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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks. I was just wondering, what is everyone's thoughts about the relative merits of Android Auto Vs Mirror Link, for those that have Android Phones.

I have had a USB stick stuffed with music files for a good few years now and have always been happy with this as a massive step forward from my CD multi changer (remember those?), and my in built sat nav - I've always had one of these in my cars for years as well.

Having got my 3008 GT only a couple off weeks ago, of course I can't resist playing with the connection capabilities so see if they add anything to my car experience.

The things that I was looking for were

a. Ability to handle texts / What's Apps by voice

b. Perhaps a better user interface when playing music than the generic in car one. I am not unhappy with the in car one - it is perfectly fine but the one thing that could be better is the 'expand' concept on folders - when you have lots of files in a folder it can be a distracting faff to scroll back to the top of the list to choose another folder.

c. I appreciate that the features on such a system will always be limited to a few functionality areas because the idea is that you are concentrating on driving not faffing with the tech. But if there was anything else that added value, such as Calendar info, weather info etc I'd be happy to add it. And if there was integration with something such as Tom Tom's camera app then it would stop me having to pay to activate it in the car.

I am not interested in using the connection capabilities to replace the Tom Tom nav system - I am more than happy with that and would always prefer to just get in and drive with an in car system than faff around with connecting a phone based system. And I may be in the minority but I just don't like the Waze map interface.

I also don't use music streaming services - I just pay to download the tracks I want and put them on my stick. So all the streaming apps available when connected like Spotify don't add any value for me.

So far, my thoughts are:

a. Android Auto is stable and the text handling facility works well but I just don't like the user interface either on the 'home page' or on the music player - the graphics and fonts are like something from my Commodore 64 in the 80's and I hate the way that the music player controls are so huge they take up half the screen - kind of defeats the purpose of showing the album art as half of it is obliterated by a massive white stripe across the screen. Subtle is good Google.

b. Mirror Link - well I can't for the life of me find anything useful that is compatible with it. I have spent hours trying to search in the app store and on line to find decent music players that will actually display on Mirror Link and found none. There are loads of 'car mode' type apps out there but none of them displayed on the the car display. If anyone knows the name of any app that will actually work and adds value I would appreciate a pointer.

It is great that the car has these connection facilities as it is a growing market and will clearly only get better over time. For now though, I have given up on trying to find added value and will wait a while longer. Happy to just get in the car and drive away using the in car facilities.

But what are people's thoughts about which tech version is winning the race and which one is the Betamax of the in car connection world. Personally, I like the idea of the 'open system' approach of Mirror Link but think that Google will squash the competition and will win out with Android Auto.

Thoughts?
 

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Android auto has already won. Mirrorlink is as good as dead. You don't need to use waze if you don't like it, simply use google maps.

AA is big and clunky because they are making a huge effort to be safe and not distract the driver, as any legislation against them will effectively kill the market. Sadly this means things are a bit limited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Android auto has already won. Mirrorlink is as good as dead.
Yep, seems like that. If its been around for a while and I couldn't find a single compatible app then there can be no other conclusion.


You don't need to use waze if you don't like it, simply use google maps.
Or better still, (for me anyway), stick to the native tom tom system and avoid faffing around with connecting the phone. Then you get the benefit of the route being capable of showing on the 12 inch dash. :)

AA is big and clunky because they are making a huge effort to be safe and not distract the driver, as any legislation against them will effectively kill the market. Sadly this means things are a bit limited.
It's funny, because when I have googled lots about it, there seems to be lots of people who love it. People spend a lot of money on head units from Halfords specifically to use it. For me though, it is limited, I agree. But not just limited, its bloody ugly. There are a couple of decent music players that look OK on the phone but it all gets ruined on the AA interface.

I know we live in a litigation happy society but I am struggling to think how it could be the fault of the interface developer if someone crashes because they are stupid enough to spend too long fiddling with it when they are driving. If that was the case, then surely every car manufacturer would be facing the same and as a result we would all still be staring at a radio that only showed the frequency in large green dots.
 
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