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Pioneer AppRadio with full Android mirroring and controls

leshkin Dec 5, 2014

  1. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    I had a day off work today and decided to make a video of my current stereo setup and hopefully get some people's questions answered about which hardware and apps are required to do this.

    The main idea of this is to have full control of my phone, navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze and any multimedia content directly from the stereo's screen and without having to touch my phone while doing so. Goes without saying that all the usual car stereo features like hands-free calling via BT and commercial radio had to work.

    In the demo, all content was being streamed over 3G, so things were slightly sluggish to start, but you can quite easily store your music on the phone and play it like you would on an iPhone through iTunes.

    Android screen mirroring demo:


    Basic demo of HU features:


    Head Unit used: PIONEER AVH-X8600BT 7" , but any Pioneer AppRadio HU should work in an identical manner

    Adaptors & Tools
    =========================================

    Phone-specific hardware and apps
    =========================================

    • Rooted LG G3 (Model: D855 International, running Android 4.4.2 from Three Mobile UK) Root method used on my phone
    • LinkS Slimport cable - Slimport phones (Most LG and Nexus models) It is very important to get the correct cable for you phone! For some phones (Samsung Galaxy S3/4/5) you will need an original Samsung MHL adapter, HDMI and USB charging cable. You don't really need the Pioneer kit as in most cases it does not have enough cables anyway.
    • AppRadio Unchained Reloaded (must-have - used for AppRadio connection)
    • Screen Standby ♯ Root (nice to have - used to blank the screen on the phone)
    • Car Dashdroid (one of many alternatives) - used as the car mode, when connected to AppRadio. You can just run the normal Android UI, but I find it a little fiddly when driving
    • Tasker (optional - streamline connect/disconnect workflow) This app is great for starting/stopping other apps, when you connect/disconnect the phone to the stereo. A bit difficult to get going for some, but included here as that is what I use to automate things in the demo.
    • Torque Pro (Car OBD software) - Probably the best OBD software for Android and is used for presenting data directly for the car's OBD interface to pull up additional stats.
    • BT OBD Adapter used: http://www.scantool.net/obdlink-mx.html

    To help with fitting the stereo, I used the following videos as reference:

    Replacing Audi Double-din stereo and fitting the fascia adapter, with some tips on wiring.



    Note that not everything applies to all Audi models and the adapters I used are slightly different to the one used in the video, so use your best judgement and read the instructions when fitting the stereo to your car.

    Hope this helps someone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
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  3. Jake 61

    Jake 61 Teacher of bad things..! Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    I'll watch those vids later.
    Well done on a cracking write up and video presentation. I've been following the other thread with keen interest. I didn't know that the half of this was possible and it has been a really informative couple of threads.

    Thanks for making the effort and taking the time to share the info.

    I can see this being a project in the new year.

    :respekt:
     
    leshkin likes this.
  4. IanRW

    IanRW Registered User

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    Perfect write up mate. Will 100% be doing this!
     
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  5. Ash187

    Ash187 Registered User Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    that android control is so fluid, really impressed with that!
     
  6. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    Yeah, is not glitch-free, but works well 99% of the time. Most issues are down to my setup not being fully tested. I'm very happy with how it turned out still.

    Funny thing is, neither Pioneer nor Google intended for this to be possible :)
     
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  7. Wickedweasal

    Wickedweasal Registered User

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    Looks really good, if only I could stand android. Had a few bad experiences and went back to Apple.

    Picked up the appradio4 this morning after following your previous posts with interested, thought I would give it a try.

    Can anyone advise will this wiring loom CTSAD006.2 work with a 2011 A3 with full BOSE ?

    Will give dynamic sounds a call in the morning hopefully to clarify.
     
  8. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    I wonder how long ago you tried Android and on which phone - Samsung tend to butcher it to a point of it barely resembling the original OS. Nexus flavour is my favourite, but LG have added a few nice touches to it, without making it terrible. Obviously if you have bought into the Apple ecosystem it can be hard to get out - I've been there too.

    Anyway, the cable you want is the one I used. CTSAD006.2 will work, but it has background hiss which many people complain about. The adapter I used allows you to adjust the signal to the point of this hissing sound being barely audible. This is a side-effect of Bose speakers being 2ohm and the rest of the industry using 4 (might be the other was round, but you get the point :) ) DS will confirm this too.

    Also, if you plan on using your iPhone for Apple CarPlay, you will need extra cables, but I don't know which for obvious reasons. @Ash187 might be able to help you there, or just read the manual that comes with the HU, which has all the details on the extra cables you will need.
     
