There are plenty of options to consider when it comes to using an Android tablet in a car. For many it seems a popular choice is the Nexus 7 and in fact we have been seeing these types of setups since the tablet was originally announced back in the summer of 2012. Some of the initial points to consider will likely be whether this tablet will be mounted in-dash or on a dock and how the power and stereo connections will be made.
A quick Google search for Nexus 7 and just about any car make and model year will provide at least a few examples. Some of these are highly integrated in the car. We have seen some that have made sure the tablet is powered, connecting with the car over Bluetooth and integrated to the point where the controls on the steering wheel can control the volume on the tablet. The obvious catch with this, that will take either lots of knowledge and work, or lots of money to pay someone to get it done.
There are however still some options for those looking to do this a bit more affordably. We discovered one such setup while searching around on Google+ earlier today. It comes by way of Søren Siim Nielsen, who offered some details on his personal in-car Nexus 7 setup. Nielsen is using a cellular connected model Nexus 7, which certainly helps in terms of using maps for navigation and when it comes to streaming. He happens to be using a mount from Brodit with TuneIn Radio Pro for streaming music.
On the flip side, those using a WiFi only model Nexus 7 still have some options available. Aside from tethering to a smartphone for connectivity, there are offline maps apps such as CoPilot Live and even music apps such as Slacker Radio that will let you cache stations.
Anyway, while TuneIn Radio Pro for music and Google Maps for navigation is keeping things on the basic side, he does take this all a bit further and brings in the use of Tasker, NFC tags and even ties this all in with a connection to his Nexus 4 over Bluetooth. Nielsen has said he uses a Parrot hands free kit for voice calls and the phone connects over Bluetooth. The interesting aspect here is the use of an app called Tablet Talk, which essentially has the Nexus 7 acting as a remote for the Nexus 4.
Part of the thought here was to have him be able to get in the car and have the audio and navigation ready to go. And to further that, by using Tablet Talk and connecting everything with Bluetooth, he doesn’t even have to remember to remove his Nexus 4 from his pocket. And one item that many may not have necessarily thought of, Nielsen suggests adding an anti-glare film over the display. Bottom line here, if you are looking to integrate a Nexus 7 into your car and want to have it remain easily available for use outside the car — this is a good first stop for ideas. And those who may have already done this, we would love to see your setups.