Winlink/Ownice Android head unit - 4.4.2

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SWEUP

Senior Member
Jun 7, 2012
138
18
Gothenburg
www.sweup.se
An Android 4.4.2 head unit
http://www.ownice.com/index.html

8" Quad Core Pure Android 4.4.2 Car DVD For Great Wall Hover H3 H5 DVD Player GPS Navigation Built-in WiFi Support OBD TPMS
(red is optional)
1. Pure Android 4.4.2 OS, HD 800*480/1024*600 Capacitive Screen
2. Super Hardware Performance, Cortex A9 Quad Core 1.6GHz-1.8GHz
3. Fast Response, Built in DDR3 1GB/2GB RAM, 8GB/16GB NAND Flash
4. Internet Entertainment, Built-in WiFi Module & Support 3G (Optional)
5. 3D Live Wallpaper & DIY Wallpaper, Plentiful Color of Button Light
6. Support DVR/OBD/TPMS/Rear Camera/Digital TV
201411193486198.jpg


From thread
Ownice C200 Video: http://youtu.be/ZXW9CohjB44
Ownice C200 Manual: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mlqit93tb81vjyu/Android_C200_Manual.pdf?dl=0
Ownice C200 System update: youtu.be/yVG7rE5Zsos
Ownice C200 Factory reset: youtu.be/LK7xBBdSCuU
Review by "cartemere": http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=58891306&postcount=372

FAQ
Tell me what you want here

Firmwares
V1 : manufacture date before 28th January 2015
V2 : manufacture date on or after 28th January 2015 Until ???
V3 : ???
 
Last edited:

dmandn

Senior Member
May 14, 2010
526
64
Perth
:( That is not a good sign.

Looks like they may have been at an expo the last few days though, so that may be why. Though that begs the question, are they a one man band/startup company?
 
Last edited:

SWEUP

Senior Member
Jun 7, 2012
138
18
Gothenburg
www.sweup.se
[email protected] and thru Alibaba "Contact seller", maybe you could try th other one :) Seams fundamental wrong to make the effort to put up iteams at alibaba and don't reply sales question (wonder how they handle support questions :) ).
Maybe they selling OEM products and brand them, hopefully there is a OEM product that will reach other, more serious, resellers.
 

dmandn

Senior Member
May 14, 2010
526
64
Perth
[email protected] and thru Alibaba "Contact seller", maybe you could try th other one :) Seams fundamental wrong to make the effort to put up iteams at alibaba and don't reply sales question (wonder how they handle support questions :) ).
Maybe they selling OEM products and brand them, hopefully there is a OEM product that will reach other, more serious, resellers.

Trying to access winlink-tech.com website redirects to Ownice.com site so I think they have changed their name for some reason......that is another thing I'd be worried about.
 

dmandn

Senior Member
May 14, 2010
526
64
Perth
Well, just got a reply.

"Dear *****,

"Thank you for your inquiry. We just come back from the Global Source Electronics Fair in HK.
The Android 4.4.2 car navigation devices listed on our website are the newest series with CPU quad core.
We are the first one who has already made the samples, but mass production will be started next month which
means that we will start to sell this new devices next month, thank you for your attention.

For OL-8901 Volkswagen and OL-8906NH units , do you buy for your own car or for re-sell?
Please tell us your quantity then I will send you the offer
and tell you when we will have it, thank you!

Video Link for our new Device:http://youtu.be/ZXW9CohjB44

If you need it in a hurry, please let us know, then we can recommend the same Android 4.2 products for you!

Best regards,
Sherry
Facebook/VK:[email protected]
***************************************
Shenzhen Winlink technology Limited
Office:121-1212B Hua Tong Bldg.,2127 SunGuang East Rd., LuoHu District, ShenZhen
Factory: 6/F, Block 1, LiCheng Industrial Park, XinHe Road., ShaJing Ave., Bao'an District, ShenZhen
Tel:0086 075583851810 QQ:2119869764
Website: www.ownice.com; www.winlink-tech.com"
 
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dmandn

Senior Member
May 14, 2010
526
64
Perth
Nice, guess you had more luck then me to get reply from them. I will ask geekbuying if they will be able to sell thru them.

