Samsung’s Galaxy upcycling program helps repurpose old devices and extend their lifespan. Samsung recently showed how people can turn old Galaxy smartphones into baby monitors. However, converting old Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e tablets into Android Auto-enabled and full-fledged Android Automotive in-car hosts is now a reality as well.
Esper senior technical editor Mishaal Rehman showed off the Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e tablet running the regular version of Android Automotive OS, Google’s proven operating system for automotive infotainment units. In addition to running Android Automotive, the modified tablet also supports Android Auto, which means it can also be synced with a smartphone.
Although things look good from the pictures, there are still a lot of bugs to work out. For tasters, location access is unstable and Google Maps tends to crash. Profiles are set up incorrectly and the weather widget doesn’t show any data. There is also a message on the screen that says “pre-production hardware not for sale”.
Michael seems to be very serious about this project, as he intends to bring Android Automotive to more devices so that people can repurpose their old tablets and give them a new lease on life. One Twitter user asked Mishaal if he was considering offering a generic system image (GSI) — which is basically a version of Android that can run on a variety of devices, usually for beta testing — and he replied, “I hope so. “
Another device Mishaal is looking at is Spotify CarThing, which allows users to control Spotify music playback, and which Mishaal plans to modify to run Android Automotive to breathe new life into.