Pioneer-AVH-4100NEX-Android-Auto-AH-4

Android Auto: Third-Party ROMs are not a Good Idea

August 14, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Back in the day, you know when Android was pretty ugly. Around the Froyo era. Most of us were flashing ROMs to get a better experience on Android. But now that Android has grown up, we don’t really need custom ROMs. This past week, Android Auto start getting custom ROMs, specifically, Pioneer head units started to get them. So now you can essentially run a custom ROM on your head unit for Android Auto. Which sounds cool as heck. But think about it. Remember how buggy some of these ROMs were, and are? You don’t want that when you’re driving. Imagine driving down the freeway at 70MPH and some bug has killed Google Maps, or stopped your head unit from being able to find a GPS signal. And you try to fix it while driving. That’s pretty dangerous.

Sure custom ROMs can enable all kinds of features in these Pioneer head units. But there is a reason why these features are not already accessible with the Android Auto that Google ships. It’s for safety reasons. Google doesn’t want you getting into an accident because you’re fiddling with your Android Auto unit while driving. Perhaps more importantly, they don’t want to be responsible.

Custom ROMs are coming, but we’d strongly urge everyone to stay away from them. I know they can be exciting, especially since Android Auto is still pretty new. But it’s definitely a good idea to stay away from them. Last thing you want to do is to brick your $500+ head unit from Pioneer. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has bricked a smartphone before, although these days that’s pretty tough to do.

Android Auto is a really cool product from Google. The fact that you can plug in your phone and run Google Maps, stream music and even reply to text messages without really looking at the screen in your car, it’s a big deal. And we’re going to be seeing plenty more apps coming out for Android Auto real soon. I for one, cannot wait for that to happen.