Yeah its been a few days though, they did say they only just got back from the expo. Looks like the email is answered only by Sherry (maybe one of the only english speaking in the company?? Not sure). At least it is looking more promising.
 

dmandn

Senior Member
May 14, 2010
526
64
Perth
Yeah its been a few days though, they did say they only just got back from the expo. Looks like the email is answered only by Sherry (maybe one of the only english speaking in the company?? Not sure). At least it is looking more promising.

Well they have been actively emailing replies on a daily basis since, not that much info has been in the emails.
 

LumpiZupf

Member
Oct 26, 2014
17
5
40
Has anybody already ordered from them, or at least got a quote?

I am also in contact with Sherry and would like to buy the OL-8901 unit. She told me that 1024x600 and larger memory (32/64GB) is optional. I am waiting for a quote and details on how to buy from them...
 

fz9999

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2009
161
13
Brighton
Very interested in this.

I've just sent a message to 'Elaine' via Alibaba asking for a price for one for my E53, also asking for a screenshot of the settings/about screen.

Let's see what she says!
 

fz9999

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2009
161
13
Brighton
Well, Eric has replied with pretty much the same email as on the first page.
Unfortunately he also says they will be available 'next month'. I don't know if he realises it's now November or their ETA has already slipped a month.
 

hititup

Senior Member
Jun 2, 2012
75
3
Hi all, i am waiting to get the one of this OWNICE C200 unit... but i hope i am not disappointed after driving my car around without no HU waiting and it not what was promise
 

defy_user1

Member
Sep 20, 2012
39
7
just bought mine today, too.

Hopefully it will be a nice piece of technology with a good interface and performance.

Bought it directly from Ownice.

FYI:
Ownice is their new brand (POC --> Elaine)
Winlink is their old brand (POC --> Elaine)
Carwin is their distributor

There are all represent at aliexpress, so don't be surprised if there all have the same unit with different prices. Ownice was the cheapest...
 
Last edited:

defy_user1

Member
Sep 20, 2012
39
7
Will be really interesting to read your feedback. I'm a bit sceptic to their optional accessories (resolution, ram), would be better to have 1024 and 2GB as only option.

The resolution upgrade is only available for 8 inch or greater. I have the 6,2 inch display so there was no option to upgrade, still bought the RAM and flash upgrade :)

Hopefully this will fit into my car (civic european version fk2 2007) :confused:
 

hititup

Senior Member
Jun 2, 2012
75
3
I was hoping to see some video of the HU in action. I don't want to buy a pig in a bag.. china is a long way from South America so sending it back is out of the question.
What will be nice if someone from Ownice can post on this forum. I have a question about booting animation car logo, can it be change to your own car logo?
 

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  • 21
    Guys, I've done quite a bit of work on the Ownice Headunit. I've owned it for a while now, and I would love to share all my solutions and hard work to you guys in another thread. I have spoken with SWEUP, and he agreed that I should take over by creating a new thread where the original post has all the necessary information on:

    • Download Links
    • Rooting
    • Bluetooth Issues
    • TWRP
    • Canbus
    • Upgrading Tips
    • More

    Please thank this post if you agree, and I will start a comprehensive video diary and share with you guys in a new OWNICE head unit thread.
    12
    Full review

    As promised, here is my full review of my Ownice C200 unit ;)

    Ordered end '14, I received it in the beginning of January '15.
    This is a specific VW version, but hardware/software is the same for all versions.
    It replaces a genuine VW RCD310 (CD/radio with MP3 support) in a 2007 VW Golf 5 Carat

    About me :
    Android user of a Sony Z1 compact under Android 4.4.2, I’m VERY attached to the global user experience : I want a tool making the job without having to be concentrated on the screen while driving.


