Common tweaks that work in the Fiat 124 Spider Infotainment Center 7.0

la dolce vita

“the good life”

Bianco Gelato White

(although I started this page in August of 2016, it is kept up-to-date on a regular basis)

Welcome!

Go directly to:     Installation Instructions       Tweaks I would like to see added                                                Updates       AIO_1.51Fiat Tweaks    

I recently (July 2016) purchased a “bianco gelato” white Classica version of the new Fiat 124 Spider from the first U.S.-bound boatload to arrive at the Baltimore port, built on the 4th generation (ND) Mazda Miata MX-5 platform, and on the same assembly line in Hiroshima, Japan.  My Classica has the “Technology” option that adds advanced keyless push-button entry (AKE), a rearview camera, an additional USB port, HD radio, Navigation capability (SD card slot) and a 7-inch touchscreen.

It’s even more fun to drive than my dune buggy was – I love driving it!!

Zoom – Zoom – Fun – Fun!

Up until a few days ago, every time I started my new Fiat Spider, I observed an annoying disclaimer “nag screen” that appeared to be awaiting an OK response, although I later noticed it disappeared after about 4 seconds on its own – but still annoying.   Then my wife, as navigator, wondered why she couldn’t use the touch screen keyboard for address entry (or even change the radio station) after the vehicle was moving.  Mazda claims that it programmed that “feature” for safety concerns – did they ever try to enter addresses using the Commander knob?   I firmly believe that method is significantly more distracting than tapping it out on the virtual QWERTY keyboard.

Well, after following some of the Miata forums, since our cars use the exact same system as the MX-5 (and all of the electronics for that matter other than the ECU), I realized that these annoyances were shared and that tweaks had already been written not only for the MX-5, but for every Mazda built with Visteon’s head units (what we used to call radios).  Apparently the whole Infotainment system is run by a small embedded Linux system that runs an Opera browser to display stuff on-screen. Think of it as a Raspberry Pi built into your car.

It turns out, I was tweaking the same navigation software (NNG’s iGO) when I had a Mio C230 GPS unit ten years ago (2007), and I may have to refer to the blog I was writing back then, if I feel the need to customize that portion of our firmware.

mzd connect

One user named Siutsch from Germany has packaged many of these tweaks written by various authors, into a user-friendly “All-in-One” package that can be installed on a USB stick (at your your own risk of course) and installed without “hacking” into the system.  All of his details for each tweak and other install information for version 1.5x in his AIO github account no longer seem to be available as of 3/11/2017.  Unless you feel you are a hacker, I would strongly advise you not trying all of the available options (like Android Auto, CastScreen or ALL), since some of the options are more than ‘tweaks”, are not totally integrated, and the contributors have only written uninstall code for OS versions they are familiar with (currently they aren’t familiar with the Fiat/Abarth versions of our Mazda Connect systems). Some of the options simply don’t work and you’ll read about those later in this article. You don’t want to “brick” your Infotainment System so soon after purchasing your new Spider 😉 .

Encouraging news regarding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto…

Besides, here’s hoping that Mazda will very soon follow through with their recent (3/13/2017) promise of including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support (it’s already part of a Chinese Mazda model’s Infotainment system) in a new system update, and that Fiat will follow suit.  Here is Mazda’s full statement:

Mazda has been a CarPlay and Android Auto partner since 2014, so it is no secret that we are developing both systems to interface with our Mazda Connect infotainment system. Both software systems should be retroactively upgradable onto all Mazda Connect systems with a potentially minimal hardware addition needed. Mazda does not yet have an official timeline for when these should be available or at what cost, however.

MechaBouncer replied on 3/14/2017, with one theory regarding the “minimal hardware addition” that would override firmware settings and actually sounds quite plausible:

It’s also possible that they might just replace the SD card navigation with a card that [disables Navigation and instead] enables Android Auto [and Apple CarPlay], so you’ll still have to purchase the option. I doubt it will be a free upgrade.

