SGS3 Dashboard

Looking for something to replace that lackluster 8-Track, cassette, or CD player that came with your car? Instead of using some goofy adapter or FM transmitter, why not replace the entire unit with a Samsung Galaxy S III?

That was the train of thought for Steve, aka youtube user philstuffs. He had an old JVC head unit that just wasn't cutting it. So instead of spend the money on a stand-alone head unit for his vehicle, he used his trusty SGS3. He modified a standard car charger so the phone charges when the car is on and he hooked up the audio-out from his phone to the amplifier in his trunk. Simple and effective.

Before you get on his case for the phone not being centered, he knows this. He states in his youtube video description that he still needs to come up with a "prettier facia" and is even thinking about using fiberglass. 

What I want to know is: How does he take the phone with him when he leaves the vehicle? From the looks of it, that facia he cooked up is removable, and he can unhook his SGS3 and be on his way. Not the most practical solution. Maybe his final design will be more practical and user friendly.

Would you replace your entire head unit with your smartphone? How do you listen to music from your phone in your car? Let us know in the comments. Video after the break.

via: hackaday source: youtube


Reader comments

Who needs a car head unit when you have a Galaxy S3?


False. Full blast would be a 20in LCD TV + Google TV + 4G tether ;) lol You're really just limited to the size of the hole you can cut in your dash 

20"? why not install a 46" Samsung HDTV inside your vehicle, imagine not even having to pay attention to the road with THAT thing!! even better...

Go with a full 60" curved display to replace the windshield, and use cameras/HUD for everything.

Go Big or Go Home.

If he would have configured a dock some how so when he popped it in it would go into the dock mode..

Did no one else notice that he had another video up that showed that he originally purchased the kindle fire to go in the spot but he didn't want to give it up so he used the Galaxy S III instead. In the other video he says he got an Ipad and was ready to installed the kindle which is actually what he built the wood base for. Ill admit it looks much better with kindle in place of the phone

not sure if i can post a link to XDA in here but i posted my Asus Transformer installation on that site. heres the link. I use my transformer as my radio with tunein and i use power amp as my mp3 player. I left the factory radio installed so i could use the Aux output with the speakers. The reason i did this is cause my radio no longer works on radio stations. The antenna broke off and has to be drilled out or replaced so i just decided to use the tablet. Hopefully later i can find a way to remove the radio and find a bypass for the Aux output. but until then the radio will remain behind the tablet.

Looks and acts like crap. "Shouldn't browse while you drive", actually you shouldn't do anything with this while you drive.

This is very, VERY dangerous. I'm sure this is clever to him, but this is not good. He'd be better off with an MP3 player with physical buttons.

This is my biggest gripe with Android - the lack of functional, SAFE car integration. Touchscreen interfaces in cars are bad. They require that you take your eyes off the road to reach over and touch a button on a flat screen. There's a reason car stereos are made with bulky buttons that are easy to discern by touch once you familiarize yourself with them - so you can operate them without taking your eyes off the road.

This is my biggest gripe with newspapers - the lack of functional, SAFE car integration. No matter what it is, using it in the car is going to be dangerous and distracting.

Maybe he only uses the phone when he's stopped? Just because he CAN browse the net while he drive, doesn't mean he does. This comes down to personal responsibility/accountability, not being babysat by the manufacturers of our products.

What a stupid response. How about just basic track forward/back, track selection, play/stop. I'm sorry but one thing Apple got a head start on was getting car manufacturers to interface with ipod/iphones early on - many cars you buy now interface directly with them and have built in ipod control.

Android not so much. There's hope for USB audio in Jelly Bean, but Apple has a big head start.

Touchscreens are bad in cars, mkay? I want steering wheel controls that work with my phone. Apple has it, Android does not.

Ok that I completely agree with! I obviously misunderstood what you were trying to get across in your first post. My bad ;)

My previous vehicle had an aftermarket Pioneer head unit and I would connect my SGS2 to it over bluetooth. I could skip tracks, pause, mute, etc etc all from the head unit. it was great.

My current car doesn't have bluetooth, so I'm back to using the aux input and using the phone to select songs & what not. Needless to say I miss bluetooth.

Touch screens in cars are *NOT* a bad idea. Bad to use irresponsibly, yes, but not a bad idea in general. News flash, Most newer cars are flocking to the idea of having a touchscreen infotainment center built in. My 2012 has one (admittedly also with steering wheel controls too). Also, My Galaxy Nexus is controlled in my car as well (Via Bluetooth, phone and voice commands).