  9. Wickedweasal

    Wickedweasal Registered User

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    Great thanks for the reply, it was a few years ago now since I have tried an android device. The misses has a Samsung Galaxy s4 but I was never that keen on it.

    As I work on Apple equipment most days It's kind of second nature to me now. hopefully get all the cables order over the next day or two, will try and do an install guide or video if I get time.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  10. Ash187

    Ash187 Registered User Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    Apple Airplay does not need any special cables, just your usually charging USB needs to be plugged into the headunit and it charges up the phone and connects to the unit.
    The connects2 cable is used to convert the Audi harness to the Pioneer unit so it works as your original headunit would have.
     
  11. Wickedweasal

    Wickedweasal Registered User

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    Well I ordered the cables from Dynamic sounds yesterday so hopefully should arrive in the next day or two.

    Any recommendations on placement of the Gps antenna? The last unit I had was placed in the centre of the windscreen, wondered if anyone would recommend another location?

    Thanks
     
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  13. Ash187

    Ash187 Registered User Gold Supporter VCDS Map User

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    gps antenna i would say put it in the gap above the stereo in between the 2 vents... double sided tape will hold it there without any rattles and it works well in there.
     
  14. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    Center on the dash is the best place for reception, but I know some got away with mounting it above the HU.

    Which unit did you go for in the end?
     
  15. Wickedweasal

    Wickedweasal Registered User

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    I always assumed it would need clear line of sight with the sky, might try it in a few locations to see what works best for me.

    I went for the pioneer SPH-DA120 in the end, couldn't warrant the cost of the higher end units as I bought an F10BT when they first came out think it cost me about £1200 and I only really used the satnav and Bluetooth on the unit.

    Everything is on my iPhone these days so thought I would give it a try, we will see if it was a bad choice.
     
  16. IanRW

    IanRW Registered User

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    The very unit I'd be looking to get. Be interesting to see what you think of it.
     
  17. Wickedweasal

    Wickedweasal Registered User

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    I will try and put up some pictures/video once I have fitted it.
     
  18. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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  19. IanRW

    IanRW Registered User

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    Yeah I saw that one. Quite like the look of it to be honest, nice and simple.
     
  20. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Fantastic write up and what i was just about to start a thread asking!

    Hopefully you can help?

    I would mirror your exact setup but basically I don't want to splash out quite that much. I'm looking at spending about £300 on the headunit and then buying leads as and when I want to upgrade to that mode/function.

    The DA120 would be a good choice but I need DVD/CD playing capability as I plan to fit a rear screen for my lad in the future.

    I was ready to add the X3600-DAB to my basket when I checked Pioneers website and basically only bluetooth functions are available (apparently?)

    Or would you have done be possible on something as cheap as the X2600BT?

    Oh I have a HTC One (M7), Audi A4 avant 2003 with double din indash 6 cd changer concert 2.

    I'm mainly after the ability to use my phone for a basic sat nav in the HU. I have a great Tomtom I use for work, but being able to use the HU/phone for a quick option would be great.

    Thanks in advance, I'm so confused!?

    EDIT- I wouldn't mind going second hand also, plenty of 5500 and a 8500 on ebay for around 300 mark. On Pioneers site the 5500 can do everything with android but appradio and they don't have the 8500 listed?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  21. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    You have a few options in terms of headunits. Any current Pioneer AppRadio-capable unit should work with this approach, so the X2600BT will be fine too. I went for the high-end HU simply to get the removable fascia with DVD and SD card. Newer models ensure maximum compatibility and get longer support for HU firmware updates, plus seem to have a much more polished user interface. You could go down the route of any MirorrLink HU form other manufacturers, but I'm not sure how to get full control and screen mirroring to work on that.

    For the phone cable I think you'll need a MHL to HDMI adapter and depending on which one you use, you might need a standard USB charging cable and a decent quality HDMI cable to connect the adapter to the HU. One thing though - make sure to research your choice of MHL cable, as many cheap units cause weird screen interference or do not work at all. Simple way to check is to connect the hone to a TV with it :)

    I'm not too sure on the exact wiring harness adapters to connect the HU to your specific car, but I found that the guys at http://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/ to be very helpful and their range of adapters tend to be priced much cheaply than Car Audio Direct.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  22. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm constantly changing my mind at the moment, as now I like the look of the (pricier) ones with hidden CD slot. In which case I would need 2nd hand.

    This is the thing thats confusing me- http://www.pioneer.eu/uk/landing/products/smartphone-compatibility.html apart from the very top spec ones like yours none of the lower ones say they are appradio compatible.

