Android app to read notifications on the NG4

This unit is the NG4 system, made by Harman Becker.
Main Features: DVD, Voice Commands, HighRes Display, 3D Mapping, Bluetooth Hands Free, Independent Phone with MDS Module, SD Card, USB, Jukebox.

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nico06
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Joined: 28 Nov 2018, 16:52

Android app to read notifications on the NG4

Post by nico06 » 30 Nov 2018, 15:05

Dear All,

As mentioned in this other subject viewtopic.php?t=57430 here is a quick post on my experience searching apps that read on the car speaker notification from my Android phone (a Chinese oukitel-no-name, I am not really into the hype phone). The NG4 seems to have only the bluetooth profiles to act as a phone handsfree / headset. So we cannot play music, read notifications from gps, sms, mail etc. I am not a native English speaker so don't hesitate to correct me !

So my goal was to find an app being able to forward any notifications I am receiving on my phone to the car radio as if it was a phone call, while listening to radio or music. Of course any app that required more permission than necessary or display annoying add is disqualified immediately [-X
But I have nothing against paying for an app that fulfil all criteria above !

First app I tried and bought was ReadIt.ToMe : https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... t.tomefree
=> good one, doing the job for SMS, mails, which is what I wanted initially. I found out later that having also waze notifications would be cool, so I searched for another one.

Second app https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... udiobtplus
=> This is the one I am using currently and will show the details of my configuration.

First of all, you need to have you phone paired with you car. Yeah it is obvious but better saying it anyway !

Now we can run the app and configure it :

1/ here you can manage the service on your phone, and do a quick test to make sure the sound is forwarded to the car
Screenshot_20181130-144026.png
2/ Let's go to the settings
Screenshot_20181130-144031.png
3/ General
Screenshot_20181130-144035.png
Good point for this app is it won't take any phone ressources if there is no bluetooth device connected... and stop the service when the device disconnect.

4/ Notifications
Screenshot_20181130-144044.png
I have added a delay of one sec just to let the phone and the NG4 establish properly the connection before reading the notif.
With application name / title / content it can be a bit verbose, it is up to you :)

5/ Notifications : list of applications
Screenshot_20180209-125853.png
Just tick what application notification will be read on the NG4

6/ Notifications : TTS settings
Screenshot_20181130-144049.png
Sorry for this french screenshot, french ppl drive french cars you know :)
It is not the app itself, but the android parameter for text to speech (TTS). So you modify the voice there.

7/ Advanced
Screenshot_20181130-144100.png
Here I tick the "don't reset SCO" option, otherwise it take ages before the phone is connected to the NG4 ... not really convenient for a GPS app :)


Bonus app : https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... wifi_timer
As you may want to save your phone battery, here is a very simple app that turn on / off bluetooth (and wifi) based on a schedule. So the bluetooth is always on when I go to work (or come back home).

Regards,
Nicolas

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Android app to read notifications on the NG4

Post by GiveMeABreak » 30 Nov 2018, 16:13

Thanks for the update Nicolas. I've also put a bit here as an alternative app for IOS users.

As there will no doubt be Apple users, the AudioBT app is not available for IOS. I did find several other apps that I have tried out including one called Bluetooth Streamer Pro. This works in much the same way using the telephone hands free calling profile. I tried it with Google Maps and it works fine - although if using it, then I can't get any standard audio source to play as it acts as if the phone is connected all the time.

So there are several limitations I have found with these types of apps:

1) If using navigation, you may have to do without music from the NG4 head unit whilst the app is in use.
2) Telephone calls may not come through if the voice instructions for the GPS are being read out at the same time
3) For those looking to stream music from their phones to their head unit in the car that is equipped with a bluetooth hands free call interface only, this protocol will only use mono sound. Therefore it will not be good quality, so is ideal for guidance instructions only - or will stream from any audio source on your phone - but at mono quality.

The Bluetooth Streamer Pro App provides a free trial for 7 days and then is only a couple of £ if it suits your needs, so you can fully try it out first of all. They also do an Android version.
IOS:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audio-o ... ?ls=1&mt=8
Android:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/audio-o ... ?ls=1&mt=8

Of course, with Google maps you can download maps offline for an area you will be travelling to which last for about 15 days before Google will try and update it.

So a solution for those with in-buiilt Sat Nav systems with bluetooth hands free calling systems who have been stitched up by the manufacturer's who have declined to provide further map updates.

Here's an example:

nico06
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Nov 2018, 16:52

Re: Android app to read notifications on the NG4

Post by nico06 » 02 Dec 2018, 09:45

GiveMeABreak wrote:
30 Nov 2018, 16:13
1) If using navigation, you may have to do without music from the NG4 head unit whilst the app is in use.
2) Telephone calls may not come through if the voice instructions for the GPS are being read out at the same time


No issues for me with 1/ ... I can still play music from the NG4 (it was mandatory in app choice). Only issue is, unlike the built-in GPS, the music is not fading out when receiving GPS instructions from the phone. So playing music in town while having Waze running is a bit painfull ... I prefer to stop the music completely :)

For point 2/ with this app, the NG4 is paired with the phone but not always connected / transmitting (don't know how to express it properly). This is why it is possible to listen to music from the NG4 and I never had issue with phone calls either.

BR
Nicolas

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Android app to read notifications on the NG4

Post by GiveMeABreak » 02 Dec 2018, 15:10

It might be Google maps and the App specifically with frequent voice instructions - so may have more or less kept the HF going so no music.

It's at least an alternative if you are desperately in need of Sat Nav though.