    ==============
    == HARDWARE ==
    ==============


    == PACKAGING ==
    The parcel is well made, and the unit is correctly protected against shocks.
    A user manual in color is provided, in English. To me, this is the kind of detail that makes the difference between “lowcost” Chinese items, and high end units.

    a79ecab1424e413154eaf53e3fd358f2469b18bb.jpg



    == GENERAL ==
    Everything needed is provided in the box.
    - 2 USB cables
    - radio antenna adapter, with amplifier
    - GPS antenna with a lot of cable
    - all input/output are available in RCA female connectors
    - Dual CANBUS decoder is provided (in interact with the VW car electronics)

    Plugs are plug&play in VW cars. Installation process is very simple.
    No wire to cut/weld, mapping or stuff like that : you have ONE plug !
    USB cables are 50cm long (aproximatively), and ends in the glove box.

    Unit is passive : meaning no fan, no noise, no dust accumulation inside the unit.

    d0cdaa85efce82e27f85908c2764c321bc1b3879.jpg



    == AMPLIFIER ==
    Very good… and surprisingly far better than the genuine RCD310. I discovered the 10 speakers Hi-Fi option in my car has a good rendering.
    The sound is clear and crisp and well balanced. Never had to deal with the equalizer as the result is good out of the box.
    Output power is hudge. I don’t even went at 50% and it was already too loud.

    If you have an external amplifier, output RCA lines are available at the back.


    == RADIO ==
    The radio antenna adapter has only ONE fakra connector, whereas my car provides TWO Fakra antennas for better reception (as the car has two different kind of antennas). It would be better to provide a DUAL Fakra connector with amplifier for VW cars.
    But anymay, we can easily find such converter on AliExpress (cost = 15$)

    The unit has a good quality Philips Radio chip, so the result is very good.
    Sound is very clear and precise , far better than the genuine RCD310 unit.
    Radio reception is quite average, especially under a bridge, or between al lot of buildings (but I think due to the antenna limitation as I still have the single antenna connector)
    RDS is supported (more on that in the Software aspect)

    Small issue : when I play NO sound at all, if I push the volume at high level and I listen carefully, I can hear the radio… (perhaps an current issue on the amplifier).


    == GPS ==
    GPS antenna has a proprietary connector (based on a PS/2 plug). In fact the unit has NO GPS chip : the chip is integrated inside the “antenna”.
    Good point : you can easily switch the GPS reception unit with a model having GLONASS support (available in the Ownice store)
    Bad point : cannot reuse original car antenna (as it’s a real antenna)

    Reception is pretty good. Fix is quick and precise, even in “busy” sky (buildings, trees, etc.)
    I got the “GPS lag issue” after an update (GPS position is 7s late...), but it seems solved after the early February firmware update.
    GPS lag is now under 1s, which is acceptable and cause no problem when using it.


    == BLUETOOTH ==
    I don’t use a lot the Bluetooth option, but I made some tests and it does the Job.
    The Bluetooth ship included only support voice/calls/music, so you can’t share your smartphone connection or send files through BT.

    The first link is a bit tricky (the unit cannot authenticate with the smartphone), but once its done it works.

    With my Android Sony Z1compact (4.4.4), the unit does not display the track name when playing : I can only access some basic functions, such as previous, next, start/stop.
    Calls are well handled, and the integrated microphone (actually, I think there are two of them, one on each side of the unit as there are two holes) makes the job, even with a lot of noise around (driving at high speed on a noisy road under the rain).


    == WIFI ==
    Working. Speed rates are not very high, but we don’t care on such unit.
    Reception is quite poor, especially once mounted in the car. If your Internet Wifi router is far from the parking area, you may have issues to connect and download/made the updates. It has about the same Wifi range as my smartphone.
    You can use collaborative networks (as FON, in france most Internet providers have their own collaborative networks, so you can connect to ANY internet box in the country… very usefull as you can use the Internet connexion where you are parked)

    Wifi tethering works very well from the smartphone. Connexion is stable.


