Samsung’s Galaxy Upcycling Program helps repurpose and prolong the life of old devices. The South Korean tech giant recently gave us a glimpse of how people can turn their old Galaxy smartphone into a baby monitor. However, one person is set to achieve far greater things than that by converting their old Galaxy Tab S5e into a full-fledged Android Automotive head unit with support for Android Auto.
Esper’s Senior Technical Editor, Mishaal Rehman, demonstrated a Galaxy Tab S5e running the vanilla version of Android Automotive OS. It is Google’s full-fledged operating system for car infotainment units. Along with running Android Automotive, the modded tablet also supports Android Auto, which means you can sync it with your smartphone.
Step 1: Build Android Automotive 12L for the Tab S5e ✅
Step 2: Integrate Google Automotive Services ❌
Step 3: Get Android Auto Receiver working ❌ pic.twitter.com/7Rs3x6vvp9
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) September 9, 2022
Although things are looking good from the pictures, there are plenty of bugs that need to be ironed out. For starters, the location access is unstable, and Google Maps is susceptible to crashes. The profile setup is faulty, and the weather widget isn’t showing any data. There’s also a message on the screen which says, “pre-production hardware not for sale.”
Mishaal seems to be pretty serious about this project as he intends to bring Android Automotive to more devices, making it possible for people to repurpose their old tablets and give them a new life. A Twitter user asked Mishaal if he considered offering a generic system image (GSI), which is basically one version of Android that can be run on various devices and is often used for beta testing, to which he replied, “Hopefully.”
I've turned a Galaxy Tab S5e into an Android Automotive head unit with Android Auto support👀 https://t.co/AZN9Xm5qX7 pic.twitter.com/SjKhMMlDBm
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) September 13, 2022
Another device that the Mishaal is looking to tinker with is the Spotify CarThing, which does nothing more than offer you control over Spotify’s music playback. Mishaal plans to modify it to run Android Automotive, which can give it a new breath of life.