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E9X AVIN Android Multimedia System Master Thread

Discussion in 'Interior | Exterior | Audio' started by doublespaces, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    I took a chance and pulled the trigger on this (non-AVIN) unit:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-...ceBeautifyAB=0

    It is a 32G ROM, 2GB model running Android 7.1. Otherwise, appears to be similar/same unit AVIN is selling including the BMW ID6 interface. It's a gamble. Don't know how their support will be. I'll report in when I receive it.
     
  2. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Lieutenant

    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Indiana
    Ride:
    Z4 35is, 535xi, X5 35i
    Seems alright. But like you said about support, will you ever get a fix or update on anything.
     
  3. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    Figured I'd take one for the team on this. I've benefitted so many times from other people serving as guinea pigs...
     
  4. VACust

    VACust Corporal

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    US - Utah
    I need to run the update on mine but so far I’m really not impressed. I’m all for spending the money for quality parts but this wasn’t worth it.
     
  5. Ask92

    Ask92 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Ride:
    335i, Supra, zx6r, f250.
    Well its been almost a solid month with the unit and I just got back from a 1200 mile road trip with the car as well. I seriously don't understand what people are expecting out of this unit. I absolutely love mine. The ability to hook up an external hard drive and watch movies for hours on end with perfect video and audio is worth $500 all by itself. I do still have some small issues here and there and there are some quirks but Jesus Christ it's a million times better than the OEM Idrive. Few questions/comments:

    -I cannot get the clock to work for the life of me. Its such a simple thing but it keeps defaulting to 4pm every time I start the car. Tried all different settings but cant get it to stick. Any ideas?

    -Whenever you go into reverse the music stops, im sure its a safety thing. Any input on how to get around thing?

    -The provided GPS antenna does not seem to work with Google maps. I am going to buy the adapter previously posted and hopefully that will fix the issue.

    But again overall for $500 this thing is well worth it and I would not hesitate to buy it again
     