    == DVR ==
    DVR is supported, but ONLY specific standalone models.
    This means the recording is made on the DVR camera itself (so the DVR camera need its own SD card), NOT on the Ownice unit.
    USB DVRs are NOT supported, and seems to make the unit freeze.

    So what is the DVR support ?
    The opportunity to display on the screen the video signal from the DVR, thanks to a composite NTSC entry at the back of the unit.


    == FACE ==
    Unit manufacturing quality is pretty good.
    Overall feeling is at the same level as a Genuine VW car radio unit (which is a compliment).
    Integration is just perfect :
    - buttons have the same look as VW unit
    - backlight has the same red color (can switch to green or blue)
    - sizing and shape fits perfectly on VW dashboard (same for Seat/Skoda models)

    31267131a94f5c59938748ef721af146d0568153.jpg


    SD readers are hidden under fake buttons. This is better looking, and prevent the card readers from dust
    I tried 32Go SDHC cards : works perfectly.


    == SCREEN ==
    8”, I took the 1024x600 option to get a better compatibility with apps from the Google Play Store, and have a good display.

    Screen quality is very good : good colors and viewing angles.
    No reflection issue in my car, even with a bright sun outside.
    The screen switch automatically in night mode (low backlight) when switching the lights on. Unfortunately, the backlight power can not be adjusted for each mode (night/day), and I think the backlight is still too stiff in night mode.
    (apps on the Play Store allows to dimm the screen)

    Sensitivity is perfect, support multitouch without any issue.
    Even when it’s cold (tried it a -10°C)



    ==============
    == SOFTWARE ==
    ==============


    == BOOT ==
    The unit boots in a bit less than 30s (including mounting the SD cards).
    The boot splash screen animation is a bit aggressive, especially at night (it blinks with a white flash!).
    Ownice should give us the opportunity to customize it.

    When taking the key out of the car, the unit screen turns off, while the unit will really turn off after 2 minutes.
    This gives the opportunity to have a “warm boot” if you come back to the car within 2 minutes (instant boot).
    Unfortunately this 2 min countdown is not adjustable


    == OVERALL STABILITY ==
    Average at first sight, very poor after the second firmware update, it now seems good after april update.
    I had no reboot or auto stop/start this morning.

    I still have a strange behavior when listening to the radio : the screen and the buttons switch sometimes between night/day mode. I makes this 2 or 3 times at 1 second interval… strange…
    Radio app sometimes crashes with RDS update.


    == LAUNCHER ==
    Very simple, basically 4.4.2 with some special widgets for the car (instant speed and orientation, current music being played, date/calendar).
    All native apps comes with specific icons, very “iPhone” like, not kitch. This is coherent, but looks a bit strange once you add a lot of third party apps from the store.
    Anyway : I can easily identify an app thanks to its color/shape, and open it without having to be concentrated on the screen. So It does the job.
    Action buttons (back, menu, home) are not displayed as they are included on the hardware side.

    Always fluid and smooth, I didn’t noticed any lag.


    == APPS ==
    The unit is provided with various apps for the main functions : DVR, Radio, AuxIn, VideoIn, MusicPlayer, VideoPlayer, Boussole, ScreenshotTool, TaskManager, Bluetooth, CD Player, DVD Player, etc.
    You have also an iGo navigation software on the provided 8Gb SD card, with full Europe map (in my case, I guess it depends on your country).

    You have access to the full Android Play Store, and install other apps from the SD card or USB stick.
    For an unknown reason, some apps on the Android play store cannot be installed as they are flagged as “incompatible” with the Ownice C200 unit. Anyway, you just have to download the .APK from a computer, put the file on a USB stick, and install on the unit : works well for Waze and Here maps for instance.