Get off your high horse and stop praising Apple. Let's see how well Apple interfaces work with the new connector, mkay?

All that glitters isn't Gold, and all that is Gold doesn't glitter . . . .

False. My S3 works perfectly with my Ford sync. Steering wheel controls, music play, pause, texts are read to me, ect. The only stupid comments I saw here are about apple being good. :-)

What a stupid response. How about using any of a plethora of 3rd party apps (like Poweramp) that have lockscreen controls. All you have to do is hit the power button to wake up the phone and hit the onscreen next, play/pause, or back buttons. Takes 2 seconds and is not much harder than changing the radio presets.
Or even better yet, with the same app, enable hardware controls so that a long press on the volume up/down buttons controls the track selection (next/back). Might not be as handy as having steering wheel controls, but again, it's not much harder than reaching the 2 feet in front of you to change the radio presets or pop in a CD.

"many cars you buy now interface directly with them and have built in ipod control" Yeahhhh... IF you have the money to fork over for the cars that have these snazzy interfaces, let alone the USB/iPhone jack itself.

"Touchscreens are bad in cars, mkay?" And yet there are boatloads of car manufacturers making touchscreen media centers. Have been for years. Again I reiterate, what a stupid response.

I just wanted to say that I have integrated my android smartphones into my cars for years. I use pocket copilot or google maps for navigation and the built in music app or google music to play my mp3 play list. I use a motorola stereo bluetooth headset to control the volume up/down, play/pause, next/previous track functions, without erver having to look at the phone. Plus when the phone rings it automatically pauses the music and transfers the call to my bluetooth headset. To get the sound from the phone to the car I can use bluetooth or the aux port on newer cars or I can use a cheap cassette adapter on older cars and plug it into my phones headphone jack. Android also has a built in voice command function that controls audio and can input navigation directions.

For his Galaxy S3 he should be able to use S Voice to control the music and input navigation requests but I have been using primarily HTC phones to accomplish the above. There is also a car mode that puts the music, navigation and phone apps a single touch away with big buttons.

I agree that there needs to be more options for integration of Android with car stereos. I don't know why car companies haven't yet implemented headphone jack control through their steering wheel controls. If a button on a pair of headphones can send a signal to the phone telling it to go forward, pause, or adjust volume, why can't the aux. jack on a car stereo?

That would be a smart way to do it, but even Android phones have been hit or miss with headset controls. One button, two, three buttons? What does that button do, play, pause, next track for two clicks, long hold does what? Again we can use Apple as the standard that 3rd party manufactures can follow just because of the sheer volume of phones sold, but if the car manufacturers decide to follow the iphone standard then they have opted instead for more complete integration with the dock port.

I know this is really old but thought I'd say anyways, if you plug in one of the aux cables with controls from pair of headphones it will work, my beats cable plugged into my iPod or galaxy note 2 and then my head unit will allow me to skip songs and open voice control

Another idiot with a $650 phone and an $800 car.
Save your money next time and step your game up. I've seen better wheels at my junk yard

Sadly, although I would love to disagree with you and give someone the benefit of the doubt that was my first thought. It is really the sort of thing I would expect in a car with a plastic bag & duct tape window and naked woman mud flaps. Personally, I find this being a "news" article here rather embarrassing.

What Scott said... I'd love to see a write up or even a list of hardware components and software used. I've been slowly collecting parts to perform a build almost exactly like this.

Wow. Wow. Brilliant setup. Can you send any build notes as well? I think I need to get a N7 for something like this.

To listen, Bluetooth audio is fairly common these days, so that is an easy one. For charging then, the Galaxy S3 DOES support induction charging, if/when Samsung ever releases it, so that would be a good way to go for this sort of setup, and even something like a custom case/holder for the phone that could be as simple as velcro to hold it in place and still charge would work well.

