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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I completed the install of a Parrot Asteroid Smart stereo. It's an android based touch screen head unit. Think Android tablet meets car stereo. The installation is really no different than any other in the JK. Speaker wires, two power wires, ground, and the steering wheel control interface.

The device will work with no data connection like any other stereo. AM/FM, internal storage, and can store music on an SD card or flash drive. It can stream music and telephone over bluetooth. It has a GPS navigation app that comes with it, or you can download Tom Tom. It has backup camera functionality built in, but I haven't installed a camera yet. It also has a video input for other video sources.

Now the cool shit you can do since it is an android device. Anything you can do with an Android tablet, you can do with this. It has WiFi built in. And if you plug in a USB air card, you can have 3g/4g data. If you have a MiFi device or your phone can turn into a hot spot, you can have it that way too. Which means, live dash mounted Waze or Google Maps. You can use the data connection to make calls via Skype or Google Hangouts. All the usuals like mail, facebook, twitter, etc. Live weather. I can even control my drone with it. Any android app for your phone or tablet, you can put on this.

Much like a Kindle, it comes with it's own app store. You can root it and install Google everything in a few minutes.




 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes. I rooted it, installed google services, etc.

And yes, you can now have Wrangler Forum in-dash!
 

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A friend and I have been wanting to do this in our jeeps for a long time now, I didn't know there was a viable solution on the market! Does it use the steering wheel controls? Or if not, is there at least wiring for them so one could program the stereo to react to the steering wheel controls (tasker)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After using it for a few days, I'll follow up on those points:

I bought the appropriate list of parts to integrate the steering wheel controls. Reading comments, it appeared people had gotten it to work but it was kinda finicky. And they're right. It doesn't respond to the button pushes consistently. And the real problem... the volume runs away. Push volume up or down and sometimes it will hang and keep pushing the volume up or down until you hit the button again. The other buttons are equally as unreliable. Basically, I've written steering wheel control off as unusuable. I can't tell if the issue is in the adapter or the Asteroid. But there is no other adapter, and nothing for Tasker to intercept.

The only other way to adjust the volume is a bunch of touch screen slider adjustments. This is not practical while driving. So I just ordered this USB volume knob (www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ANRRZCG/). I will mount this somewhere on the dash to control the volume. Even if the SWC worked properly, I've been finding it very annoying to not have a traditional knob. I like knob.

I will update this when I get it installed. The volume thing has been a sticking point in a lot of the reviews.
 

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After using it for a few days, I'll follow up on those points:

I bought the appropriate list of parts to integrate the steering wheel controls. Reading comments, it appeared people had gotten it to work but it was kinda finicky. And they're right. It doesn't respond to the button pushes consistently. And the real problem... the volume runs away. Push volume up or down and sometimes it will hang and keep pushing the volume up or down until you hit the button again. The other buttons are equally as unreliable. Basically, I've written steering wheel control off as unusuable. I can't tell if the issue is in the adapter or the Asteroid. But there is no other adapter, and nothing for Tasker to intercept.

The only other way to adjust the volume is a bunch of touch screen slider adjustments. This is not practical while driving. So I just ordered this USB volume knob (www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ANRRZCG/). I will mount this somewhere on the dash to control the volume. Even if the SWC worked properly, I've been finding it very annoying to not have a traditional knob. I like knob.

I will update this when I get it installed. The volume thing has been a sticking point in a lot of the reviews.
Thanks for the follow-up! The volume thing makes sense, I have a similar problem with IR remote apps and my stereo. That kind of sucks, but I guess I can't complain too much... Do you have the Alpine stereo with the subwoofer in back? Also, does the face of it come out and just act like a tablet? Or is it non-removable? I have a bad habit of overworking android devices and rendering them unusable within 2 years, and I don't want to install something that is going to be painfully obsolete in a year...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No alpine/sub for me. It is not removable. This device does not have the horsepower of a modern tablet or phone. It hasn't gotten a hardware or OS update since inception. Just some firmware updates. It runs Gingerbread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep. I knew all that going in thankfully. It runs 2.3 (Gingerbread) and certainly isn't going to see any updates. Clearly all their R&D is going into that wild RNB6 system. The decision to go with something like this really needs to be mission driven and know it's limitations.

