A Nexus 7 dash-mount that is beautifully simple

We've already seen how you can tear things apart and use some fancy wiring to install a Nexus 7 into the dash of a Dodge Ram, but some of us aren't interested in something that permanent. Also, some of us can't get permission from the wife, but that's another story. For us, the folks SoundMan Car Audio in Santa Clarita, CA. have a method that looks just as sleek, is removable, and involves no wiring or other permanent modification to your expensive vehicle. 

Android Central member Nightline happens to work with the fellows at SoundMan, loves his Nexus 7, and has a 2011 Ford Focus Edge he didn't want to modify too heavily. There's no wiring, everything is connected via Bluetooth, and the magnetic mount looks beautiful and completely OEM. Granted, it's a little more involved than using duct tape and bailing twine, but it's something a dedicated DIY-er or modder would have a lot of fun doing, and the end result is certainly worth it. Check out the video after the break.

Source: Android Central forums. Thanks, Nightline!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • This is amazing. Especially the fact it doesnt interfere with the already in-dash system. Kudos!
  • **Ford Edge.
  • the only downside is no charging while using, but it's got a great battery life, so I doubt that'd be that much of an issue. I guess it would be if you were going on a cross country trip.
  • I agree, I travel from VA to Ohio a bunch and it is between 7 1/2 and 9 hours depending on city...the entire time I am using my mounted Bionic to run GPS to find best gas prices, iheart radio for music/sports talk, and off line podcasts when I am in the mountains. Even my awesome N7 would not be able to make it thru all that on one charge.
  • That's why every mobile device should have a port configuration that provides audio line out and power in. The lack of a standard for this is one of the biggest failings of Android devices. Actually, you can add Apple to the list of failures, since they ruined their dock connector with the new pathetic one.
  • Watch all the distractards jump in with how cool this is to add more distraction to our highways.
  • Get a life...
  • Kewl. While that is really neat, seems like picking a car without a factory touchscreen already present would make more sense. Plus, no charging is a drag.
  • Sorry guys, but that's a '11 + Ford Edge in the picture above , The Focus have a different dashboard ! Unless they fabricated a Ford Edge dashboard into a Ford Focus ! In that case Kudos to em for doing a fine work Edit : I checked the link & Its indeed a 2011 Ford Edge* * Most likely an SEL Trim
  • Im not sure but does the Nexus 7 have built in GPS without wifi? and i wonder if they could put this in my mercedes...
  • GPS, yes, updated traffic and other Maps-related services, no. You can pre-cache maps data for the area you'll be in, at least.
  • or you can just tether right up to your Android phone and enjoy the larger and easier to manage display of the tablet.. works great!
  • It would be nice if they had shown the Nexus being used through the sound system. Also, I'm not exactly sure if those small slits on the corners would hold it steadily in place while the car is moving.
  • My thought exactly, while watching the end of the video, all I could envision was a hard stop and a Nexus 7 flying gracefully through the air to a backseat demise.
  • Huh? When you stop a car the contents (occupants, electronics, etc) are propelled *forward* relative to your motion.
  • I wonder how this thing would hold up if you were to stop short. Would the N7 fall out or would those magnets even be able to hold. Either way, great idea an implementation. Makes me want to buy an N7 and Ford Edge just to use it...lol
  • Why would the tablet fly BACKWARD if you were stopping? It would be pressed INTO the dashboard.
  • Wow, simple elegant dash mount. I just don't see the need for a dash mount for the N7 especially mainly because the N7 doesn't have data. The only purpose would be is to listen to stored music and videos for passengers sitting in the back. No wireless data on N7 really cripple its potential to be good in-dash system. For cars with BT, a phone would be better.
    Some of you may reply, well, I can tether. Yes, but it still doesn't change the fact that N7 lack wireless data that could really make it shine in the portable entertainment department.
  • What about a Mifi?
  • Works well on my Huawei5830 Mifi
  • Hey there guys, glad you all like the setup, its working extremely well. Just to answer some questions.. Yes, it is a 2011 Ford Edge, I tweeted that correction to Jerry. As for charging, for me its not a big deal because my longest trip would probably be to Las Vegas, but if I absolutely had to plug in a cable I could use a straight or angled adapter just fine, but the cable would not be hidden.. again, as we thought about the design for this particular install, I asked them to do it that way. These guys do great work, so if someone wanted it done with power run to it, they could definitely do it. As for seeing it real action, we release a new show called Amplified! every Monday at youtube.com/soundmancaraudio. Its a great show and actually pretty funny.. some consider it the Diggnation of Car Audio! If you are into this stuff, definitely subscribe and check it out! The show for 8/13/12 (Amplified #70) will show more about this install. As icebike said, yes, I am sure there will be plenty talking about the distractions of having a tablet that offers more than your standard Navigation system, all I can say to that is if you are going to do this, you need to be responsible in using it. KTMKTM, believe it or note, even though the areas to actually keep it in place are low, it actually is perfectly snug in place. There is just enough tension to hold it in place for any normal driving, and the Nexus 7 easily lifts out of place with 2 fingers. Now for off-roading, well maybe a fully enclosed option would work. :)
