1. dyoung0224's Avatar
    I'd love to post this in Automotive but it is not an Android Auto-related question.

    I just bought a 2015 Honda Civic. One of the selling points the dealer gave to me was the smartphone connectivity this car has. He said that I wouldn't even need to buy an expensive navigation system because I could buy a $60 app on my phone and get the same result. I was skeptical (why would they not want to sell you the $1000 navigation package?) so I asked if it was supported on all smartphones. He said, "Honda has an app called HondaLink that is available to both android and iphone users." Cool.

    Well, HondaLink actually has 2 versions of the app. HondaLink First Generation and HondaLink Next Generation. First generation is literally useless for my car. The app just opens Aha (which is built into the car's audio system already). [Aha is similar to pandora, letting you stream music and podcasts, etc]. It functions terribly and is very buggy. Next Generation is like an app ecosystem, which lets you install other apps that let you do cool things like navigation, weather updates, etc.

    Next Generation is iphone only, of course. Very misleading on the salesman's part. Better yet, Honda has made no claims that it even intends to support android devices for its Next Generation app, nor update the terrible First Generation app currently offered (average 2.5 stars on google play).

    But the car has tons of inputs and bluetooth.

    My question is, is there a way to get my Android smartphone to do things like navigation, weather updates, youtube, voice recognition, etc using the car's screen, even if its not officially supported? My Galaxy S4 has ScreenMirror which seems perfect for this job but the car won't recognize the phone using Screen Mirroring. Any HDMI or USB adapters I can buy that would facilitate the process?

    Any Civic EX 2014/15 owners that have knowledge or experience with this?

    To be clear, the bluetooth/making calls/listening to pandora part works well. I can connect the phone to the car, I just cant do any of the cool stuff with it that I was told I could.
    12-17-2014 08:33 PM
  2. Rukbat's Avatar
    My Galaxy S4 has ScreenMirror
    That mirrors to a Samsung Smart TV.

    Any HDMI or USB adapters I can buy that would facilitate the process?
    Does the car have an HDMI input? If so, Chromecast should work with the Chromecast app running on the phone.
    12-18-2014 12:55 AM
  3. dyoung0224's Avatar
    The car has an HDMI input but it turns off whenever the car is in motion. It is hooked up to the speedometer so it will turn off the HDMI display any time the reading is not 0. I spent many hours last night researching this, and discovered that there is no current way to get android-based systems running on the car screen. Even my S4's S Voice Hands-Free Mode does not work with the car's bluetooth. Seems Honda is satisfied with only serving 42% of its smartphone user base.
    Thank you for the suggestion anyway.
    12-18-2014 11:46 AM
  4. Rukbat's Avatar
    Well ... it's not Honda. In the US, it's the NTSA. The driver isn't supposed to be able to see any screen (that includes cellphone screens) while driving. It's the law. (And there are tons of car audio shops that will defeat that in a car, so you can watch a movie while driving. Why are people so determined to commit expensive, messy suicide?)
    12-18-2014 03:35 PM
  5. dyoung0224's Avatar
    I mean, I wouldnt need to use HDMI workarounds if Honda had added Android support to their Next Generation app. Android has a 57% market share so I don't see the logic behind a top 15 auto manufacturer excluding over half of their customer base. If they have the capability to create an iphone app, they can also create an android app. The Next Generation iphone app has been out since the Accord 2014 model, so they've had over a year to get it going. Most businesses have no problem supporting both android and iphone platforms, I don't see why Honda would be different.

    I have no interest in breaking the law or overriding security features. I just wanted a $60 app that would enable my android smartphone to run navigation on the car screen like it can for iphone smartphones.
    12-19-2014 12:19 AM
  6. btonetbone's Avatar
    Hey, so here's what I found from a phone conversation with Honda. I have a 2015 Civic EX and a Galaxy S5.

    Their HondaLink system relies on MirrorLink 1.1. Currently, only a very few Android devices support that protocol. I can't post a link, but visit cert dot mirrorlink dot com/productlisting/ for listings. I've got fingers crossed that a Lollipop update may eventually add the tech for us, but I don't honestly know whether the limitation is hardware, software, or simple non-inclusion by the developers.

    I'm also hoping to see an update to HondaLink to support better Bluetooth codecs, but who knows if that will ever happen.

    But isn't the car great? I'm absolutely loving it, and that CVT engine is just so super smooth.
    12-19-2014 01:54 PM
  7. dyoung0224's Avatar
    Thank you for this information! In all of my research I didn't come across this information so it's nice to have a reason for why they excluded android. I'm still skeptical, however. From my understanding, mirrorlink is just a standard, any phone can implement the software on the phone. The catch is that the phone manufacturer must submit their phone to the CCC (car connectivity consortium) for approval and must have certain apps approved in one of two categories ("base" apps and "drive"-enabled apps). It doesnt seem to be a vanilla Android 4.4 or 5.0 problem, as HTC One is already certified and is running 4.4. It seems to be a certification issue: probably it just costs money to get certified and most phone manufacturers dont want to spend the money for each phone in their product line. I'm not an expert but that seems to be what's going on. Easier to just certify new phones that were built with the technology already included rather than add an update to old phones.