I just upgraded the stock head unit in my 2004 Dodge Durango. I wanted to mount a nexus 7 but was not ready to custom design a fiber glass inlay and receiver. Instead I bought a a nice double din head unit (JVC KW-XR810 - after market functionality with a clean understated look, so it almost looks stock, did not want a big flashy head unit.) Hardwired a USB charging cable out the back of the head unit which I ran up into the dash where I have the phone (SGSIII) on a nice mount I modified (Arkon). The phone audio (music and call) is connected to the head unit via Bluetooth. All materials (head unit, new dash bezel, mounting bracket, metra kit, USB cable, crimp caps, etc) cost just under $350. Not bad considering I know have fully functional Bluetooth audio, mount and charging. Navigation over the car audio is awesome! Love the idea this guy had but I need to be able to be easily remove my phone when I get to where I am going.

Urghhhhh That kinda ugly in a cheap way "if that makes any sense". I would crash trying to operate my phone below face level.

What a bunch of a holes. Tearing this guy and AC staff a new one because you don't like something some one else did. Tearing apart every negative aspect, bringing other devices into the mix.

Props to this guy for taking some time, and actually doing something, and showing it to the rest of us.

The rest of you no positive feed back, no constructive criticism, and a handful of forum posts can go back to Gizmodo where you negativity is appreciated.

This post is worse then the ones your talking about. This is a public forum and any member can post to a point there own opinions here. Also like you and I what is posted can and normally will get its own response back good or bad. I agree that some of the things said here may have been a bit harsh but Scott responded to them and well I may add. Being in other installs is not a bad think, It gives Scott and others looking at this some more and different ideas. How many stories have you read that didn't include links to other things related or not to the original story.

IMO, I didn't like this setup mainly because the phone is locked in there with no easy access. I feel the same way with the Tablet setup. I want mine to be able to pull out.

I think there is a big difference in respectfully critiquing and voicing opinions and out right bashing. Its the latter the discourages people in sharing their creativity.

If the existing radio has an aux input (most modern ones do), one can a) use it, or b) buy a readily available Bluetooth adapter, and not have the car dashboard look like some sort of redneck dash. It looks about as clean and professional as putting a piece of black tape over a warning light someone does not want to see. BTW, the radio in the video clip did appear to have a rather visible aux input.

This is stupid, he now has ugly double din empty space. It doesn't even go into car dock mode. How did this make the front page of AC?

"why not replace the entire unit with a Samsung Galaxy S III?"
well , maybe because a head unit cost a lot less than a Galaxy S III for a start !

plus , you will have to take the phone out of the car overtime you leave or suffer from a stolen phone & a broken window !

since he already have an AUX cable , he could get one of those Sony Ericsson Bluetooth dongles thingys & connect it to the AUX cable (Check link for an example) , it connects to the phone automatically when its in range , it looks a lot like a Pen so no one will suspect anything at all & you don't have to take your eyes of the road everytime you wanna change the song !

Couple it with PlayerPro , Power AMP or any music player with a lock screen control

It's not a smartphone, but I've been waiting for the Nexus 7 Pogo Pin Dock to hack into my dashboard as a head unit replacement

I've done a similar thing in my car since the g1. Took out a piece of dash and a device less than 5inch fits nice. I currently use an evo LTE in it

Can I say "been had that? " I hooked up my android tablet to my truck and tether internet from my phone. I can also easily remove the tablet. Looks and works great.

I am not smart enough or car technically inclined, but I have wanted to put a Lenovo A1 in my car dash. It does everything that a tablet does, plus it has "offline GPS navigation technology" so it works as a GPS too for free.

I wouldn't do this, what I would do is get one of the new Sony double din
XAV-601BT or XAV-701BT that has mirror link technology that will let you run and control your S3 right threw the radio. That way you have the best of both worlds. I

i just open my ask tray under the radio and connect the phone via tape player and charge it. the way i would do this if i was serious would be with some sort of bluetooth adapter for less cables and nfc stickers [toggle] Currently using tectile in my care to toggle the wifi settings and music volume.

It can be pretty easy to hook your phone up to the sound system. All new vauxhalls have both a USB and AUX input. Works perfectly on my GSII

Recently on vacation my wife put her S3 up in the sunglass holder slot of our Rav4 - the rest of the family got to watch the UF football game live via Dishnet streaming! (I, of course, kept my eyes on the road, but I DID listen in!)

I applaud the innovation and industriousness of the original poster.

Shortly after purchasing our Honda CRV, we noticed the pre-installed stereo had an aux jack. We went and bought an AUX cord, and plugged the phone into the cable. Now we can listen to our phones over the internal speakers in the car, create playlists on the phone, control volume and all that through the stereo. Couldn't ask for more.