Need suggestions: Which aftermarket head unit should I buy

I am an Android user and would not really like to change my phone.

BHPian joshiviv recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

A lot of new cars come bundled with Android Auto and/or Car Play so fitting an after market unit like Sony/Blaupunkt is not a desirable option. Wanted to see what folks experience was with Android Auto or CarPlay coming with their cars. I am an Android user and would not really like to change my phone. However, I would also like to hear if CarPlay is compelling enough to change over to iOS.

Similarly wanted to seek opinion on aftermarket units, if I do need to change the HU. I could just start off with a Sony HU in my old car and move it to the new car whenever I buy one.

Here’s what BHPian GreyNomad had to say on the matter:

I’ve been an Apple ecosystem user for ages now and hence CarPlay over AA. I’d suggest you choose a HU that is both AA and CarPlay compatible. Sony and Pioneer have the same. Blaupunkt models are mostly AA + MirrorLink based.

Here’s what BHPian anandhsub had to say on the matter:

Not all android phones support android auto, especially wireless.

Carplay will definitely be more seamless.

However my choice, for aftermarket, would be to go for an Android system. There are many that support a sim card as well.

This makes your phone redundant ( unless you want to connect via Bluetooth to take calls which I don’t recommend) and is a lot more easier to use when it comes to navigation or music since it is literally just a tab fitted to your dashboard.

Only issue is that you don’t get these in the well established brands and have to go for the Chinese imports like Woodman.

Here’s what BHPian JoshMachine had to say on the matter:

In almost all cars (typically mid or top variant) that roll off the production floor nowadays with an in-built HU, they will have both – Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. As long as your phone supports either of them, you should be good.

The performance is at par in terms of the app (music, navigation, phone etc.) integration- for both the competing tech. Even Google Maps, a predominant Android feature of the yesteryears, works seamlessly on CarPlay.

So I see no reason to switch your phone between Android/iOS just because of the HU having Android Auto/CarPlay.

Here’s what BHPian Gannu_1 had to say on the matter:

I have used both the systems extensively including a rooted Android device for unlocking some additional functionalities on the system and will vouch for CarPlay.

CarPlay interface feels familiar to iPhone users, is a lot more smoother and lag-free, voice commands work well (call XYZ, redial, resume music, send a message to ABC over WhatsApp etc. are some I frequently use whilst driving). I also love CarPlay’s dashboard with the split-screen setup which displays a map and music side-by-side.

On the downside, you have a limited set of apps for CarPlay and no customized apps like a TPMS app developed by a vendor for the system. While using Google Maps in CarPlay, you cannot select the alternate route by selecting the greyed out route Google Maps; instead you have to go to the route options and tap the one you prefer. This is counter-intuitive!

After the recent Google I/O 2022 event however, I believe Android Auto is slated for a lot of updates and improvements including watching Youtube while parking brake is engaged, casting from the phone etc.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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