    I emailed Car Audio Direct asking which head unit for about 300 can I have mirror link with and they said the JVC V50BT, £380! along with this MHL lead.

    I get what your saying about firmware updates, if I bought the 2nd hand 8500 I would hope they carry on making support for several years to come.
     
  23. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    I couldn't comment much on JVC units or Mirrorlink mate. I know that HTC M8 is fully certified with MirrorLink, but that means that the software HTC use in M8 would be locked down, so you will once again, be limited to the apps you can present on the HU. Haven't seen much in terms of workarounds for this on M8 or M7. XDA forum seems to be the best resource for this though, if you are looking to experiment.

    What I can tell you is that if you root your M7, connect to an AppRadio unit using the correct MHL cable and use the software I used, you should have no problems with getting mirroring to work.

    What will get even more 'fun' is when you start looking at the different MHL cables, so make sure you pick the right one for your specific phone. See two pics below - white is a Samsung MHL adapter and the other is a generic one. Note the different phone connectors! :confused:
    20141212_163759.jpg 20141212_163919_HDR.jpg

    It doesn't look like the JVC MHL cable will charge your phone, so on a long drive you will run out of juice, which would suck. The two MHL adapters I have, have a socket for a USB charging cable and allow the phone to charge while still being used for mirroring magic to happen :) With both of these adapters though you will need a HDMI cable too!

    In terms of headunits I'd say that AppRadio has a better chance of working with full mirroring support simply because of ARUnchained app - it has much better support and is quite stable in my experience.
     
  24. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    Also, the whole compatibility matrix for AppRadio or MirrorLink just doesn't apply, as it's all in software. What makes a phone compatible is either a a modified DriveLink (hacked Samsung's MirrorLink software) or ARUnchained (3rd party AppRadio hack based on Pioneer's original rubbish app).

    The phone just needs to have MHL or SlimPort capability for video out and bluetooth, with rooted Android 4.x
     
  25. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    After a wee bit of searching it's only the V30 and V50 which are android compatible, neither of which I can find cheap enough to interest me, so back to Pioneer!

    This 8500 on ebay is still tempting me as it looks like it might go for around £200. That ends sunday.

    If that doesn't go in my favour disregarding pioneers oh so useful compatibility matrix I may go for the 2700BT However, Dynamic sounds do have a tempting offer on a DAB unit 3600DAB £325 with a dab aerial.......is DAB worth it?

    I had a brief look at the MHL cables and just another factor that I found confusing!? So at HU end, it plugs into a HDMI socket but to enable charging it also uses the USB port which then links into the MHL lead before it connects to the phone? I was thinking......my phone only has 1 usb socket!? DOH!

    Some more searching I realised what the 'Car' app on my phone was for! Will be interesting to see what that will do on a headunit before looking at the others.

    Thankyou again, sorry for clogging your thread up also!
     
  26. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    The 8500 is a nice unit and should work with ARUnchained app to give you full mirroring and at that price, it's a steal if it ticks all of your feature requirements.

    I thought about getting DAB, but I don't really listen to radio that much, so decided to not bother. If you do get DAB, remember that you'll need to fit the DAB aerial, which is more work than just plugging a few cables in.

    The cables for connecting the phone to HU is probably the most troublesome part I had with trying to get my setup to work, so you are not alone with your confusion. One thing to remember is that you do not need any of the Pioneer cabling kits and at an average price of £70, it's a good thing.

    Here is a diagram of how MHL adaptor will work. You will need two additional cables to use a typical MHL adaptor: a standard HDMI cable and a normal USB charging cable (USB Type A to micro USB B), which I highlighted in red. This is the same cable you use to charge your phone from a PC USB port. This USB cable just needs to be long enough to connect USB 1 port on the HU to where you will have your MHL adapter.
    MHLCabling.png

    What your MHL adapter will do is take the HDMI and USB cables and convert them into one connector for you to plug into the phone - simples! In my case, LG uses another type of port called Slimport, favoured by Google. The adapter I used came with a HDMI plug, USB A and Slimport connector, all on one, long cable, so made things a little simpler and tidier.

    The biggest issue with MHL cables is the fact that many cheap MHL adapters just do not work, so chances are you will go through a few of these before finding one that works and does not cause 'digital snow' interference. This is where the video feed gets corrupted. Again, using high quality HDMI cable and MHL adapter is key to avoiding these issues. Cheap cables is the main cause of things not working.

    From what I've read, this MHL adapter seems to work, but I suggest doing your homework ;)

    As far as the 'Car App' on your phone, then you can probably try using that instead of the 3rd party one I used (Car Dashdroid). That's just personal preference. In fact, you don't have to use any car apps, but then it can be a bit dangerous on the road, since Android interface isn't designed for that.

