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Looking for a skin for Android headunit (larger miniplayer, larger fonts and buttons)


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I'm using Aurora skin on my smartphone. It's perfect for me. Recently I bought an Android headunit with 9" screen. Aurora is also ok there but some things are still not so good.

The current track screen is quite ok. The text could be a bit larger (it's still the max size), also the buttons:

Poweramp_skin_2.thumb.jpg.5e02dac571bd1da84f486065796c7977.jpg

 

The album screen needs some improvements. The buttons in the top left are overlapping. The miniplayer is way too small. Also the buttons should be larger. The screen could also be changed at all: album cover at left side and track list at the right side. Also the bottom button bar could be larger.

Poweramp_skin_1.thumb.jpg.e234929c48d1a3d896e2260e26057d07.jpg

 

Is there any skin which could change these options? I tried some but none could change the miniplayer size. Or a special "car skin"? I didn't find any. The car mode in YAPS is not the solution I'm looking for.

 

 

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Android Auto is no option. I want to use the headunit and not the phone. The headunit has also built-in 4G and can handle everything by itself. And I don't want to plug the cable every time. 

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@Nevyn miniplayer size has not come up before but can be looked at of course.  you can set the text size for track and album/artist separately,resize the library texts too.

As it so happens, I am currently working on providing an option to hide albumart in the library headers as well as moving the ovrlapping text towards the middle.

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This topic seems rather timely, since I have the same need and was the one who asked @flyingdutchman for the changes he mentions.  He released a new version of $yaps$, which I'm currently experimenting with.

The option to hide albumart in the library headers works great, though I don't seem to be able to get rid of the albumart on the current playing screen if I have Car Mode selected in the $yaps$ options.

The option for moving the overlapping text works well until you run into a long artist name because you can only shift the fields over by a fixed number of pixels.  There's nothing that restricts the length of the field that remains on the left.  Unless there's a way to either limit the width of the field on the left or to have the other fields start where the left field ends, this is going to remain an issue.

Regarding running Android Auto directly on the head unit, I can confirm that works on mine without a need to connect an Android device with a USB cable.  It just runs the Android Auto user interfaces for the supported apps directly on the unit.  In order to install the Android Auto app itself, you might have to download the Android Auto APK and install it manually rather than through the Google Play store as it most likely won't show up in the store.  The only issue I have encountered with this approach, and it's a bit of a showstopper, is that the Android Auto app gets totally confused over which apps to show when you tap the Music or Navigation button to switch apps.  Sometimes it works great, and sometimes it displays only a list of Music or only a list of Navigation apps no matter which button you press.  I have seen this behavior running it on my Samsung S8, a prior Android head unit in my car, and the current Android head unit in my car.  If this issue gets fixed within the Android Auto app, it would really be the perfect solution for these Android head units because it would give you the safest user interface for driving for all of the apps you install on the head unit that support Android Auto (including things like Google Maps and Waze).

It would also be nice if apps like Poweramp would include a skin that provides the same user interface you get in Android Auto.  I would think that a person who knows what they're doing with skins could probably create one and I know I'd be willing to buy such a skin.

Edited by greynolds
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18 minutes ago, flyingdutchman said:

@greynolds no idea what Android Auto ui looks like so feel free to send me some screenshots.

Android Auto can be downloaded as an app on any device, and other apps operate within its simplistic interface. The buttons on the right are placed below the main interface in my car, but the idea is similar:

image.png

 

Andre

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1 hour ago, greynolds said:

Regarding running Android Auto directly on the head unit, I can confirm that works on mine without a need to connect an Android device with a USB cable. 

It doesn't work on my headunit. And I don't like Android Auto. I'm using a car launcher which is way better than the Android Auto home screen. 

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4 hours ago, Nevyn said:

It doesn't work on my headunit. And I don't like Android Auto. I'm using a car launcher which is way better than the Android Auto home screen. 

I don't exactly love Android Auto either and my unit has a decent car launcher as well.  But it's hard to argue the safety factor of an Android Auto / Apple CarPlay user interface when driving versus a normal application user interface.  IMO, Apple CarPlay provides a much nicer looking user interface in general.  My Android unit actually gives me wireless CarPlay, which is really convenient, but I really like having the option to use apps directly on the Android unit itself as you clearly do as well.

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5 hours ago, flyingdutchman said:

@greynolds no idea what Android Auto ui looks like so feel free to send me some screenshots.

