Thanks again for the responses, Walt. At this point, I'm once bitten and twice shy in regards to Android based radios. However, I will keep the Linkswell in mind when I start searching for a replacement for my POS. I'm so annoyed with it that I plan to give a try at swapping around the volume and temp knobs with some wire and solder. I don't even care if I brick it at this point, LOL! Here's another question: have you tried using any of the aftermarket steering wheel controls with these units? Both the vendor and Phoenix told me that they will work and even gave me directions on how to make it work. I've tried 3 different remotes and none of them worked.
@wottenad Thanks for the response. Audio focus refers to the unit giving permission to whatever app you are using to play over the speakers. On my POS Phoenix radio, to get any app, other than Console, to play audio I need to open the preloaded Music app first then, hit pause and open an audio app. To make things worse, the audio for any nav app will only work if I'm using the preloaded Music app. If I'm using Console (the radio) or any other audio app nav audio will not work. On the POS unit the dim functions will not work when the headlights come on. During a sunny day the dim function works perfect, but go through a tunnel and you're screwed! What's the point of that? It's when it gets dark that you need the dimming function. lol! Are the HVAC buttons backlit and if so can they be changed to red for the GMCs? The buttons were one of the biggest features for me in choosing the Phoenix. And, I should say that the HVAC controls are probably the only thing that works without a hitch. I do like the way Linkswell did there's.
We're looking into upgrading my Dad's IO5 to IO6 using the folks over at Infotainment. I have a few questions for people with IO6 or have done the upgrade. When using the factory nav, not onstar, with the IO6 system does the truck need to be in park to enter an address? Can addresses be put in via voice? Has anyone tried the Linkswell factory nav interface box?
Just my 2 cents, I'd fix it myself. You're looking at an expensive repair regardless of the route you take. Just a guess, but you're looking at 10+ plus hours at approximately $100/hour for both routes you've mentioned. Also, a good mechanic is worth every cent! My only concern with a salvage motor would be running into the same issue. A new motor or total rebuild is way expensive. How common are lifter issues on an LS? How are your mechanic skills? Swapping out lifters is a very big job, but fairly easy if you have some skill. A backyard mechanic should be able to get it done within a weekend barring too many beers. Be aware that the heads need to come off to get to the lifters. Only my opinion, but I would change all the lifters, in both banks. Also, I'd clean up any sludge and carbon while the heads are off, maybe change the timing chain too. A micrometer and a borescope would be nice for inspection and can be had on the cheap. Pulling the cam is a bit more work but not that bad. Almost any machine shop, or even the stealership, should be able to inspect it for you if you're not comfortable making that determination. Older Chilton's manuals outlined these things really well, but I can't speak of their newer offerings. Youtube videos can probably help you determine if you want to try this. I'm the type that keeps vehicles for well over 10 years and I'm cheap. For a 4 year old truck, I think it's worth repairing especially if you want to keep it and it's not showing problems in other areas. If you want to just dump it, sell it cheap.
Just a heads for those interested in this. 400 watts @ 120 volts only yields 3.33 amps. I know 400 watts will charge cell phones and most laptops but may have issues powering some desktop-replacement-laptops and some 18 volt battery chargers. I don't recall at this point, but on my dad's 2015 Z71 and my brothers 2016 Ford they got mixed results on Milwaukee, Makita and Dewalt single batt chargers. Multiple bay chargers would not work at all, ours drew between 5 and 7 amps.
Does the temperature display in the top left actually work? Do the dim buttons in the top left work, do they still work when the truck automatically turns on the lights and dims the radio? Does it have issues with "audio focus"? On my Phoenix I need to turn on the music player and then mute it to get other audio apps to work. Will the newest version of Google Maps display properly? On the Phoenix, only the factory loaded, old version of Google Maps will display properly. Does the small speaker actually work for Navigation? I have one of the infamous Phoenix units and am looking for an alternative. I'm stuck on these T style radios for some dumb reason. I know that the Linkswell is not the Phoenix but is it a safe comparison to say that the Linkswell is a Phoenix that's had the bugs worked out?
@rhino2020 X2 with Penguin VII! I own one of the Tesla style radios. At the $900 price range, spend the extra money and go for MVI/Alpine. I bought mine for around $600 and at that price I'm ok with it's short comings compared to my stock IO3; still wouldn't recommend it at this price, though.
I have a 2015 Sierra WT. Mine was an off-lease Uhaul truck with the fleet convenience package so, I have AQQ/keyless entry on my options list. My dealer just had to do some programming. THIS IS ALL MY OPINION: Check out the functions of the aftermarket units, regardless if you can use factory. Here's my reasons why. I don't like the feel of the GM fob buttons. They are soft and don't have a positive tactile response. They feel spongy. I don't like needing to use a sequence of buttons; I need to hit lock and then hold the circle button for 3 seconds. Other remote starts that I had over the years only required a single press or a double tap of a dedicated start button. My truck will only remain running for 10 minutes. All the systems I've had in the past were 20 minutes. My truck and my dad's 2015 Silverado take longer than 10 minutes to warm up in the winter! You can only use the remote start function twice. After that, you'll need to use the key in the ignition to start the truck. This one isn't a huge deal, but if you're like me and you get sidetracked often it can be annoying. I know these are small, petty things but this system will be in service with me for more than 10 years. For the cost and expected service life these things matter. Also, I've had very good luck with aftermarket remote starters over the last 25 years. I think it was the mostly the late 80's to early 90's when folks saw a lot of issues with remote start and alarms. Today these units are built fairly well.