  6. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    Ok, so I’ve had the Navifly unit installed now for a couple weeks. Overall, for the cost of an OEM-look Android head unit, I’m very satisfied. By no means is it perfect, but it’s very good. My notes and takeaways are below. I do not cover things that have been covered widely with other Android units, like how to get into the system settings and changes to make there. If you have questions about those things or anything else, just ask. I did not take a lot of pictures, so if you need any, let me know.
    Device specs –
    • Navifly e90 Android 8.8 iDrive:
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New...1OecrDP&transAbTest=ae803_1&priceBeautifyAB=0
    • Android 7.1.1
    • 32G ROM, 2GB
    • BMW ID6 interface
    Android_HU.jpg
    • Price: Note, as of 7/20/18, the price has gone up substantially. I bought this unit for $380. I can't attest to other units with similar specs from different sellers, but suspect they're going to be similar/same
    OEM environment:
    • 2008 BMW E90 6MT
    • CCC IDrive system
    • Logic 7 Surround Sound
    Installation notes:
    • Items Installed:
    o
    Navifly head unit
    o Rear view camera
    o USB hub
    o Carplay USB dongle
    o USB extension in armrest​
    • Backup camera:
    I ran a backup camera while installing the unit, mostly because I could. It has been useful for tight parallel parking situation. The main trick I had to figure out was the wiring. Here is the camera I used (this was also cheaper when I bought it):
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CJSQ0QS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    After a lot of trial and error, I was able to get this to work as follows:
    There are two red wires on either end of the camera video cable. Connect the red wire at the head unit side of the cable to the +12v wire coming from the head unit wire harness. Do not connect the other red wire to anything
    From the OEM tail light wire harness, connect the black ground wire for the camera to the brown wire and connect another ~20-foot long wire (you will need to supply this wire) to the blue/black wire on the tail light harness (see photo below).
    The new wire and the camera’s RCA video cable then need to be routed to the front of the car to the head unit. I routed these behind the trunk liner on the passenger side, under the back seat, under the interior kick panels, etc.
    This wire connects to the “360 camera det” wire coming from the head unit harness. This threw me off because I don’t have OEM 360 cameras. Doesn’t matter.
    It works great now. Comes on when I shift into reverse (I have a 6MT, btw) and provides dynamic parking lines as I turn the wheel.
    I did not need to install a relay to account for any voltage drop in the tail light reverse signal.
    e90_CCC_rear_camera_wiring.jpg
    • Installation of USB and video input into glovebox:
    I routed the two USB inputs and video input cables into the glovebox for easy access. I decided I would not be using the video output connections and routed those behind the stereo.
    • Difficulty fitting harnesses behind stereo and display:
    One of the chief frustrations installing the unit is that the main harness and all its various branches could be 2-4 inches longer in every direction. I eventually was able to get everything routed and all pieces installed cleanly, but not without a lot of effort
    • Grounding wire behind display:
    IMG_6084.jpg
    Bolted to the back of the display unit was a black wire. I suspected this was a grounding wire, but as there was no documentation, had to confirm with the seller. He confirmed it was a grounding wire intended to cut out any static/RF signal noise. When the OEM amp is not muted and nothing is playing on the Android side, there is a bit of static/hum noise. It’s very important to note, if any audio is playing, the noise goes away completely. If you mute the head unit, the noise goes away completely, too.
    I tested with and without the ground wire. I found connecting it reduced the buzz slightly. As noted, though, it’s not really an issue for me, because it’s not there when something is playing or audio is muted
    • Powered USB hub:
    I elected to install a 4-port, DC-powered USB hub. You could feasibly achieve this with a lighter socket USB hub, but I chose to go the hardwired route. This is the hub I used:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NDU37A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    It looks like it is out of stock now, but I chose this unit because it’s circuitry is designed for the power environment of a car. It also has a jumper on the board you can switch to enable the unit to turn off when accessory power is removed, 5 minutes after accessory power is removed or 25 minutes after.
    I installed this in the glovebox, connecting it to one of the head unit’s USB inputs. The head unit recognizes all devices plugged into the unit, which means I can have more than 2 USB devices connected at once. It also ensures that power-hungry USB devices get enough power.
    • Carplay dongle:
    In my other cars, I have been using Carplay for a couple years. Whatever you may feel about Apple and iPhones, I find it to be a convenient, user-friendly system. The CarPlay dongle I’m using is:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075B7T4W2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    This works remarkably well with the Android unit. Note, it is supposed to also be compatible with Android Auto, but I don’t have an Android phone to test that.
    For anyone who has used Carplay, this works the same as any other unit. I have the head unit “Navigation” option in the ID6 menu set to launch this app. “Hey Siri” work great.
    The only gripes I have are that the iDrive knob (CCC) can be used to rotate through various elements on the CarPlay app, but the iDrive button cannot select them, so it’s a touch or voice only system. Additionally, the track change steering wheel controls do not work with this unit, and if you press them, it switches to the “Music” app in Android and switches tracks there. The CarPlay unit does not seem able to hijack focus from the underlying Android system.
    The other gripe is that there is a splash screen asking permission to use the app every time you open it. I’ve read this can be resolved by making the app a “system” app and not a “user” app, but I haven’t explored that yet.
    • USB extension in armrest:
    I used a USB extension cable I had lying around to run into the armrest from the glovebox for easy access. I found it easiest to do this by pulling the center console trim, pulling the little rubber mat in the arm rest and fishing it through there.
    Operation notes –
    • Sound quality overall
    Probably the piece people are most interested in. Note: this is in a CCC iDrive system with Logic 7.
    The sound quality is excellent. Using any of the wired sources – Music app from USB thumb drive, Video app from USB thumb drive, Carplay music – it’s as good or better than the OEM side. Using Bluetooth, it is only minimally inferior to the wired sources. On par with the Tune2Air device I was using previously, which also uses the factory AUX IN port.
    • JB4 app works great, but not able to connect via JB4 Bluetooth kit.
    After much experimenting and troubleshooting with the vendor and the JB4 Connect app maker, I’ve concluded that this unit will not connect to the JB$ Bluetooth Connect Kit. It is a BLE (Bluetooth low energy) device and the unit simply can’t see it.
    I have the unit connected to the JB4 using the USB wire connection and the app works great on the Android unit.
    • Noise interference
    As referenced above, when the unit is not mute and no audio source is playing, there is a low buzz/hum of static interference. It is completely absent when any audio is playing and, therefore, a non-issue in my opinion.
    • System speed
    I did not have one of the AVIN or similar 4.4 units to compare with, but I find the interface, app loading, etc. to be very smooth with a couple exceptions:
    Occasionally, when Android is loading something in the background or accepting incoming emails, etc. the unit will stutter for a second. I turned off a number of Google services yesterday, which might help. Haven’t had enough road time to test.
    System start time – I’m still working on this. Initially, load time from key start was 1-minute+. Yesterday, I installed the “Startup Manager” app in the Play store and blocked a number of user and system apps from loading at startup. That has cut the time to about 45 seconds. I’m hoping to get that down further.
    It’s important to note that the backup camera comes on 90% of the time even while the system is starting up. Not sure why it doesn’t come the other 10% of the time.
    • iDrive vs. touch
    IDrive works for much of the control, but not all. Go into this treating it like a touch system. If you’re hoping to control everything with the iDrive controller, you will be disappointed.
    That said, I initially thought the screen was too far away to be an effective touch system, but it’s really not.
    • Apps tested and working. Notes on each are for exceptions and oddities.
    o JB4 Mobile – cannot be used with Bluetooth connect kit, only with wired USB.
    o Carplay – iDrive and steering wheel controls not usable.
    o Netflix – works with full functionality, however, appears letterboxed. If you use the Netflix control to enlarge the screen, it gets larger, then when the play controls tuck away after a few seconds, leaves a strange black box at the bottom of the screen.
    o DirectvNow – The app loaded the first time for me with a distorted splash screen and no clear way to get past it. Lots of tapping all over the screen got rid of it for me. Not sure how to replicate. Has not come back since.
    o HBOGO
    o Startup Manager​
    • Other notes
    o
    Your audio app of choice will play in the background as you navigate to/use other apps unless that app is an audio app. So, I can play music in Carplay or from Bluetooth or from USB and navigate to and use, say, the JB4 app. I can have the JB4 app up and music will continue to play in the background.
    o I wish there was a way to pull up the app switcher using iDrive. This may be possible with a CIC controller?
    o The screen is excellent and a huge upgrade from the stock CCC screen. It does catch some glare, but nothing that has restricted use for me. In fact, it’s better by far than the Kenwood Carplay units I have in two other cars.
    o I have not tested the Torque app because I’m using the JB4 app
    o Video looks great and plays smoothly from a thumb drive​
     