    So Honda still needs to spend money to develop an android version of their Next Generation app, but it won't do this until more android phones are MirrorLink 1.1 certified. So... not any time soon.

    I would at least like an update that would let me use my S4 S Voice through the car's voice recognition. Since it is already enabled for Siri, it is 100% software based and wouldn't be hard at all to add support for a few android phones as well. Better codecs for audio quality would be nice as well, although I usually stream pandora so my audio isn't exactly top notch to begin with.

    The car itself, however, is very nice. It is my first new car purchase and the smoothest one I've ever driven, I would be 110% happy if not for this android fiasco.
    12-19-2014 10:38 PM
  8. Rukbat's Avatar
    If they have the capability to create an iphone app, they can also create an android app.
    True, they'd just have to hire a team of Java programmers who are familiar with the Android environment. (It's not as if the people who wrote the iPhone app can make a few minor changes and it becomes an Android app.) Possibly their Android team isn't as good as their iPhone team.

    Most businesses have no problem supporting both android and iphone platforms
    On the contrary, while many don't, most do. There are MANY apps that work totally differently on iPhone and Android.

    I have no interest in breaking the law or overriding security features. I just wanted a $60 app that would enable my android smartphone to run navigation on the car screen like it can for iphone smartphones.
    Technically, the way the law is written in many states, even glancing at a GPS screen while driving is a violation. (It can even be a violation for the screen to be visible to the driver even if you don't look at it.) But I hear what you're saying. There are many situations like that. Why can't Google, who writes Android, make the Chromecast cast the screen on more than 11 phones? Why can't a Vizio TV use the screen mirroring in a Samsung phone? (And, while I'm asking questions I can't answer, why can't I find the time to learn the Android environment well enough to start churning out Android apps?)

    (BTW, yes, I love my Hybrid, but since I retired I'm not doing 75 miles a day or any highway driving to speak of, so my 48mpg days are over. 38's not bad, but I used to like the look of the guy at the service department when he came in after checking the odometer and saw the total mpg since the last fillup. [I hit over 51 when there were a few summer days when the weather was just right and the heat overinflated the tires just a bit, and there were no rainy days or traffic delays on that fillup. I do miss the trunk space of my 93 Accord, though - it was like a car full of circus clowns - you could put a twin size mattress and box spring in there and close the trunk. With a couple of small night stands on either side and room left for some groceries.)
    12-19-2014 11:43 PM
  9. Dina B's Avatar
    I have a similar problem with Samsung Galaxy S4 and Honda CR-V. Prior Samsung Galaxy S2 worked great with all features on the smart Honda screen including being able to auto dial my contacts by pressing a button. Unfortunately, that does NOT work with Galaxy S4 and it's really irritating me. Honda has no solution but when I called SAMSUNG, they recommended I go to a Best Buy and have them upgrade the operating system on my Galaxy S4 which should repair the problem.
    Has anybody else tried this?
    07-29-2015 09:14 AM
  10. 1krock1's Avatar
    [BOX]"Technically, the way the law is written in many states, even glancing at a GPS screen while driving is a violation. (It can even be a violation for the screen to be visible to the driver even if you don't look at it.)"[/BOX]

    That isn't remotely true. if that were the case, then vehicle manufacturers wouldn't even create GPS screens on vehicles. The truth is that you may not be allowed to access the screen/GPS menu while driving, but use of the screen is legal in all states. The HDMI shutdown differs in the presumption that you would not be using it for GPS, but other non-driving activity.

    Enabling that function itself would not violate state laws, but could allow you to watch movies which would be in violation. Honda just disables it as a precaution. Nothing nefarious is going on...
    07-30-2015 06:32 PM
  11. Gunnar Forsgren's Avatar
    I would applaud Honda for going the Android route with the Google endeavor of Android Auto.
    Now if Honda opens up to developers contributing this could become high quality.
    So many developers claiming best in the world merits, get high profile assignments and screw up end product customer expectations. Thing is the core apps must be proven and scrutinized well before the cars hit the market to avoid bad responses. Many a cool and worthwhile technology headed for a hard landing due to the launched too early syndrome.
    10-20-2015 03:06 AM
  12. Tim_Mackinnon's Avatar
    I'm in the same boat. As far as the response goes about the screens--that's not entirely true as Honda has side view mirror camera that displays in the centre display and the rear view camera that also displays in the centre. I had iPhone 4S--and Honda, in its own manual states that the quality of the 4S isn't good enough for its system and one must buy a 5 or 6 iPhone. I've read somewhere that if you get someone with an iPhone 5 or 6 and the app to do the first linkage or sync to the system, that you will then be able to use your iPhone 4S or android phone for all the hondalink functions including navigation.
    In terms of the 57% market share comment--it's not a considerations for Honda. You would need a 95% market share to equal the dollar value of the iPhone share (due to price differnece). In addition Apple buyers consume top-brand products and therefore an Apple customer is worth multiples more than a non-apple customer. If you have a friend with an iPhone 5 or 6--give it a try. Goodluck
    12-01-2015 06:25 PM

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