Mark Booth added on 3/15/2017:

I just learned that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were originally projected to be ready in time to be included in the new 2017 CX-5. Mazda missed that release window but it can’t be that far off if the new CX-5 was the original goal.

You’ll note that there are plenty of warnings on that website indicating that the package is only for certain versions of Mazda systems.   Apparently, I presumed correctly, that the Spring 2016 version of Mazda Miata MX-5 firmware (most likely  56.00.511) was used as a basis for our OS, and that by simply changing the initial boot animation from the Mazda logo to the Fiat 124 Spider logo as well as a couple of other graphics (maintenance screens, parking sensors screen, etc.) and disabling FM Radio Data System (RDS) data for traffic alerts (which appears to work in parts of Europe) – that would become our initial Fiat version of the OS (56.00.521) for the summer 2016 Classicas and Lussos built for all global regions.

So, I then decided to take a chance and try some common tweaks that appealed to me, again making the assumption that the lines of code for the simple tweaks would be exactly the same between our sister vehicles.

Notes:

  • If you are reading this blog a few months from now and your NF platform OS version is not 56.00.521 NA N*, or 56.00.521 EU N*, or 56.00.521 4A N*, or 56.00.530 NA N*, then you may need to investigate further, or hopefully I will have done that for you in future updates to this blog.
  • The NE platform Abarths are expected to also have their own initial release of firmware 56.00.530 EU N*, or 56.00.530 4A N*, or 56.00.530 JP Mthat feature Abarth 124 Spider themed initial boot animation and graphics (as in this video).  The Abarth 124 vehicles in North American are considered as Fiat (NF platform) vehicles with only some of the Abarth goodies.
  • If after tweaking, some functions with your paired phone don’t work (such as email notifications, as one user reported),  try un-pairing your phone and then re-pairing it with the vehicle.  This is a good suggestion – anytime the phone isn’t behaving properly with the vehicle interface.
  • If you are using my instructions as a guide but own a MX-5 rather than the 124 Spider, simply download the most recent All-in-One, which is supposed to even accomodate 59.00.xx firmware.
  • The next major version of Fiat firmware is expected to be 59.00.xx and it currently looks like some of the tweaks will not work for that version.  Until then, my AIO 1.51Fiat should satisfy our tweaking needs
  • You can find your OS version and region by selecting  Settings > System > About > Version Information.

*    Region & SatNav Suffix Legend
NA
is for North America, USA, Canada, Mexico regions ONLY  ⇐ mine
EU is for Europe, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia regions
4A or ADR is for Australia, NZ, Thailand, Philippines, South Africa-America, Oceania regions
JP is for Japan ONLY

N is the ‘SatNav’ protocol belonging to NNG (for all regions except JP)  ⇐ mine
M is the ‘SatNav’ protocol belonging to Matsukone  (exclusively for JP)


AIO

Listed below are the AIO ver. 1.50 tweaks which I’ve verified all work thus far for the NA (North America) region – except for one minor known consequence **, but if you don’t want the dealer to notice an obvious difference in the screen display, you might leave the background image alone, or at least change it back (more on that here) before visiting the dealer for your oil change, when they’ll probably upgrade your firmware without even telling you beforehand.

The option letters [ß] correspond to the selection list in the “All-in-One” install package.

  • Enable touch screen while vehicle is moving more than 5 mph [A]**
  • Remove initial disclaimer (4 seconds long) [M]
  • Remove safety warning from bottom edge of reverse camera screen [C]
  • Change background image to your choosing (800×480) [E]  (more on this here)
  • Remove blank album art frame [D]
  • Install bigger album art graphics [Y]
  • Install small date (mm/dd) to status bar above the time [G-4th option] (which also increases size of icons (WiFi, Bluetooth, etc), uses 80% transparent background for status bar, decreases font size and removes unnecessary red border for status bar texts)
  • Enable Main Menu Loop so that when you are at the last Settings menu icon with your Commander knob, you can proceed right to the first Applications menu icon, rather than having to change direction  [L]
  • Enable List Loop so that as an example, you can scroll backwards with your Commander knob from the “A”s in your folder list and go directly to the “Z”s [K]


