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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed the official AA in my 2015 Mazda 3 at the end of September. After using AA for a month I disabled it and have been using the stock Mazda interface.

I love my car, but the infotainment system drives me crazy (What I would give for dedicated audio source buttons). I was really hoping AA would make the infotainment system less infuriating, but that hasn't been the case.

I do like the ability to use google maps for navigation and "Google Now" works much better than the default voice recognition, but that's about it. Many of my gripes don't have anything to do with the software itself.

I typically use a USB adapter in the 12V socket to charge my phone. With AA the phone must be connected to the USB port in the Hub. This creates a couple problems. First, unlike the 12V adapter, if the car is off the USB cable won't charge. Second, if you're connected to the USB Hub the phone demands that you start AA otherwise your phone is unusable. It's ridiculous. If I have to wait in my car for any period of time I cannot charge and use my phone at the same time.

AA isn't fully integrated with the rest of the car. If I want to use the radio or XM I have to back out of AA and use the default Mazda interface.

If I press the Music button and one of the music apps are not already running, it bounces me back to the Mazda interface.

The fact the AA is actually running off my phone and I have to physically connect my phone to run AA in the car is annoying. It would be great if there was a way to physically hardwire a dedicated Android device without requiring a separate line of service for the device.


In general, I find myself taking my eyes off the road more often and for longer periods of time when using AA. AA would be so much better if the touchscreen wasn't disabled. I can place my finger on the screen more quickly than tracking a highlighted button with my eyes and going back and forth with the command knob. I've heard there is a serial port hack that can enable the touch screen. Maybe if I implement that AA would be more tolerable.
 

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That has been my experience with Android Auto in several rental cars. In most of them there was never a way to use the vehicle interface to choose a destination. I could select a previous destination, but not a new one, so I would have to back out of AA, use the phone to enter the destination, restart AA, and then choose it as a previous destination. I actually found that using AA I was far more distracted than just using the phone. On a Chrysler 300 I rented I had to back out of AA on the vehicle interface so that I could turn off the heated seats which uses the 8" info screen for that function.

I find the OEM interface in the Mazda to be easier to use once you get used to properly annunciating voice commands.
 

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Waze (at least on iOS, don’t know the Android version) allows choosing the destination with keyboard and doesn’t rely on voice only like Google and Apple Maps.
 

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The email I received from Mazda Connect states that AA could be connected via bluetooth or USB whilst CP can only be connected via USB. Is this not the case?

Sid
 

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A few points:

1. You can connect your phone to the other (non-AA/CP) USB port on the hub and then the phone won't show the AA startup screen and is thus fully usable.

2. Even with the AA startup screen after connecting via USB, the phone is not "unusable". You can tap on the phone screen, which brings up the status bar and the buttons at the bottom, so you can, for instance, switch to other running apps, without having to start AA on the Mazda display. But yeah, I don't know why Google made it that way, considering that once you do start AA on the car side, you can swipe the black AA screen on the phone away and use the phone without restrictions. It's inconsistent. A bit of history, BTW: when AA first came out, you couldn't swipe it away.

3. The music button brings up the screen corresponding to the currently selected audio source. If you are listening to the radio, it brings up the Mazda audio screen. If you are listening to something over AA, it brings up the AA audio screen. I'm quite sure that's deliberate and personally I like that it works that way.

4. There is currently no way to enable touch in the official AA. The serial hack simply preserves the touch functionality of the Mazda screen when you speed up over 6mph (or whatever it is). It does not magically enable touch in applications that don't have it even when stationary (as is the case with the official AA, but not with the AIO AA).

As to the USB/BT connection with AA/CP, brought up by another poster. The original AA requires both USB and BT. CP apparently only needs USB. The AIO AA, BTW, does not require BT (other than, possibly, for phone calls), and it also has experimental support for connection over WiFi rather than USB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1. You can connect your phone to the other (non-AA/CP) USB port on the hub and then the phone won't show the AA startup screen and is thus fully usable.
Yes, but the USB hub is not powered unless the car is on. I can't sit in my car and charge my phone unless the car is on.

2. Even with the AA startup screen after connecting via USB, the phone is not "unusable". You can tap on the phone screen, which brings up the status bar and the buttons at the bottom, so you can, for instance, switch to other running apps, without having to start AA on the Mazda display. But yeah, I don't know why Google made it that way, considering that once you do start AA on the car side, you can swipe the black AA screen on the phone away and use the phone without restrictions. It's inconsistent. A bit of history, BTW: when AA first came out, you couldn't swipe it away.


