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Discussion Starter #1
So I’ve had the Grom VLine VL2 since Christmas on my 2015 EX-L and been using it for almost two months now.

In summary, it’s been a love-hate relationship, but we’ve been getting along lately. So I can recommend it... but with a good number of caveats.

Installation
Installation is easy and can be quick depending on how anal and careful you want to be. There are a few videos on youtube that show you how to remove the stereo (here and here) which you'll need to do in order to install the Grom harness. Spend a couple of dollars on a plastic trim removal tool. Take your time and don't break anything.

The factory USB port will be unplugged during the install. So if you want to keep its functionality, make sure you order the USB retention cable. I ended up installing 2 USB ports to replace the factory port which are connected directly to the VLine. It was pain. I wouldn't do it again. I may run one of those ports to a high wattage power adapter directly wired to the fuse box later (for faster charging).

The tray is removed because I'm installing a wireless charger in there so I can just drop the phone inside and have it charge. Fun fact - some wireless chargers interfere with your phone's GPS. So test it thoroughly before you install it permanently (learn from my mistake... it was all working well until I really needed navigation and the map would just not refresh/sync up until I removed the phone from the charger).

I also ordered their AV cable so that I could attach a front facing camera. I hardwired it into an unused fuse connected to ACC. Meaning, when you turn on the car, the camera powers on and the unit automatically changes to that input... which is nice because you'll likely only using the camera when you're moving out of a space. To go back to the camera, just click on one of the icons in the Android OS. I've been thinking of also hardwiring the camera a switch so I can easily turn the camera on when needed and the unit will automatically change to the camera when that happens.

The unit takes up some space in the glovebox. I suppose you could put this somewhere else but I like to have it handy in case I need to reboot it :rolleyes:



Interface
You're basically buying a computer running Android OS with custom software to make CarPlay work. CarPlay can work wirelessly or via a USB connection. You can use the Android OS independently from CarPlay and can install apps from the Google Play Store. To connect to the internet you'd have to run a hotspot on your phone and connect to it via WiFi. You can fire up a web browser and browse the internet (why would you want to) and you can install apps like Hulu, CBS (will be Paramount+), Spectrum TV, etc to watch TV and movies. Netflix will not work because this device is not Google Play Protect certified. Eh... you won't, and shouldn't be, watching TV while you're driving, but it's cool to use when parked for a while or when the kids are driving you nuts.


The Apple CarPlay icon turns green when it connects to your phone. There's an "app" that will change the AV input to your RCA or HDMI input.




CarPlay works off of WiFi and it will drain your phone's battery quickly. You'll need to plug in your phone if you go on a longer drive.

Updates
Software updates are done "over the air" so it's really easy to keep the OS up to date. Note though, take care to read the changelog and do not update unless you need to. If it ain't broke... don't fix it. Don't be an early adopter or you'll risk running into issues.

Support
Their support team seems small. I picture no more than 3 people working at the company. That's fine, it doesn't scare me. They've been responsive and when I ran into issues their updates eventually fixed things.

Caveats
1. I wouldn't install this unless you're tech savvy and willing to deal with some bugs... and you also have about $620 to burn. I justified this because we did not opt for the Honda Nav system. It's almost there but not really fool proof. Once it works, it works... but you'll run into issues here and there. The unit will lock up sometimes and you'll need to unplug it to reboot it.

2. You'll have to deal with quirks and find workarounds. You'll need a wireless keyboard to easily navigate through the Android OS. Not all apps in the Play Store work well and easily but with some patience you'll get them to work.

3. The unit does not turn off. It will go into deep sleep mode after an hour. They claim it won't drain your battery. I would use caution. I just had my battery replaced a few months before I installed the unit and haven't had any issues.

4. Support is responsive but they have had issues with Bluetooth. Bluetooth is required for CarPlay to initiate the connection after which it uses WiFi. It's fixed now but one of the updates they pushed out rendered CarPlay useless, even over a USB cable. Use caution when updating. Don't rush to update to the latest and greatest software update.


Bottom line, if you have the money and patience, get it. It's fun and useful. However, it's not for the novice user who just wants something to work and not deal with quirks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Question, is this touch screen supported or using the dial / knob?
It works on the top monitor/screen which is not touch. You use the knob to navigate around. When you’re outside of interfaces that are simplistic, like CarPlay, a “mouse” works best.

I have a couple of those keyboards you linked. They come in handy.
 
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