Although this page will be updated to cover more topics time, it is launching with information on side loading Apps to the BYD Atto 3 before it gets more difficult following software update 1.5 in May 2023.
Rather than a typical webpaper, this page is really only of interest to owners of BYD vehicles.
The entertainment screen of the Atto 3 and other BYD vehicles runs on a version of Android. Unlike an Android phone, there is no “play” store, so owners cannot just load their own apps that way. On Android phones, another technique is “sideloading” which involves installing the app from an “.apk” file.
An apk file can be downloaded from the web onto the phone, copied onto the phone, or accessed by the phone from a usb memory stick or memory card.
To allow installing an “apk” a setting must be enabled. This is the barrier on Atto 3, that setting cannot be enabled.
Getting around the setting requires initially requires a “workaround”, but once a program like “AppManager” is installed, then no more workarounds are required.
The current best “workaround” for getting enough installed to run AppManager is very simple: A special folder name, and a password. The problem now in later May 2023, is that the password is about to change with the next software update, so either install AppManager or an equivalent now, or it will get a lot harder!
Almost all instructions go further than just AppManager, and advise on how to get a “Play” store equivalent going allowing inalling apps just like on a phone, but that is not urgent. All that must be done before the password changes, is to install and enable AppManger, as this is enough to allow more installs after the password changes.
Systems like Aurora and GBox to give a play store, still requires a way of installing apps just like AppManager, and they can be installed at any time as long as AppManger is still enabled.
The key files are:
- wireless adb switch.apk
Wireless android debug (adb) is needed to enable AppManager, but once AppManager is installed an enabled, any ‘apk’ file can then be installed without further complications.
And here are resources on how to do it.
- Web page explanation on xda forums.
- Helpful video with steps to install Aurora app store to provide future app installation (see note below).
- Sideload Apps Netflix / Firefox / Waze / Prime / Hotstar + Wired Android Auto | BYD ATTO 3
- Atto 3 Apps – Password Changed for 3rd Party App install
My assumption is that people who will be installing 3rd party apps can find out about “apkpure” and other safe places to download virus free “.apk” files to install on Android.
Again, the key files to download to a USB are:
- wireless adb switch.apk
With these two installed and activated, downloaded APKs can later be installed by the file manager found on the Atto 3 under utils. But it may be worthwhile to go further at some point.
Note, the “helpful video” above downloaded then Firefox apk to the USB, and then downloaded Aurora from the web using Firefox, while I downloaded Aurora to the USB, and the installed Firefox using Aurora. as this way, Firefox it may be easier to keep Firefox updated.
Also note, that an empty USB memory stick/card is not required, nor is reformatting and I used exFat and it was fine, but it can take what seems like a minute after inserting the memory stick/card into the USB A port. I say “stick/card” as I used microSD cards in a USB adapter.
Installing a “Play store”.
There several options for downloading over the air (although best done when the car is on wifi). Two main ones are:
- Aurora Store – for downloading apps to the car
- GBox – for a ‘virtual’ android environment and downloading apps to run within GBox on the car.
Aurora store is somewhat simpler, and perhaps the 1st step.
Once Aurora is installed, most other apps including Firefox can and GBox, Waze, A better route planner etc can be added directly to the main system.
Thoughts on software updates BYD could/should make.
Indicated range remaining.
To able to really tell you if you can reach your destination or not, requires accurate traffic weather and terrain information, as well as being able to know your driving patterns and whether you drive slightly under or over the speed.
But they could take the simple path of giving user their own “custom” changeable number for “full battery total highway range figure” or however the user likes to think of it, and you could switch to that reading when on the highway.
ACC / Cruise control.
If already in cruise and having accelerated above the set speed, why not have “up” take the current speed whenever the speed is above the current set speed? This would also provide a workaround for increasing speed by less than 5km.
— more to be added…but comments appreciated