BYD OTA Software updates.
The version number confusion.
One of the first strange things an owner encounters is that although current software included releases that identify themselves as everything from 1.0 thought to 1.6, so far not matter what update s have been installed, when checking for new software the vehicle always reports the current version as 1.0. So even if 1.6 is already installed, the status will be “Your car has been ungraded to the latest version: 1.0”.
If the new “energy screen” has “range display mode” with the option of “dynamic” then 1.6 is installed.
Some information on previous versions is available here.
How to update software.
The car checks software version in the background and will notify when a new release is ready for install, but you may discover that a new version is ready by checking manually, and this will ensure appropriate time for an update.
One the “vehicle settings” screen “software” tab, press “vehicle version” to initiate a version check. This launches a check for updates and displays a message with rather confusingly normally disappears before the check is complete. Not more action is needed as when the check is complete, if there is a new version it will tell you, but if there is no new version, nothing happens, and it is not clear whether the check is finished, so most people launch the check again, as once the car has a response it will display the “your car has been upgraded to the latest version” message which confusingly states the latest version is 1.0.
Update 1.6.1. Sept 2023
Installed as two updates that change no version number visible through the standard interface, the result is:
Here’s what’s included in the Over The Air (OTA) software package update:
- Refined ventilation function to prevent fogging in cooler temperatures.
- Optimisation of battery cooling.
- Improved air conditioning AUTO setting function.
- A/C now retains settings instead of resetting to full auto every trip.
- Optimisation of outside temperature display.
- Improved power supply stability.
- Password for APK files: GHY0613byd (courtesy @Nic n00n)
Assorted Atto 3/BYD tips.
Sideloading: Installing extra apps.
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 (it changed from 20211231 to BYD6125F, and from V1.6.1 to GHY0613byd), 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 installing 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” equivalent.
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.
Miscellaneous BYD/Atto 3Tips.
Finding the car sim phone number.
The car will not answer calls, but there are some applications where it could be useful to know the car phone number. I have not tested, but have been informed that if a USB keyboard is connected to the USB-A port, then the messaging app will launch enabling sending an SMS to another device which will then be able to see the number.
Battery and SOC maintenance and charging tips.
Charging overview for new EV owners.
The habit usually established with an ICEV to drive until fuel is low and then fill up needs to be broken as soon as possible. New thinking is needed. With an ICEV you go to “gas station” for the specific purpose of refueling, but charging is best done while parked while shopping or at cafe or at home. And best done any time when parked where charging is available. Once charging is needed, it is too late for the ideal experience. Charge early when possible.
There are two types of public charging:
- Slow and often free “AC Charging”.
- Fast but more expensive “DC charging”.
For fast charging, both flaps in the charging port must be removed in order to expose the two large high-speed charging pins.
To use the lower priced, and in Australia often free, lower speed “AC Charging”, most location require you to have your own cable, and unlike the charging cable that comes with the vehicle, you need to buy this one and it has an EV charging plus on both ends. These are called “Type 2” charging cables, and for the Atto 3 you need a 7kW version. A 22kW version will also work, but is heavier, more expensive, and won’t charge any faster unless:
- You have 11kW charing version oft he Atto 3 not even available in all markets.
- You also manage to find a public charger rated at more than 7kW. None of the over 30 public chargers nearest me are rated above 7kW.
Battery and SOC Maintenance.
From the BYD recommends charging the battery to 100% approximately once per week, and every 3 to 6 months fully charging from a low battery <10% battery level.
Fully charging the vehicle is recommended at a regular basis (at least once a week), and fully charge it from a low battery (<10% SOC) once every three to six months.BYD Atto 3 owners manual.
Both these steps are recommended because they help the state of charge system (SOC) provide the most accurate reading on the current battery level, and not to help maintain the battery. Both fully charging to 100% and taking the battery below 10% state of charge, both contribute to deterioration of the battery, and technically the less often the battery is fully charged or taken to very low charge levels the longer it should last. However, without charging to 100% the state of charge monitoring of battery level will get progressively less accurate, and while needed less often, periodically charging from a low battery level is necessary to check the current health of the battery how much energy now represents a full charge.
The recommendations are the balance of between keeping the battery as healthy as possible and maintaining accuracy of the state of charge system. While charging to 100% less frequently and charging from less than 10% less often could in theory marginally add to battery life, the battery would be expected to outlive the vehicle and the other uses of the battery anyway, and any different would likely be academic.
However, before embarking on a road trip or other trip likely to result in charge levels lower than 30%, best to ensure the battery has been recently charged to 100% and preferably charged from <10% at least within the most recent 6 months.
Atto 3 battery life.
BYD has cycle test data, but it is too soon for anyone to have any real-world data of exactly how long an Atto3 battery will last. Batteries from the original Nissan Leaf vehicles have been known to last for as little as 8 years, and given there is every reason for Atto 3 batteries to last over 4x longer, perhaps Atto 3 batteries will last only 32 years? Why 4x longer life? Because, as explained here, a battery 2.5x larger will last around 2.5x longer, plus LFP batteries last longer than the NMO batteries of the original Nissan Leaf, and unlike the Nisan Leaf, the Atto 3 has battery thermal management.
There are also some links to accessories here in the original Atto 3 page.
Hoot Nespresso: Expresso Coffee Machine / Hot Chocolate Machine.
The Atto 3 and as far as I know all other BYD vehicles support V2L or “vehicle to load” which provide mains voltage power for electrical appliances. So why not an expresso coffee machine?
As carrying beans and the grinding, tamping other processes of a regular machine can be a bit messy in a car, Nespresso compatible pods come to the rescue, and allow making various varieties of coffee and even hot chocolate on demand. I chose the Breville Essenza Mini as it is very low cost, and a very small and easy to accommodate size. Although at Cafes I may order coffee with milk, when I am confident of the quality of the coffee and the preparation, mostly drink coffee without milk, but I do carry some small UHT milk containers for “guests”, but current do not provide frothing from the car, although the Ikea milk-frother is an option.
Yes, the term frunk is almost standard, but I also like “hoot” as in “hood boot” or “boot that is under the hood” for places where the term “trunk” is not in common use.
I have a frunk/hoot that I purchased from Chris EV Road Trips store at which can be found at evpartz.online and has collection available in Sydney. As these units are physically large the freight can become a significant part of the purchase price, plus as quality can vary, being able to see a sample all make supply with a local agent recommended where possible.
A feature of the frunk/hoot from Chris is that he has a system allowing removal without any tools for access to the battery or for car service which I feel is a very strong plus.
I also fitted struts at the front at that same time to make access that much easier. The 2022 Atto 3 was not designed around use of frunk/hoot, so I plan store only things that would be accessed one per week or less to avoid opening the hood to many times in excess of what the design would have expected.
Software: Tips and limitations.
Tips with current software.
This will progressively be updated with voice commands discovered that are not listed list obtainable from “voice skills” in the “BYD assistant app”.
“Crack the windows” lowers all windows 10%
You can also say “wind all windows down (enter a %)” and it happens.
“Vent” or “tilt” sunroof just opens it for venting.
Indicated range remaining.
BYD Finally added ‘Dynamic’ mode for range display for international vehicles in July 2023, which had been in the user manual, and assumedly vehicles in China, for a least one year at that time. Whilst this should be huge improvement and provide more realistic projections when on the highway, my observations so far are that in urban use the result is slightly higher numbers for predicted range.
Thoughts on software limitations and 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.
Ideally, the main point of using the vehicles own navigation system is that it could make recommendations on charging when on road trips, and the current BYD system doesn’t have any feature of this nature.
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