wouldn´t be an option. Seat showcased a AA app, but in store I never saw it. So far, AA is Google Maps and and interface for play music from different sources. To handle Textmessages with sound input output, can be sometimes so distracting because of the handling. Even to show a textbox is a better solution. But Google makes the rules.

So in my case, Google should let some developers into the program, let them show their ideas and what they have done so far. And I am sure 100% there are apps people would love, Android Auto would gain in popularity and safety would be not decreased. Don´t blame Google for shut down an inofficial way, blame them for not make an official way public or available for selected people.

Most important thing now. Don´t give them more input how to block (whitelist and such stuff). They will do this steps by themself, but slow down and let the mice be smarter sometimes. ;)
 

Emil Borconi

Recognized Developer
Feb 18, 2008
3,211
2,990
Tg. Secuiesc / Kezdivasarhely
Wow! Google what a move. I have to say I am just dissapointed, but can also understand Googles actions in this case. On the one hand its super danger in so much cases to play around with an interface while driving. E.g. Youtube while driving is a silly idea. But did you ever see the menus and structure the on board units and radios have themself? Google is not in control of this and I know so much cars I would love to have a 2 click interface to do some activities. With self made apps, the level of distraction could be lowered in so much ways.

I ordered a brand new car with Android Auto and so on, some time ago. While I waited for the car, I developed a super useful app, which Volkswagen and co never could offer. In my emulator setup all was fine and working. In some testing cars I was running it successful. And now when the actual car is arriving I was super happy to test it, and now the functionality is gone. The big problem on this case is that Google keeps its own SDK hidden, which is for sure not a bad idea, but come on... how can apps and creativity be used around the world if you give only a few people (maybe not the most creative people in this world) access to this material. And as you can see, you see nothing or a variety of ONE app. Waze. The only one app that can be used with Android Auto so far, and hey without Waze owned by Google this also wouldn´t be an option. Seat showcased a AA app, but in store I never saw it. So far, AA is Google Maps and and interface for play music from different sources. To handle Textmessages with sound input output, can be sometimes so distracting because of the handling. Even to show a textbox is a better solution. But Google makes the rules.

So in my case, Google should let some developers into the program, let them show their ideas and what they have done so far. And I am sure 100% there are apps people would love, Android Auto would gain in popularity and safety would be not decreased. Don´t blame Google for shut down an inofficial way, blame them for not make an official way public or available for selected people.

Most important thing now. Don´t give them more input how to block (whitelist and such stuff). They will do this steps by themself, but slow down and let the mice be smarter sometimes. ;)
Seat drive app is available only in selected countrie(s) read Spain....
 

psbankar

Senior Member
May 3, 2014
136
25
pune
Instead of completely abandoning third party apps, Google could have just made the interaction with Android auto more strict while driving. This way user would not be able to control things while driving and would have to stop. The overriding of driving safety was the only thing that flipped Google.
 

ktwo

Senior Member
Jun 20, 2009
170
94
M
So i guess this is it? Google killed Custom Apps for good with AA3.1

Sad.. Speechless... R.I.P. ;(

Going to take out that car mount for the phone again..
 

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  • 11
    Anyone interested in writing custom Android Auto apps?
    github.com / martoreto/aauto-sdk
    10
    Added another app to my repo: https://github.com/nerone-github/WebViewAuto :)

    It still needs work, much to improve, but shows that a lot is possible. Even youtube is working ;)

    browser4.png


    But please don't browse while driving ;)
    9
    Hi, i've too setup a new repository for my android auto apps. You can check them out here :)

    LocalSpeedcam (Displays feed from radio stations for mobile speed cams)
    https://github.com/nerone-github/LocalSpeedcam
    localspeed.png


    AAutoLauncher (Opens App on the phone - bypass AA lock)
    https://github.com/nerone-github/AAutoLauncher
    launcher.png
    6
    hopefully someone enable youtube[emoji16]

    Sent from my HUAWEI MT7-TL10 using Tapatalk

    Yeah....

    Because when he wrote
    With great power comes great responsibility. Do not write apps that distract drivers. Distraction is dangerous.

    What he meant was:
    Lets put Youtube clips in your dashboard :rolleyes:
    6
    Anyone interested in installing custom apps in Android Auto 3.0 could PM me