For the Android Auto UI, here are some more screenshots:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/htEZWyeuagJtgE3UA

These are captured from Android Auto running on my Samsung S8 because it's a lot easier to get screenshots (I have to take photos of the Android screen in my car as I'm not aware of a way to take screenshots with it), but it's very similar.  In the car, the playing now page is a bit different as it shows the coverart next to the text instead of using it as a background.  The column of controls on the right side are Android Auto interface buttons for (top to bottom): select a music app, bring up the phone UI, select a navigation app, and go back (this will go back to a main Android Auto page).  The UI definitely isn't as nice as Apple CarPlay IMO, but it's nice and simple with large, easy to read, fonts, and a limited number of buttons and other distractions.  The button with the blue background on the bottom right section of the Poweramp UI jumps to the now playing screen.  The left arrow in the upper left goes back a page within the Poweramp app.  One thing I would definitely change on a custom skin that implements something very close to the Android Auto skin is the ability to customize the background color and button colors of the play controls section of the playing now screen as something other than a white background would probably look classier.  The ability to optionally include some of the other controls would be nice too, for users who want something a bit closer to the full Poweramp experience, but still want something really clean for use while in the car.  If you have interest in taking this to the next step of either implementing an entirely new skin or making $yaps$ further customizable so it can get really close to this, I'd be happy to supply you with additional screenshots and commentary on how everything works.  You have my email address, so feel free to reach out.

Quote

To hide albumart in Car Mode, simply select Hide  > Albumart

We can pursue this further in our email thread if you'd like, but I do have Look and Feel > Skin > $Yaps$ Skin Settings > Main User Interface > Hide > Albumart enabled, but still get the albumart on the background:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/pFWDrpCxAqoG6KU3A

If I set Landscape Options to Poweramp default, I have a solid black background.  But with either Car Mode or Reflected Layout selected, I get the albumart background like shown in the screenshot.

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8 hours ago, flyingdutchman said:

@greynolds you need to switch off album blur too 

@flyingdutchman that Album Blur setting only works for me when Landscape Mode is set to Poweramp default.  When it is set to Car Mode or Reflected Layout, the Album Blur setting makes no difference for me.  I confirmed by turning the Album Blur setting on and off with all 3 Landscape modes.

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@flyingdutchman I've been taking a closer look at the $yaps$ skin versus the Android Auto interface and I'm wondering if a relatively small list of changes / additional configuration options might be possible that would get us the cleaner Android Auto type interface that's desired without a total rewrite.  Some of these suggestions may already be possible...

Main library page:

  • Center the title
  • Change title to: "Poweramp Library"
  • Allow the page background color to be set
  • Allow the title background color to be set

Category Page (ie: Album Artists):

  • Add an option to remove the text from the go back button (so remove "Library" from it).  This change across the pages is super important for everything else to work since the length of the text is variable.
  • Move the category icon so that it's next to the category name rather than left justified and center the combination of the icon and text
  • Move the title to the same row as the go back button to save vertical space
  • Allow the page background color to be set
  • Allow the title background color to be set

Artist Page:

  • Add an option to remove the text from the go back button (so remove "Album Artists" from it)
  • Move the title (ie: "The Alan Parsons Project" ) to the same row as the go back button to save vertical space
  • Use separate background color options for the go back button and the category name fields (currently "Dialog, icons background Color" affects both).

Album Page:

  • Add an option to remove the text from the go back button (so remove "The Alan Parsons Project" from it).
  • Horizontally center the artist name field
  • Horizontally center the album name field
  • Add an option to remove the artist name from the page
  • The album name should be on the same row as the go back button
  • Use separate background color options for the go back button and the album/artist name fields (currently "Dialog, icons background Color" affects both).

Now playing page

  • Move the current track name and artist / album name rows up a bit and/or move the playback buttons down a bit as they currently interfere with each other a bit.
  • Make the album art blur option work

With the exception of the album art blur option, I've attached screenshots showing what I envision most of these changes looking like.  The font for the "title" text on each page should be consistent from page to page and I would probably opt for matching the text on the sample category page.

Page 1 - Library Categories.jpg

Page 2 - Category.jpg

Page 3 - Artist.jpg

Page 4 - Album.jpg

Page 5 - Now Playing.jpg

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@greynolds thank you for all the work you have put in. I found the library screens quite difficult to manipulate but will take some of the common ideas on board. eg centering, hiding labels.For example, whilst working on the previous suggestion to move the text, I was not able to centre those labels so ended up by setting left margins . Neither waas I able to align their bottoms and alongside eachother. I will experiment some more.

As for album blur on/off, this  now works for all the screens where it is applicable.

 Consistency,  colours, all the colour, background colours etc are available in both reflected and car mode layout so the look and feel is totally up to the user

below some screenshots with randomly chosen colours and a gradient waveseek which takes its colours from the navbar background (middle) and app background(top and bottom)

image.png.e84e5c58b689873145a97d54e4b9dd9f.png

image.png.5139b4a4381d79a9fd4005d433f87af0.png

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Sounds good!

The work I did was manipulating the layout in Photoshop, where the skin can be customized to do pretty much literally anything.  Back in the real world, a somewhat different solution may be the final destination.

A few thoughts on priorities and such:

  • While centering the text as in the screenshots I made would be really nice, the left margin solution would probably work pretty well if the back button were an icon of static size, so that's really the key change there.
  • It would be really desirable to be able to set the background of the back button separately from the other fields such that buttons that do something and text labels can look more distinctly different.
  • Moving the category icon and moving that icon/text combination up to the same "row" as the back button to gain some vertical space would be nice, but not absolutely necessary
  • It's understood that you're ultimately limited by what the skin engine supports and you know better than I do what the limitations are.
Edited by greynolds
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