    == AUDIO MANAGEMENT ==
    Interesting point, needing some explanation :

    All the provided audio apps are linked together : If you are listening to an audio CD, and press the Radio key, the Radio app will start (and start the radio), and at the same time the CD app will stop playing.
    It works for all apps providing audio output

    Moreover, you can specify manually from the Settings interface which apps are GPS apps, and adjust the mixing audio levels.
    The result : you are listeing to the radio in background, and have a GPS app running on foreground (ex: Waze). Suddenly, Waze displays an alert. The radio audio level will dim, while the GPS audio instruction is played through the speakers, and then come back to its previous level.

    == BLUETOOTH ==
    The bluetooth app is simple & functionnal, but kitch...

    The contact tab has some limitations : the names & firstnames are merged. This means Mr Thomas DUPONT appears as ThomasDUPONT.
    So I can't search for DUPONT... I can search only from Th... and so on.
    If a contact has several phone numbers, the contact appears duplicated : one line for each number.

    Enhancements are welcome on this app


    == RADIO ==
    Here comes the “issues”.
    The Radio app has a frequency based management.
    This means current station is considered as a frequency as well as favorites … whereas for ME, a station is represented by its name (I don’t care about its frequency, especially when I’m travelling all day).
    The user experience would be FAAAAR better with a full RDS support, as HuiFei radio app do. This is sad as the hardware is making the job, but as the Ownice team is hard working on the unit (many thanks to them by the way), I dream this will be improved in the future ;)

    707a93b62b4c18634df9975feab2d9b29122c6fa.jpg


    Hopefully, the app is being rewritten with native RDS support :)

    == CD PLAYER ==
    Very basic. Can play an Audio CD without issue, but the interface is minimalist.
    MP3 CDs are not well handled : you cannot navigate in the folder structure, so you can only play the MP3 files in the first folder.
    But anyway, when you have such a powerfull unit, it’s not to listen to MP3 CDs :D

    For information : it is NOT possible to rip a CD into MP3/WMA/OGG/FLAC/WhatYouWant from the unit. The CD/DVD is for reading/listening only, not for ripping.


    == MUSIC PLAYER ==
    It does the Job. IDTags are well recognized, as well as CD covers integrated in the tag (through iTunes for example)
    Supports MP3, M4A, FLAC, OGG, WMA files.
    It can do all you expect from a Music Player : browse the library by artist, album, track, search with the keywords you want, play in random/repeat, scroll in a music being played.
    No issue while browsing a big library (several thousand of files, 28Gb) : instant response, scroll is fluid.

    Issue : the rendering is made for 800x480 screen size, but NOT the optional 1024x600. The result is :
    - ridiculously small fonts used, text areas are difficult to read
    - virtual buttons are very small
    - everything is crushed on the top-left corner, with a lot of space lost on the screen
    Ownice team should fix that.

    Second issue : If I listen to a specific album, and stop my car for a while, when I come back (cold restart), the music app does not resume.
    Worse, when I start the music app, I come back on the main page with all artists, and I have to browse back to the album I was listening to if I want to select another track. Not very convenient.

    Anyway, I use Rocket Player as basic music app : beautiful interface, fast, smooth.
    And Google Music / Deezer / Spotify depending on my subscription.


    == GPS ==
    I only tried the iGo app for 5 minutes, so I can’t make a real feedback about this app.
    Anyway, Waze works very well, as well as Nokia Here and Google Maps.
    Display is just perfect. On waze, items have the right size : not too big, not too small.

    You can select the default GPS app in the General Settings (it defines the quick access hardware button on the left side of the CD player).

    The Nokia Here app is working well, and the "car navigation" mode is perfect for the unit.
    Unfortunately, the settings tab is not working (nothing is displayed on the screen), so it's impossible to change the target repository to store the maps & voices.


    == CANBUS (car interaction) ==
    My unit has a dual Canbus decoder. This specific small box connected on the wire behind the unit acts as a "Proxy" to interract with the car information bus.