@lectrician7, I just tried Waze. WOW, it's pretty great. Thanks for giving me a reason to try it. On my unit, I can only get voice directions on any nav app if I'm using a music player. When I use Console, it will not release audio focus for the nav app. I've had good luck with using split screen for nav and music players but it takes some practice to do it while driving. As a side note, the lag issues went away. A reboot may have fixed the issues. I got a funny feeling that they'll be back. @g2full -Most android head units are consumer grade and that's reflected in the price. A lot of what you're buying with these particular units is the system integration and the huge screen. These units are lack-luster but do not judge all Android head units by this one. Some are better than others. For the cost, I wish I invested in one of the smaller, cheaper units with an independent stereo attached that did not integrate with the GM systems. The big issue you run into with Android based units is that the bezels never fit perfectly without a little modification. -Most of the climate controls are not on the screen, on these units. We have hard buttons and a knob. Lag time is with the displaying of the climate settings change, not the control of it. Ironically, this is reversed with the volume controls. It will lag in turning it up or down in both control and display. As discussed, this may have been caused by using alternate launchers. -Boot time is horrendous at about 40-50 seconds, I can confirm this. The unit will only need to be rebooted if your vehicle hasn't been started in 2 days. -The volume switch doesn't bother me and, I swear I'm not sticking up the guy that came up with idea because I think it's silly too but, the heat knob on the left is working out for me very well. I always end up playing with it a lot when on a long trip. I also play with the home thermostat a lot too, LOL. I was planning on using a remote like the one in the pic below. Now, I may have a chance to get my steering wheel controls to work. Either way, I will not be trying to get any remotes to work until I have a functional head unit. ***At this time, I do not recommend these units to anyone. I purchased mine because I'm a tech geek and can handle playing around with them. Also, I can technically afford the hit should I turn the unit into a brick or maybe, a clay pigeon. I have a WT with I03. My opinion for people looking to upgrade would be to look into the Alpine 110x/i209 or an MVI upgrade. If you're on a budget or like me, just plain cheap, then a $200-300 Joying unit would be an ok choice.
You know what really stinks about this entire situation for me? I'm 43. I've been careful with money most of my life. I'm not even close to being well off, but if anything goes sideways I'll be ok for awhile. I could have went the MVI I06 route or bought a highly optioned truck, but I'm still stuck in that "be careful with your money" mindset. I guess this is what happens when you try to save a buck when you don't have to.
Lectrician, sounds like you already have the upgraded Maps. The version mine comes with still has the robotic voice but works well. When I update it to get the modern voice, then I get the green bar. Other than the green bar taking up a bunch of space and the search bar being a few inches too low Maps technically works. I've had occasional issues with voice guidance on Here and Maps. I think it comes down to the audio focus of the unit. I'll give Wazes a shot and report back what happens. I've heard good things about it from others but never tried it cause I was a big fan of Scout and had Maps as a fallback. I bought my unit from Kirinavi, a reseller, but it's a Phoeinix 7.1 fast boot. Kirinavi's engineers have been trying to help but there's the language barrier. They told me to go Pheoinex for an exchange; I'll reach out to them later today. There was a 30 day money back guarantee on the unit but I'm way past that. I can deal with software issues but the climate control buttons not working is a total deal breaker and now I want an exchange. I did the Phoeinix MCU upgrade but it did not fix my off center issue. I've tried 3 launchers now. So that's probably why I'm having so many issue with lagging. Have you checked out XDA Developers? It's an Android modding site. There are people out there ironing the bugs out of these units. There is a way to reset audio focus and to reassign the top bar icons. Unfortunately, a lot of the info is from a Russian site and I only got a C in high school programming so I don't know how far I'll go down that avenue. I did have Google voice working but it was SLOW! It allowed me to make calls, search the net and choose music through voice commands. I thought I was all set when I found the Agama launcher because it put EVERYTHING on a single page. I have the same issue with wi-fi but only when the device reboots. I have mine set to stay on for 48 hours.
Lectrician7, that's the Agama car launcher. It's on the Google Play store. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=altergames.carlauncher The logo in the middle can be several things from a compass to a clock and even an info center for other apps. I had to change the theme and colors a little to make it look like that but it was real easy. To be 100% clear, neither this launcher or any other launcher I've tried on my device works correctly. I've never used Waze. I can tell you that the Google maps that ships with the device works fine. The problems start when you upgrade the old Maps and the new Maps will not scale correctly. It works but the upper green bar is way bigger than it should be. I use the default Here nav app and it so far it works great. Did your unit come in a box marketed as a Phoeinx device? Is it the fast boot 7.1 model? There are only 2 or 3 manufacturers and many, many sellers. Some of them come with android 4 and others android 7. ***READ THIS PART*** My unit has become useless in the last week. The lag times on the volume are getting to be around 30 seconds. I had this issue when I first installed the unit. I pulled it out and THOUGHT the issue was caused by a loose wire connector. The climate control lags too but only on the display changes; for actual function there is no lag. About a week ago the issues came back. I checked the wires and they are all tight. Another issue is that the upper left climate button doesn't work anymore and it seems like the second button down is starting to have an issue. Yet another issue, is that the device will not release audio focus from the Console. So what that means is when I switch from Console to Music the radio continues to play. An issue I had from the start is that when in Console mode the factory emulated screen is off center. The seller told me I had to run through all the parameters in one of the menus and find the right one. I've been through that twice now. The seller isn't terrible helpful, so far. Their engineers have been on vacation for the last few weeks. I MIGHT hear something from them on Monday. Are you having issues with your unit? Is your truck I03? Please let me know. Are your issues only with Waze? At this point, I can't decide if I want to push for an exchange for another unit or a total refund. I'm not sure how far I'll get with either one.
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