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  7. BOosted 335i

    BOosted 335i Corporal

    Messages:
    132
    Ride:
    E90 BMW 335i
    Can you do live logging with jb4 onto Avin screen,also can you show gauges like from MHD onto the Avin screen.
     
  8. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    Yes, you have full JB4 app functionality including live logging. The JB4 app lets you display 6 gauges of your choice from the ~30+ parameters.
     
  9. tony@codewerx

    [email protected] Specialist Vendor

    Messages:
    58
    Ride:
    E92
    Has anyone tried it with a retrofitted CIC with an emulator ?
     
  10. MattGu40

    MattGu40 Lurker

    Messages:
    13
    Ride:
    335xi FBO
    Looking at option, sick of cable running all over the dashboard, phone launching off its mount/ tilting. would appreciate Android headunit for maps, reverse camera and Jb4/mhd.

    I would like to retain OEM Hands free call quality. and not destroy the sound quality.
    Not sure if my headunit have the fiber optic cable. (options bellow)

    02/09 pre lci e92
    option
    Non IDRIVE, S752A Individual audio system, S6FLA USB/Audio interface , S663A Radio BMW Professional, S8SPA Control unit COP

    Thanks
     
  11. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    According to this article, it's not entirely clear to me if you have the optical cable or not: https://smartworldcompany.com/how-to-identify-the-type-of-car-radio-head-unit-in-my-bmw/

    I have been using the carplay dongle for calls. I have not heard it myself, but judging by my calls with other people, it's functional, but not as good as OEM. I can't compare this to the built-in bluetooth, but imagine it's the same. The built-in microphone, just can't be as good as an external mic. Unfortunately, there is no way to plug in an external mic. Annoying, because they sent me one with the unit.

    In my setup, the music audio quality is excellent.
     
  12. Kavpool

    Kavpool New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Ride:
    Bmw 325i se 2007 e93
    Screenshot_20180807-014906_eBay.jpg My car had the ccc in it and I've fitted the avin head unit. Would the i drive touch controller work with this? Would be great for navigating the mouse pointer
     
  13. myLilTurbo

    myLilTurbo New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Ride:
    E90xi
    Great review, great contribution, thank you. I am thinking of picking up something like this, and you got me thinking about the JB4 bluetooth connectivity and potentially other bluetooth devices; being that it looks like BLE devices are not compatible with the chipset, maybe a bluetooth hub would work.
     
  14. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    It is supposed to be a direct swap depending on the manufacture date of your car. I have one on the way to me and will be testing this exact functionality. Just note, the eBay link you provided is for a controller from an F10 unit. I don't know if those are swappable with the CCC unit from an e9x series.
     
  15. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    Thanks. As you'll see in my write-up, I'm actually using a DC-powered USB hub. The hub works pretty well with the Android unit able to enumerate all OTG devices connected to the hub. This is how I have the JB4 connected (using the USB cable from the JB4) and it works well.
     
  16. Kavpool

    Kavpool New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Ride:
    Bmw 325i se 2007 e93
    Hi again folks . I've just fitted a cic controller with my ccc and all it does is light up. My car is a June 2007 325i e93. The part number of the control is 65829267955 and it has the MEDIA button on rather then the CD button. Hope someone can help me please?
     
  17. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Lieutenant

    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Indiana
    Ride:
    Z4 35is, 535xi, X5 35i
    If you are going to be troubleshooting getting the iDrive controller to work, create a new thread for it.
     
  18. Toddyus

    Toddyus New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Ride:
    08 BMW 335xi, 03 Boxster S
    Search the threads at e90post. I'm fairly certain based on your build date that the CIC controller is not direct plug and play, but can be used with some coding. I just fitted a CIC controller today on my 05/08 build date e90 and it works with no coding.
     
  19. aus335iguy

    aus335iguy Lieutenant

    Messages:
    692
    Ride:
    335i DCT 2009
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