    6e6da973fb71f7064728b0df6ad403d617d95143.jpg


    I have this perfectly working :
    - on door opening, a popup appears on the screen, showing the car with the right door opened.
    - there is a "VW car info" app, displaying usefull infos about the car : hand brake status, cleaning fluid status, battery voltage, seatbelt status, etc.
    - steering wheel controls acts on the unit

    c4a5c16c2f75f564c99811f2a18b7cb8f0c7aa20.jpg


    I don't have (as my car is too old), but should work on a more recent VW car :
    - climate controls : while using the climate control, a popup appears showing the vent status
    - parking sensors display on reverse

    I have, but does not work well :
    - Ownice C200 information on the onboard computer, in front of the steering wheel.
    Most of the time I have nothing on the onboard computer : no AUDIO entry.
    I only managed to get it work on the Radio app, and in this case I get only the frequency and the favourite number in the dashboard... so sadly not the station RDS name.
    And nothing while using the Music player...
    3f58de55276e308ef103e7ca1ecf8549546c695a.jpg



    =============
    == OVERALL ==
    =============


    Well... the unit is almost perfect on the hardware side. I don't see many things to improve, except the dual antenna connector with amplifier.

    The software and suffers from being all new.
    But the Ownice team is involved in improving the situation, and new firmwares comes frequently.
    (by the way : HAPPY NEW CHINESE YEAR !!!! :) )

    I do not regret this purchase, and could not come back to the genuine VW unit.
    I only wish the issues and bugs I am currently facing will be fixed in the near future.


    PS : I will update this post in the future, and put more screenshots to illustrate the post.
    PS : updated Aug 2015 to reflect the last updates
    11
    Found the passworded APK! Root confirmed! King root 4.5.0 did it!

    Stock APKs
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5Xemy3rL_uZQ2UwNkFHeEpMcDQ/view?usp=sharing

    Going to dump partitions and upload as well.

    And it has begun!
    8
    Team Win Recovery Project *TWRP* C200 2.8.7.0 by AbduL

    What can this do:
    Make full backups and restore backups
    Install custom roms and kernels
    Install .zip and .img files
    Wipe, Terminal Command, and more

    Install:
    1. Make sure your rooted
    2. Install Flashify from the play store
    3. In Flashify select "backup/restore" then select "Backup current recovery" then exit app
    4. Make a backup of those files and save them to an external sdcard. *Location: internal_sd\Android\data\com.cgollner.flashify\files\flashify-backup*
    5. Open Flashify, select *flash* then select *Recovery image* > Choose a file >FIle explorer, then browse to the file you downloaded below *TWRP_C200.img* confirm the correct file and select *YUP!*
    6. In the main flashify window select the *3 dots* on the far right, select *Reboot recovery*
    7. To exit recovery select *reboot* then *system*

    Downloads:
    http://1drv.ms/1Lki92p

    How to get into TWRP from power off:
    1. Hold the power button in till the screen turns black *about 10 seconds* then release the power button.
    2. If the screen is still black after a few seconds then tap the power button once or twice.

    Q&A
    Q. Can I install the stock rom with TWRP
    A. No, but it can be installed once it is made into a custom image

    Q. What are other ways to get into recovery
    A. Type "reboot recovery" from any terminal app

    Credits:
    AbduL for making this all happen
    Andy.51 for being a great help
    8
    Radio App Update

    OK, herewith my near-final plan for a skin for the radio app. This is an actual android layout now, so it's pretty much what it will look like.

    Next step is to speak to Ownice to get a copy of the source for the radio app, or to just hand off the design to them to incorporate. I'd ideally like to start rolling this out to the other standard media apps too - starting with the Bluetooth app - thats pretty ugly right now.

    Just to give you all an update on this - I am still working on it. I've had some help from the developers, but have been battling to get an emulated environment setup as I don't have debug access to the head unit yet. I've built a full Android development tree from the Open Source from Google, and have now built emulation code for all the required Ownice custom hardware, so I can now run the head units existing Radio app on my PC using an android emulator, and get all the debug info I need. Next step is to actually build the new radio app. Watch this space!
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