Android Auto



  • So, back in August it was announced that Google opened Android Auto to outside navigation apps like MRA. Is there an expected release date for the Android Auto compatible MRA Navigation?


  • Instructor

    @Daniel-Palm

    No not yet



  • Any more news on Android Auto, more bikes are getting this feature.



  • In the mean time other routing applications besides the ones that are owned/made by Google work with Android Auto, like TomTom Go (paid), TomTom Amigo (free), Flistmeister(free) and probably others as well.
    When will there be a Android Auto compatible version of MRA?



  • @Bert-van-Es said in Android Auto:

    When will there be a Android Auto compatible version of MRA?

    I'm guessing after Apple Carplay is implemented, since that was in the announcement and Android Auto was not. Android is kind of a second class citizen for most products for some reason.



  • @Matt-Flaming said in Android Auto:

    Android is kind of a second class citizen for most products for some reason.

    It's more like Google is a second class company when it comes to application support for other applications than there own... As I understand it, they were the ones not coming forward, not MRA.



  • @Con-Hennekens said in Android Auto:

    It's more like Google is a second class company when it comes to application support for other applications than there own...

    It's been available for a few months for other applications...this isn't on Google this time. They were told it was coming, they could have been prepared.



  • @Matt-Flaming said in Android Auto:

    @Con-Hennekens said in Android Auto:

    It's more like Google is a second class company when it comes to application support for other applications than there own...

    It's been available for a few months for other applications...this isn't on Google this time. They were told it was coming, they could have been prepared.

    Maybe someone from MRA can explain to you how much effort they have put into convincing Google (and Apple) to let them into their car platform. Google (and Apple) have been holding off for years...



  • @Hans-van-de-Ven-MRA-Master is hier misschien nu al iets meer over bekend?


  • Instructor

    @Alexander-n

    Nee, nog niet


  • administrator

    I'm not going to reiterate the amount of effort we put in getting access to either platform, that information can be easily found here on the Forum. We're aware of Android Auto now being available for development and will certainly add the feature in the future, but we' re not going to drop everything we've planned so far because Google suddenly decides to open up. That wouldn't be fair to everyone who's waiting for other features.

    If Android comes across as a second class platform, that's likely because it handles like a second class platform. I recently switched back from iPhone to Android because I didn't want to sell my soul for a small piece of hardware (which is a whole other ballpark of problems) but so far the experience has been subpar compared to iOS.

    From a more philosophical point of view: I think it is absurd that developing for two platforms requires two completely different skill sets, different development capabilities and in the end, different people. I sincerely hope for the convergence of technology to the point where developing apps is no longer the hassle it is today.

    To illustrate, a group we're all forgetting is the WinPhone community. The small percentage of users doesn't justify the possible risks. However, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to include those users too.



  • @Timo-Martosatiman-MRA said in Android Auto:

    If Android comes across as a second class platform, that's likely because it handles like a second class platform.

    Android itself is not the issue though. There are plenty of apps that work EXCELLENTLY in Android. The problem tends to come from developers that develop an app in iOS first and then "try to port to Android". If the app is built with Android in mind, it works marvelously. I find Locus to be an amazing map application, that is only available on Android. Look at OsmAnd. It was Android first, and then "ported to iOS" and it's a completely different app. I think it's good on both platforms, but excels on Android. If you're familiar with Scenic on iOS, they have been saying for years that they are working on an Android version...and those of us on the waiting list got an email this year saying "Well, sorry, not this year"..again. I see this with lots of apps that are "cross platform". If the app was designed in iOS first, the Android version tends to suffer horribly. Same goes, in general, the other way too though.

    The notice was sent out to developers months ago indicating Android Auto support for 3rd party nav apps was coming soon. It seems that everyone would have jumped on that chance, yet it "APPEARS" that MRA sat on that and waited. Please note that I say it appears because I've searched around and not found any indication of any kind of transparency as to when talks were had about adding Android Auto.