  • It looks great & the installation\fab. Looks completely stock (big bonus in my book) I've a question though, do u keep it mounted all the time ? Or you remove it every time you leave the car? (I.e. to the Supermarket)
  • looks awesome. I hope they do some other cars (or double din kits)I would 100% buy one for my ride
  • Nightline - would he make another one of these or where can I purchase one?
  • Looks great !
  • Very smart
  • Friedchicken, I definitely see your point here, it would be nice if the Nexus had cellular, and I would just add it to my Verizon everything plan, maybe the next model will. For now, since I do have the share everything plan with 8GB data, I just turn on the MIFI that I have, or if I don't have the MiFi on me, I turn on the hotspot on my Galaxy III. Before getting the Nexus 7, I was just using the Galaxy III, but its nice to have something eye level. The My Ford Touch system is nice, but I love the ability to use Waze (Los Angeles Traffic) and/or Google Navigation. IceDree, Yes, I remove it when I leave the vehicle. If I am going somewhere where I don't really need it on my person, then I will just securely hide it away in the vehicle.
  • Anyone know whybon a Nexus 7, normal browser do i only see a black screen but with sound?
  • Love it!
  • That's awesome, from one installer to another
  • Unlike the fella who fabricated custom 1~2 inch deep bezel into a Dodge, this guy realizes the needed access to the Nexus 7. The Dodge install covered the camera, the light sensor, and the physical buttons (although button functions can be remapped). I think this vehicle install is brilliant; all features can be easily accessed and the tablet can easily detach. Brilliant. I am easily able to tether my mobile data to my Nexus 7.
  • Both look really clean.
    Personally i like how it was done in the dodge more, even though both could be stolen the in dash option is more of a deterrent because it looks stock not just a tablet in a cradle. Although in the dodge if you couldn't access the physical buttons how do you wake the device up? On the Nexus 7 the front camera would be useless because it will definitely be positioned in a awkward way, the light sensor could POSSIBLY be helpful in night time but I always have auto brightness turned off especially with a in car screen you would want it max brightness during the day and minimum brightness at night & on Auto it doesn't work like that.
  • I've really having high hopes for ASUS' original dock for the Nexus 7 as a basis for an in-car installation. The combination of pogo-pins for easy removal, usb-charging and line-out-audio seems to be just what I need. http://www.androidcentral.com/nexus-7-accessory-lineup-leaks-pogo-dock-a...
  • I'm not ready to give up my carputer for a tablet, but this is a very nice setup.
  • Gotta say.... looks like this tablet has arrived. People are taking an interest and doing things around it the way they did for the ipad. Good job by those folks.
  • It looks great, but I would worry about the heat from the stock unit behind the Nexus. That can't be good for the battery or the screen.
  • so much potential for the future. they could make this a standard radio/navigation for vehicles to replace horribly designed UI touch screens, but have it still be removable and have an actual dock that charges the device. then have the device stream through the micro USB and potential have the cars with built-in hotspot that can connect to any carrier (for a price of course)
  • I recently installed a Metra dash kit on my 2012 Ford Focus, allowing me to mount a Sony XAV-64BT. While the Sony is great, and even has Android compatible Pandora integration via Bluetooth, I'd love to do something similar to what Nightline has done with this Nexus 7 mount. I'll have to check out the dimensions of the Metra double-din space to see what I can come up with.
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  • Instead of the cumbersome, shittily engineered, and OS-specific "integration" that car makers are struggling to put into their vehicles, they should be doing exactly this: Making space in their dash designs for a simple tray with changeable inserts for the major phone and tablet models. They should take audio in, provide power to the device, and maybe a mic connection for hands-free calls. Done. People can continue to use the OS and applications of their choice, instead of the cheeseball, hokey "infotainment" systems fielded by car vendors. Sadly one of the biggest impediments to this is the inexplicable failure of so many devices to provide audio line out. Seriously, who is carrying an iPod around separately from his phone anymore? Music playback is one of the primary functions of a mobile device now, but it's as if manufacturers are oblivious to this. Even Apple cluelessly REMOVED audio line out from iOS devices when it introduced its pitifully bad new dock connector. Android vendors need to get it together and establish a standard port configuration that integrates audio line out and USB, and put it on the BOTTOM of every phone for applications just like this.
  • Has anybody tried this software? It can do most of the bits for in car dash installation. I have built it. "Customize iT" https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... You can find it easily in play store though as well.
  • Your link to the "soundman" is wrong. Doug can be found at http://www.soundmanca.com/