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Andrew Dodd
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So, after trying to figure out why my new headunit can't see my phone, I eventually found someone on XDA who linked to the current Android CDD.

Google decided to deprecate AOA 2.0 audio and remove it in 8.0 - as in, what every single automotive headunit manufacturer had chosen to use for interfacing with Android devices in units not capable of Android Auto due to not having a display. Because of this, the functionality silently started disappearing in 7.x and not even Google's customer support was aware of it (as evidenced by the numerous unanswered questions as to why Pixels weren't working with people's headunits on Google's product support forums).

FU Google.
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So after my recent misadventures with Sony's not-so-nice USB stack modifications, and my previous phone showing obvious signs of old age, it was time to get something newer.

I'm starting to regret my decision. These are my first impressions after 24 hours with a Moto Z2 Play:
1) I really miss having a notification/charge status LED. You don't realize how nice it is until it's gone.
2) Moto's answer to this seems to be a crippled version of the "Smart Display" that people praised on the original Moto X. This can't be called smart, Dumb Display just randomly decides when it wants to turn on. There's no way to configure its behavior. Most importantly, it's almost always off when the phone is lying down on a flat surface - no way to know if there's a notification without picking up the phone, hoping maybe it tells you something, and unlocking it if it doesn't. If this is even remotely similar to what people actually praised back when the first X was released - what is wrong with them???
3) The aforementioned Dumb Display means you can't use Smart Lock/Trusted Devices. Yes, they're available in settings, but if you enable Smart Lock/Trusted Devices, you know own the King of the Pocket Dial. I've had my phone pocket-text/pocket-dial/phantom-open-apps/randomly activate Google Assistant more times in the past 24 hours than in 24+ months of owning the Xperia Z5 Premium. Killing Trusted Devices off has helped here. This reminds me of why I've never been supportive of idiocy like Double Tap to Wake/Tap To Wake/Swipe To Wake.
4) At least the fingerprint sensor works reasonably well, mitigating 3
5) It's completely NOT seen at all by a Kenwood KDC-X702 car headunit. At least the Sony caused it to spit out a "device unresponsive" error.
6) Does not come with at least a basic backshell that prevents the camera lens from sticking out to get damaged...
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So I haven't been active at all on G+ for quite some time... I really need to fix that.

Those of you with Sony phones running stock firmware - have you figured out a way to get Android Open Accessory support to work? My Z5P appears NOT to support AOA. (no appropriate USB VIDs are seen when plugging it into a PC) It also seems to have some restrictions/changes in the Bluetooth stack that break Pioneer's ARC app.

In addition they've apparently mangled the USB mode selection sufficiently that it does not prompt when connected to a Pioneer DEH-S6010BS headunit.

End result is:
Pioneer gives an Error 19 no matter how I configure it if I try to use any form of USB connectivity (MTP or AOA 2.0 in combination with Pioneer's ARC app)
Pioneer ARC app is unable to establish a Bluetooth connection with the headunit

BT audio at least works, but there's a LOT of functionality in this HU that is missing with the Sony.

I've been thinking on and off of upgrading phones for quite a while, my device is showing its age (battery performance including charge rate reduced due to age, etc.) and maybe it's time to get a Moto Z2 Play unless someone knows how to get this Sony to play nice with a Pioneer HU. I used to praise Sony for their stock firmwares being a fairly minimal customization over stock Android, but I never really used advanced USB device functionality - and THAT seems to have been severely mangled to the point where Sony completely removed capabilities standard in newer versions of Android.
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Found my first (and last) Huawei device buried under other junk while cleaning as I move. Off to electronics recycling for the worst Android device I have ever owned.
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OK, so apparently, Cyngn, after their original business model completely collapsed, needed to figure out what to do with their piles of investor money other than wasting it on crazy parties and overpriced office space.

Their choice? Industrial automation (One of their listed position openings is for someone versed in SLAM - for open-road driving, the buzz is HD Mapping because you've already got a rock-solid localization solution 99% of the time - if you're doing SLAM you're doing indoor mapping and localization, if you're doing indoor mapping/localization you're doing industrial automation.)

This is a market chock full of established players with actual shipping products. Yes, the barrier to entry is far lower (autonomous vehicles in a controlled industrial environment are FAR easier than autonomous automotive applications, but trust me, once you start deploying product in real installations you realize it isn't ACTUALLY that easy...), but because of that - good luck entering it with 0 experience in the market.

I know of startups with <5 employees with more experience in the industry (AND established strategic partnerships) than Cyngn.

What also hurts them is that McMaster is still involved - who carries a proven track record of failure/being batshit insane.

No Kirt, you failed to put a bullet in Google's head with Android, and I can tell just from your job openings that you won't be putting a bullet in Waymo's head either.

Also - dude, stop following me from industry to industry. It's getting annoying. It's like you WANT me to be able to constantly laugh at your incompetence!
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Signs a company is TOTALLY screwed:

You can't even pay the people who manage your website to update it to be consistent with your company's new direction and your blog posts.

https://cyngn.com/cyanogen-os

"Cyanogen backs the largest open source Android developer community in the world. We're all working together to create some of the most advanced customization, performance, and security technology available anywhere."

Also note that every product listed on their homepage is dead and EOL.

Edit: Swapped words for "new company" - meant "company's new direction" not "new company's direction - Cyngn is not new, but their direction is.
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OK lazyplus:

What are your favorite alarm clock apps?

Alarm Clock Plus has not been updated since September 2014, and it appears based on my experience and reviews that it needs an update to play nice with the power management capabilities of Android 6.0 and newer - as in since updating my Sonys to Marshmallow, alarms in ACP never trigger reliably.
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First day at new job.

Just new employee orientation, but getting a good feeling so far.
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I really wish Google Play would allow you to put formatting in reviews.

It's impossible to write a review that consists of anything but a textwall.
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