    After saying all this, I get the feeling that MRA just outsources its app development? Is this true? If so, does that mean that funds have to be allocated to one project at a time? Because in my mind, that explains the lag that seems to occur between the 2 platforms and why one is chosen focus at a time. When I see plans of a "new version" that seems to cater to iOS specifically, that's how it comes across. I mean, if you have 2 different sets of developers working on the different apps, then they should both be able to work at the same time. Right? In which case, you would have the Android team working on Android Auto, while the iOS team is working on Car Play.

    @Timo-Martosatiman-MRA said in Android Auto:

    To illustrate, a group we're all forgetting is the WinPhone community. The small percentage of users doesn't justify the possible risks. However, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to include those users too.

    Windows Mobile (The OS) hasn't been supported in years, and the project was killed off. Why would you build ANYTHING for a dead platform? That's like saying that Blackberry OS needs a version too.

    Personally, I would just be happy if the bugs were worked out on Nav, and a few key features were added after the fact.


  • administrator

    @Matt-Flaming
    Android is an operating system designed to run on a lot of devices. There's a reason why developers prefer iOS, and i'ts because the development pipeline is far more streamlined than for Android. To illustrate: Android completely overhauled the way GPS signals are handled by the device in a relatively recent update (I believe Android 10), which can cause app breakage. In addition to this Android gives smartphone manufacturers freedoms in handling how GPS is used per device. Of course, if you have a company that's Android-only and caters to that group alone, they're going to have an advantage over a company developing on both platforms. That still doesn't make it as good as a platform as iOS for development purposes though.

    You can't find any transparency about Android Auto because there were no talks. We reached out several times. We ended up talking to two parties. Apple and the European Anti Trust agency to file a complaint against Google for anti-competitive behavior. After that we put it to rest and moved on.

    As for outsourcing our app development, we do. We're very happy about that too, because we used to have in-house app development capacity and know the strains and problems from that affair. Funds aren't allocated to "one project at a time" but projects are procured against a Fixed Price invoice. We could simply open up the existing project planning and request that the app developers just drop everything they do and start working on Android Auto (in fact, during a meeting today I mentioned that Android Auto is something we'd be interested to explore after the current batch of projects is completed). However, as you might understand, I can't do that with good conscience.



  • @Timo-Martosatiman-MRA said in Android Auto:

    We could simply open up the existing project planning and request that the app developers just drop everything they do and start working on Android Auto

    I wouldn't expect that exactly. It's just really disheartening to read that the planned features we have seen won't roll out for another 6 months. On this list includes Apple CarPlay support, so does that mean when Android Auto is worked on, that it will be another year away? When the new features on iOS rollout, resources will be dedicated to squashing bugs so what does that mean for Android? How long do we really have to wait to get matching feature sets?

    It seems too disjointed and the development appears (just from an outsider looking in) to be moving very slowly on the Nav app. I simply don't see value in Nav at this time. We can't even seem to get the basics fixed (my ticket regarding complete and utter failure of the app).


  • administrator

    @Matt-Flaming I understand that, the reason I'm conservative with planned features is because I don't want to create the wrong expectations regarding the MRA Navigation timeline or an Android Auto timeline.

    I do think there might be a small misunderstanding here: all of the features (except of course Apple Carplay) are for both platforms. We also don't atlternate resources between development and "bug hunting". Instead they're paralel processes. Each week, at least 12 hours are dedicated to "accute" problems and bug squashing, like the issues you're experiencing in Android. Because, again, we'd rather have those criticisms here on the Community Forum where we can see them and do something about it, rather than in some hidden corner of the internet. To illustrate: your points helped us actively track down several issues, and raised awareness that while our app might be 96% crash free, that doesn't mean it's going to be useable for everyone. A navigation app stuck in demo mode is useless. There's no denying that. The recalculating route and demo-mode bug are now a top priority for the app development team.


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