    No worries, this is the reason I posted this up here :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  27. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Still sitting pretty with no bids, so fingers crossed for tomorrow night! Really like the idea of having 2 USB ports and SD card slot for mass storage device options. "Useful" draw is full of usb sticks with tunes on from last car!

    To be honest I only listen to Radio 1 but for an extra 20 quid if I loose out on the 8500 I might aswell go DAB. The aerial is just a case of routing cable to the screen and sticking it to glass I thought? I'm going to have to pull the dash apart to route the Phones bluetooth mic anyways.

    Ah ha! Fully understood now, according to a youtube video linking my phone to a 42" TV the genuine Samsung S2 mhl adaptor works very well. The S2 still using microUSB unlike the newer samsung plug you have pictured above from what I have read.

    However I'm trying to find one where the Micro USB trailing lead for the phone is the long part, rather than having a little stubby lead coming out of the adaptor and 2 leads trailing to that.

    I guess I'll have to wait and see with the CarApp, download what ever else I need as and when. But as long as the phone, music, video and maps works I'm happy.
     
  28. Wickedweasal

    Wickedweasal Registered User

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    Mine is now half installed managed to get the mic and head unit working and into place, tried the gps antenna between the air vents as suggested but to be honest not happy with it, after checked the visible satellites it improved on top of the dash.

    Ran out of light today so hopefully tomorrow will get the a pillar off to route the gps cable and glovebox out for the usb cables.
     
  29. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    Yeah, these HUs definitely give you many connectivity options, but since doing the full mirror with my phone I stopped needing them, especially on Three's 4G all-you-can-eat data plan :)

    Music: Google Music All Access (cached playlists for when I have no reception)
    Internet Radio: Tunedin Pro
    Video: Netflix/Youtube/BBC iPlayer/Plex
    Nav: Google Maps/Waze or for when I'm abroad: CoPilot or NavFree

    There are many MHL cables, including ones with long cable to the phone, so that you can hide the box in the dash. The issues is compatibility and quality so might be a case of trial and error until you get one that works well. At £2 to £6 each, it's not much to risk though.

    This MHL cable looks like it would suit you and is made by the same company as my Slimport cable -
     
  30. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    Yeah, having the GPS on the dash will definitely give you the best reception. My HU model doesn't have a GPS receiver in it, so I use the one in the phone, which works very well even when it's sitting in the storage compartment under the HU/Climate controls.
     
  31. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    I have an O2 plan with limited data as never really used a great deal before. Wifi at home and no use of phone at work. So I think any music I do have will be 'hard' copies on phone, usb or disk.

    I was trying to read reviews for the individual cables I looked at on ebay or amazon but so many sellers are doing private auctions or on ebay its a multi item listing so you get hundreds of reviews for the more popular items.

    I've bought a cheapy for now off ebay which came with a USB 3 pin plug(handy as I needed to buy one for the workshop anyways) if that turns out to be poop I actually have that LinkS one of my wishlist, thinking along the same lines as you.....it was the same make.

    EDIT....

    I'll stick with leads, but wonder if something like this would work....

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/HTC-Media-Wireless-Adapter-Mains/dp/B007IYHH3Y/ref=wl_mb_wl_huc_mrai_3_dp

    Who does 2 EDITS!?

    Just read my email from CAS and realised the very newest line of Mirrorlink HU's from Pioneer which meet the new industrial standard for car connectivity consortium connect via USB!

    X2700BT

    'Special' USB cable!

    In my researching the other night the CCC standard want to rule out things like Apple CarPlay, to just have 1 universal connectivity. Sounds great for the future! I can't see Apple playing nicely with that one, they don't want any of there equipment compatible with anything other than Apple, Android FTW!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  32. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    It's worth giving MirroLink a try, but I haven't really considered it tbh. It will restrict what apps you can use, unless you can get a modded mirrorlink app and assuming your phone is compatible. Given that I knew that people had good results with using the ARUnchained app, which uses Pioneer's AppRadio protocol, I decided to go down that route as for me it was either full mirroring with controls or nothing :)

    Apple and Google are unlikely to bake MirrorLink facility directly, so it's left up to individual manufacturers of Android and Windows phones to provide support for it. HTC and Sony are leading the way here, but I have a feeling that this area will be rather fragmented for some time. Pioneer are playing an interesting game with their AppRadio units by supporting all major protocols. I hope they add support for Google's Android Auto via a firmware update to our units, like they did with Apple CarPlay.

