CarDroid: A mini-PC that replaces Android Auto with over US$150,000 in crowdfunding
The CarDroid is something of an intriguing proposition. The device has been launched on Indiegogo, where it has received over HKD$1,264,488 (~US$163,106) in crowdfunding from 1,556 backers. The CarDroid starts at HKD$573 and supposedly can replace Android Auto with a full version of Android 9.0 Pie. Effectively, the CarDroid is an Android 9.0 Pie mini-PC, albeit one that has a USB Type-A connection on the end of it.
CarDroid Innovations is offering its device with a quad-core or octa-core processor, although it has not stated which chipset it has included. Both editions have ARM Cortex-A53 cores, which has led CNX Software to speculates that the quad-core edition has an Amlogic S905X2 and the octa-core an Amlogic S912. The quad-core model also comes with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. By contrast, the octa-core version has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage at its disposal. Both models feature Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity, along with a built-in microphone.
The CarDroid is only compatible with wired Android Auto head units, not wireless ones. Hence, the device would be incompatible with newer BMWs. Ultimately, CarDroid will only be useful for those that have a car with an Android Auto-capable head unit, but want the added flexibility of Android 9.0 Pie, instead. The CarDroid Forums reveal that the Google Play Store will not necessarily come pre-loaded on the CarDroid though, which would be a severe limitation for the machine. Apparently, it will be possible to sideload APKs onto the CarDroid, but it unclear how that will be possible.