Google is working on its own in-car Android experience that's only just now starting to trickle into vehicles. The downside is that it's going to cost you either the price of a new car or something in the vicinity of $1,000. Some folks would prefer something cheaper, more hands-on, if you will. This one guy has taken to Reddit to show off the experience he's managed to throw together in his Toyota Prius using a 2013 Nexus 7.
Let's point out the obvious first. No, the hardware isn't as smooth as Android Auto. The Nexus 7 covers up some of the vehicle's buttons, and the charging cable is clearly visible. Also, the driver utilizes a mouse—yes, a mouse—to interact with the tablet. It just sits there, awkwardly attached to his already awkwardly shaped Prius dash.
Nonetheless, the software experience looks pretty solid. The driver has large icons that he can tap or open with the mouse. Apps also respond to both input methods, with the more commonly used tasks assigned to mouse buttons or gestures. The driver can also activate voice commands at any time. The video shows off what is a decently slick Spotify and navigation experience.
The tinkerer used Timur's latest custom kernel to get USB-OTG and charging to work. He also had Tasker automate ways to deal with powerless, change screen brightness depending on sunrise/sunset, and the like.
Would I want this setup in my car? Nah. But the guy definitely gets points for creativity. And I'm sure more than a few folks would prefer to throw together something like this than hand over a small fortune for a new head unit.