There are two screens. The green screen on the left shows up if you plug in the phone to the USB Hub and AA is not running. This screen cannot be swiped away. You have to start AA first in order to bring up the black screen on the right. The black screen can be swiped away, but the the phone aggressively tries to get back to the black screen. So, if I want to charge my phone with the cable connected to the USB Hub, I have to turn the car on (or ACC) and then start AA just so I can back out of it.

3. The music button brings up the screen corresponding to the currently selected audio source. If you are listening to the radio, it brings up the Mazda audio screen. If you are listening to something over AA, it brings up the AA audio screen. I'm quite sure that's deliberate and personally I like that it works that way.
AA seems to want to restart the last audio that was playing and this isn't always successful. If I was listening to google play or an podcast, AA doesn't always jump back into that application. Until I manually start up a music app, pressing the music button at the command knob backs me out of AA to the Mazda screen.

4. There is currently no way to enable touch in the official AA. The serial hack simply preserves the touch functionality of the Mazda screen when you speed up over 6mph (or whatever it is). It does not magically enable touch in applications that don't have it even when stationary (as is the case with the official AA, but not with the AIO AA).
That's a bummer.
 

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Inside the center console by your shoulder... I plugged a 12v USB port into it and the red LED remains on when the car is off. I didnt like it, I usually unplug it. I really dont want some china made USB port receiving power while I am not in the car... if its going to decide one day to fry my battery or melt let it burn with me in the car so I got a chance to stop it.

I also agree with AA being extremely distracting with its inconsistency.

For me - while playing music via spotify the screen would just disappear and go black... music would still play but what a drab feeling that is... the view of a blank screen in the center of the dash taking up all that space.
I would need to hit the power button on my cellphone and it would come back.. or it would come back to a half screen of black and the 5 round icons on the bottom: useless.
I did elect to have "larger images" of music covers. Maybe thats the problem.

I usually switch over to the speedometer app just so something is functional while the music plays.

Also at random the spotify music seems to just lose volume at random and then come back. I swear I wasnt touching anything, and twice it has happened.

Google maps - good grief, works great. Next day terrible with no rhyme or reason. I live out in the country there is nothing blocking. Wase, installed it but Im just not to into it. Looks like a cartoon.

Pandora and spotify seemed to be locked into a battle for supremacy till I disabled auto start of Pandora.

Any of you youtubers feel like posting a consistant video of this AA working in a Mazda 3 from start to finish... go for it.
 

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Yes, but the USB hub is not powered unless the car is on. I can't sit in my car and charge my phone unless the car is on.
Am I missing something here? How long do you sit in your car...while you are on a stakeout or stalking the old girlfriend? It would get quite lonely without a little bit of music or A/C. And of course who would leave their phone connected while they are not in the car? I used to live in San Francisco where there are 35,000 car break ins a year and getting worse each year. Yes folks, 100 car break ins a day in a city 1/10th the size of NYC and well publicized by the police to the criminals, since the police have their hands tied to do anything about it.
 

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There are two screens. The green screen on the left shows up if you plug in the phone to the USB Hub and AA is not running. This screen cannot be swiped away.
Yes, I know which screen you meant. On my phone at least (Sony Xperia, Android 8.0) I *can* get out of it... sort of. If I swipe from the top, or maybe if I tap on the screen (sorry, I can't quite remember and I'm away from my car until Friday), the regular status bar shows up on top and the regular buttons at the bottom. So I can then tap on the Overview (right) button and switch to any other recent app. I agree it's far from perfect, but it's better than nothing.

You have to start AA first in order to bring up the black screen on the right. The black screen can be swiped away, but the the phone aggressively tries to get back to the black screen.
On my phone the black screen is simply tied to the Home (center) button. So long as I don't press it, it does not reappear.
 

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Thanks for your review. I called my local dealer's service department to get scheduled for the upgrade and was told that it was not yet available. Maybe in 6 months.
 

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I'm having the same issue with the new AA....what a waste of $$. Hopefully the tech savvy guys here will figure out something.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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That has been my experience with Android Auto in several rental cars. In most of them there was never a way to use the vehicle interface to choose a destination. I could select a previous destination, but not a new one, so I would have to back out of AA, use the phone to enter the destination, restart AA, and then choose it as a previous destination. I actually found that using AA I was far more distracted than just using the phone. On a Chrysler 300 I rented I had to back out of AA on the vehicle interface so that I could turn off the heated seats which uses the 8" info screen for that function.

I find the OEM interface in the Mazda to be easier to use once you get used to properly annunciating voice commands.
The idea is that you use voice commands to set your destination. "OK Google - Navigate to [address]"
 

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I may be stating something obvious that most of you know, but you can toggle between the AA and Mazda Connect screens by holding down the home button on the Commander knob. When I am driving to/from work, I like to use the Waze screen, but listen to NPR on the radio.
 
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