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Android Auto Compatibility

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:45 pm
by Skinny Wolfe
I have a 2018 Ram with Android Auto. To use Subsonic I have to turn it off Android Auto to use it. So if I'm using it for Navigation I cannot use Subsonic to stream my own music. It's either one or the other. I hope that make the app compatible for Android Auto so I can use everything while driving much easier. I would even pay a little extra a year for it.

Re: Android Auto Compatibility

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 12:52 am
by acroyear
The auto for android would require a distinctive app built specifically for that purpose. Much of it is stripping back some of the browsing functionality, providing a 'night mode', and setting up the layout to fit the auto-material guidelines in terms of button layout.

As with Android-TV apps, Google is very picky, much pickier than they are for phone/tablet apps, for what they will accept for auto, since they feel (rightfully so) that an app that is too distracting and causes an accident will subject them to a legal lawsuit for responsibility. While they can afford it, they'd rather not set the precedent (and I agree with them on this front). As such, you can't really easily side-load the standard android app onto the device.

So they set very tight limits that likely will require a very stripped down functionality - things like just playlists, artist-album ID3 mode (rather than deep full folder / "musicDirectory" browsing) or the album queries, and the player mode only support play/pause next, prev, and shuffle (not any +30s/-10s and no sliders), and the artwork needs to be of a limited brightness...AND it needs to conform to the media session standards so that when outside of the player and in maps or some other app, it is quick to get to play/pause.

It looks like (based on some discussion threads around Feb of this year) that Google is REALLY increasing the difficulty in getting an auto app passed through the PlayStore, and have totally blocked "side-loading" for Android for auto, since people were using that to load video players which they explicitly want to say they don't support and don't allow, again for legal liability reasons.

So yeah, it'll take time and a lot of patience for a developer to write a dedicated app that complies with their current guidelines.

Sorry I couldn't give better news. Short term solution is a good android phone app or PWA and connecting via bluetooth.


Re: Android Auto Compatibility

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 1:01 am
by acroyear
That said, I have been looking at seeing if all the frame-working I've done for javascript webapps is compatible with react-native, or if it can be easily rewritten in dart for Google's new Flutter framework. If the react-native compatibility works then it shouldn't be too hard to make a simple app in react-native...but again, I've got so many other projects to do right now, like rewriting the Fire TV/Stick app and getting the playlist editor working that I've had in my head for 18 months now, that I'm not gonna do more than support the API if somebody else wants to take such a project on.

Re: Android Auto Compatibility

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:19 pm
by chugmonkey
Hiya, I agree and wish that the base app could do with a major overhaul as well to try and compete with the likes of Plex etc. I'm a diehard subsonic fan and that's unlikely to change anytime soon!

If Android Auto is important to you (sure is to me) I would suggest making the small purchase of DSub in the Google Play Store.

It is a fork of Subsonic with a whole boatload of UX improvements, being available in Android Auto as one of them.

I would be delighted to use vanilla Subsonic for the same but, needs must. If only there was someone out there who could help Sindre to incorporate those changes to the main app!

Re: Android Auto Compatibility

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:28 pm
by acroyear
I actually prefer the idea of dedicated apps for dedicated purposes.

And I say this as a developer. My original SubFire was able to range from FireTV all the way down to phone...and the compromises I had to make to make it work in all of those layers (including desktop/chrome app) made it less than ideal for any of them. Now I'm writing the "2.0" with a lot tighter focus and plan to release it in multiple forms.

1) a TV app that can work in tablets, but hard-coded to landscape mode, and responsive to being a "client" to remote control from desktop/mobile.
2) a mobile app that can scale up to tablets, optimized to portrait mode but will be landscape compatible - with the landscape mode being "auto-like" as close as possible because I often have my phone on my dashboard in landscape setting.

trying to do both styles in the same app just didn't quite work in the long run.

Re: Android Auto Compatibility

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:29 pm
by acroyear
(note, my apps are free, which i agree makes a difference - spending $3.99 here, $2.99 there, all to have dedicated apps for each platform? not always what people like to do...)

Re: Android Auto Compatibility

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:11 pm
by acroyear
I just gave D-Sub a try (nothing wrong with encouraging friendly competition) and the Android Auto mode works just fine (with one small browsing bug I'm reporting now, not a show-stopper).

If you want real Android-Auto, it is the best way to go...and a pretty featureful regular client, too, with a more material inspired UI than the original.