    In any case, I'm sitting pretty with how things are working at the moment. Just hope Android 5.0 updates do not break ARUnchained. Otherwise I'll have to wait until this is confirmed as working before upgrading to the latest and greatest Android :)

    EDIT: The wireless link has been done, but the feed/controls will be potentially laggy and I can't see much point in it as you still need to have your phone connected for charging anyway.
     
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  34. Wickedweasal

    Wickedweasal Registered User

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    Anyone have any thoughts on running use cables from the head unit, from the pioneer sph da-120 I have to run 2x usb cables and an Hdmi cable. I was thinking of making a hole in the back of the glovebox and running them through.
     
  35. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    You can do it to glovebox and it's an easy thing to do.
    You have the option of running some cables to the little cubbyhole under the ac controls, like I did. There is a small rubber flap in the top-right corner, which you can easily fit a USB or even a HDMI cable through.
     
  36. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Well, missed out on the 8500 by 15 quid! sold for £265 in the end with some bidding wars in the last 15 seconds.

    So I decided on the 5600BT from Dynamic Sounds at £300 is was the same price as the newer 2700BT but it has the larger screen and still the older style connectivity with the HDMI/MHL link which I had already ordered. Also going on what you have said should still leave me the option to use the unchained app version.

    The leads, keys and fascia kit for my car from DS came to another £48, spoke to one of the guys on phone while ordering, very quick and informative.

    I've bought a USB splitter cable so with a bit of luck I can run 1 USB to charge the MHL link and then 1 to take a USB stick. May or may not work but thought it was worth a try.
     
  37. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Well that's annoying.....

    The x5600BT has no HDMI port, so I have to buy the Pioneer CD-ML100 Mirrorlink adaptor box at around 70 quid! Guess I should of really looked at it a bit closer.

    Think I might just fit it and make do with the bluetooth and USB stick features for time being.

    The HDMI/MHL lead I bought works though, linked it up to the TV with no problems, not that I need it now though.
     
  38. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    Wow, I thought that this unit had Mirrorlink built in too. The next one up AVH-X5700BT looks like it has this built in, but app stuff over USB. Could you not return it?
     
  39. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Problem is all the models with either HDMI or usb mirrolink are all 500 quid upwards which I'm not spending.

    I could swap for the 2700bt which is 300 too but I like the hiden CD slot and button at the bottom I little too much to do that I think.
     
  40. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Well!

    Spoke to Pioneer after work today and there saying my actual phone isn't guaranteed to work with either the 2700BT or the CD-ML100 should I buy it!

    Well I'm at a loss of what to do appmode wise. Might give up on that idea and just enjoy it for what it can do.
     
  41. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Sorry I've completely turned this thread in to me, me , me me me!

    SO annoyed though. Seems Dynamic Sounds have some useless staff just like some Halfords. I was sold a PC9-401 wiring harness, WRONG! from what i have read it won't hook up the rear speakers or amp, also sold a PC5-90 Aerial adaptor, again WRONG! doesn't have a plug for the secondary aerial.

    The thirdly, the radio keys seem right but the ends of them up to the notch where they click in are too fat so the tabs on the stereo didn't have any slack to release them correctly.

    Getting over this very quickly, should of just treated the car to new wheels instead!
     
  42. leshkin

    leshkin Hold my beer... VCDS Map User

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    I'm very surprised about DS, but I guess it depends on who you get. PC9-401 is designed for systems with rear BOSE amplified speakers, which will mean that the connections for rear speakers will be different to normal ISO setup. I've read loads of things on Audi adapters and chances are, people, who were complaining about them just got the wrong cables for their specific car.

    What specific audio setup do you have? Full BOSE or just rear amplified?

    Also, get Connects2 cables rather than Autoleads ones if possible - much better quality!
     
  43. Paul_TDi

    Paul_TDi Registered User

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    Indeed, every shop has a useless member of staff, it's just that those staff should be banned from the phone. Bob, the bloke I've been emailing is adamant that it is suitable, which although it will fit and possible run. I've read it's not the best for my set up as it won't power the rear properly. The PC9-404 is better for mine (from what I have read)

    But yes I have spoken to Car audio direct instead who recommended Connects 2 harnesses (this one), I'll get that and the double din fascia kit from DS still as there about tenner cheaper on each. That's something else they didn't sell me though, sold me a autoleads fascia, but no additional cage, so from what CAD have said it wouldn't of sat nicely in the dash.

    The good news of all of this is I'm sending back the 5600.....and buying an ex demo 8500 instead, so hdmi connection here I come!

    I think technically I have a rear amped half bose system. So I don't have bose labels everywhere but I do have amp and sub in the boot.
     

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