If you're looking for a high performance Android device, this is not it. It is older hardware, an older OS, and has rather limited internal memory. It performs like device from it's era would have and was not designed for wild use.

If you're an audiophile looking for precision high quality sound, this is not it. You're not going to get $1000+ worth of audio quality out of a $500 head unit. It's way better than the factory POS. But understand you're getting $500 worth of sound, not $1000.

If you need a CD/DVD player, this does not have one. Does anyone still use CDs though??

I wanted a head unit better than the stock POS (430 with no uConnect). I wanted better sound quality and better AM/FM reception. I require high quality Bluetooth connectivity with my phone (GS4). I wanted navigation. Any other features would be an added bonus. And I wanted to pay no more than $500-$600. No traditional head units met all those requirements for the price. They were all $700-$1000.

The Asteroid met all those requirements at $500. The fact that it's android and can do all these other things is an added bonus. It was an easy decision since I love Android and Google runs my entire life already as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: This thing sucks.

It is slow as hell, to the point of being unreliable at a lot of basic functions. It takes about a minute to boot completely. At least twice a week it boot-loops for like 5 minutes. Due to being stuck with 2.3, lots of apps don't work and aren't available. Frankly trying to keep the thing doing what I want is distracting.

All in all, a waste of $500, and a waste of my time.

I just bought this and am anxiously awaiting it's arrival.
6 2" Android 4 4 Car DVD GPS Stereo WiFi 1 6GHz for Jeep Wrangler Dodge Journey | eBay
 

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That sucks, man. Thanks for guinea pigging it for us and doing a write-up! You may have spent $500, but you may have saved several people from making the same mistake, so it wasn't totally wasted if it helps...

Either keep this thread posted with the new one or link us to the new write up, I'm intrigued!
 

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Honestly this is exactly what I figured would happen with this unit and why I immediately wrote it off after looking in to it. Let us know how the new one works out. I generally tend to be a little leery of those generic Chinese head units but you never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Another member on here has this one on eBay and loves it so far. It runs KitKat and has all the high performance specs of a decent tablet. It also has the backup camera separate from the OS so it comes on immediately, even if the devices is still booting. I interogated him about all the things I hate about mine and this thing covers it all. I think I'll be very content.

I think it may actually be the same as the Insane Audio one advertised on the forum?
 

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I've been thinking of getting something like this...but prefer a plug n play system in case something gets whacked during rooting. I hated Gingerbread with a passion...which is why I have a Nexus 5 w/ Lollipop... So I'll just stick with the bluetooth connection for now (when it decides to work)

But I wonder if you can root it with a different OS like Cyanogen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Parrot shitbox can be rooted very easily. I did it 10 minutes after installing it. But it doesn't change the fact that many modern apps simply aren't compatible with Gingerbread anymore. For example, I'm stuck with Google Maps version 6.x which doesn't even have track-up orientation.

There are no other Roms compatible with it unfortunately. So you're stuck with what you get.
 

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I know it stings having sunk $$ into a unit. I can sympathize. If you want to look at another Android based unit, I have the JK1001 from InsaneAudio and love it! It's on KitKat, gets regular software updates from the company and they give AMAZING support. It is pricey, but so far I love it. Pretty quick (they didn't cheap out on the HW) and super fun to customize with whatever app you care about.

Their nav app is great. I also installed BackcountryNavigator as well as c:geo for geocaching.

The steering wheel buttons work, etc. I can't say enough good things about it so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Honestly I think this thing might be the exact same as Insane's JK1001, just without the branding. That is precisely what I want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's fine if it's not identical. I don't need it to be.
 
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