Android Automotive OS on a Tablet
At Snapp Automotive we believe that AAOS offers car manufacturers an easy way to add premium features to their vehicles that can be further enhanced by third-party applications, so, today we’re making available a set of build instructions and prebuilt-images which will allow developers to run Android Automotive OS 11 (AAOS), and test their apps, on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e.
We believe that making this available to developers will help move the AAOS ecosystem forwards by giving them an inexpensive hardware platform which can be easily placed into any car and used on the move (with, of course, all appropriate precautions taken to ensure the the vehicle is controlled in a safe manner).
The S5e has a number of benefits over the other platforms we’ve made available; It’s a relatively cheap tablet, it’s portable, it contains a GPS unit which supports location based application, and it has an LTE variant which supports apps that use connectivity when on the move. This makes it the ideal platform for developers to test their apps whilst being driven around different environments to see how there applications respond in conditions such as areas with poor connectivity, or moving quickly which makes accurate location more difficult.
The build we are making available is an “eng” build of AAOS which gives developers a number of benefits; USB debugging is enabled by default, it provides direct access to a privileged account via the adb utility, and the level of logging by the OS is increased. These features allow developers to easily debug apps that start up when the device boots as well as allowing them to get a deeper insight into what AAOS is doing while their application is running. We would not advocate this build being deployed to customers because the increased logging overhead, the reduced security, and the lack of optimisations which come from using an eng build makes in unsuitable for consumer use.
Using our AAOS firmware images
We have built on the amazing work done by the folks at the Lineage project. The Lineage project provides an open source version of Android for various devices, many of which, like the Tab S5e, are from manufacturers who don’t openly support custom builds for their devices. The Lineage project have an existing, working, build of Android 11 for the Tab S5e and so we built upon their work.
The benefit of building on their work is that developers can follow the same instructions to install our AAOS build image that have been tried and tested by many users to install the official Lineage build. This allows any developer with a Tab S5e to get up and running with our AAOS build quickly.
Building your own build.
We’ve provided instructions in our GitHub repository which takes you through the process of making your own build. It currently involves a number of manual steps, and we are in the process of offering our changes to the Lineage project to reduce the amount of work involved.
My tablet rebooted right after installing this build! Is it broken?
This is expected. After an initial reboot the device will start with the AAOS launcher visible.
My LTE connection isn’t working out of the box. How do I fix it?
Go into the Settings app, Go to System, then Reset Options, then “Reset network”, then follow the prompts.
Why is this in portrait mode?
There are two reasons for this; Firstly the tablet, by default, boots in portrait mode. We’re currently upstreaming our changes to Lineage and so we want to keep the codebase as close to theirs as possible. Secondly manufacturers produce cars use portrait mode (e.g. Volvo), and so we feel there’s some value in giving developers a portrait experience.
As we further develop this solution we will offer a landscape mode.
We’re you inspired by this Reddit post?
We’d already started working on getting AAOS on the S5e before that post was made, but it was great to see what we were trying to achieve was possible and that others were interested in AAOS on a tablet.