**  Option [A]
which disables the speed restriction options while your vehicle is moving more than 5 mph, seems to freeze the compass in the “no-navigation” screen, but you won’t see this screen once you enable Navigation.  If you make use of the simple compass on that screen, or other compass displays within the cluster, heads-up display (HUD, which the 124 Spider doesn’t have), or in other Navigation screens (?), then avoid fully implementing option [A].  See this comment for partial implementation if you would like some of the touchscreen options and also need your compass fully operational.

~~~~~~~~

Speed restriction items that are disabled (after this tweak is enabled) while vehicle is moving more than 5 mph include:

  • Disable touch screen input capabilities, even for the passenger
  • Bluetooth devices can be paired only when the vehicle is parked
  • Disable viewing of Text messages; the system will only read the message to you
  • Disable responding to Text messages with the predefined short answers
  • Access to alter some of the Settings

It has been reported that this option will not be “tweak-able” once your firmware is updated to version 59+  BUT if you’ve chosen this option prior to the firmware update, the option is said to remain in place!  


Option [L]
enables Main Menu Loop so that when you are at the last Settings menu icon with your Commander knob, you can proceed right to the first Applications menu icon, rather than having to change direction.  With the Commander knob in mind, I feel that the looping features of options [L] & [K] should have been included in the factory OS, so that the selection process is more fluid and natural while driving.

Option [K]
enables List Loop so that as an example, you can scroll backwards with your Commander knob from the “A”s in your folder list and go directly to the “Z”s and offers an additional feature as well – a shorter scrolling delay response between pages using the Commander knob (from 1.5 seconds down to .3 seconds), but you need to answer Ja instead of Yes for the install to function.  I found myself scrolling past selections with this option though, as it is almost too quick, plus the option introduced beeping for each selection (that can’t be turned off in settings) which I found annoying, so I returned to the original delay response by uninstalling [K] and reinstalling it, but answering No.

commander-knob


Option [D]
gets rid of the blank album art frame, but it substitutes it with a  ♪  icon instead (and makes available two other images, as shown below), but in my personal opinion, if there is no album artwork displayed, I prefer a true unframed blank spot.

  • If you are installing this option for the first time and don’t want any of these icons in place of blank album art, select Option [D], then after compiling your chosen tweaks installer to the USB drive and prior to removing the USB drive from your PC, delete the unwanted files in the
    config\blank-album-art-frame\jci\gui\common\images\  folder on your USB drive.
  • If you have installed this option and realize that you don’t care for the ♪  icon or the other icons, then uninstall [2] option [D], compile an installer again and prior to removing the USB drive from your PC, delete the unwanted file(s) in the config\blank-album-art-frame\jci\gui\common\images\ folder on your USB drive.
  • Now Option [D] will install a true blank image if no album art is called for.


Option [Y]
increases the size of the album art, as shown below.

large-album-art


Option [I]
which is “Pause-on-Mute” (pauses the USB / Bluetooth audio track currently playing when Mute is activated) seems to be OS version specific, as it didn’t install, so don’t choose this one until Siutsch adapts “All-in-One” for the Fiat OS.  This option now works with AIO_1.51Fiat.  Note that:

  • Mute will only pause when the audio track screen is displayed – not if the audio is playing in the background while other screens like Navigation are displayed.
  • If the video player app is installed, “Pause-on-Mute” also works while videos are being displayed.

If you are muting your audio, it seems only natural that the audio streams should be paused as well, so this too, seems to me like it should have been included in the factory OS.

The other two options that are OS version specific and will not install with AIO ver. 1.50 yet works with AIO_1.51Fiat (but I haven’t tested them) are:

  • speedcam-patch [P]
  • track-order / FLAC support [N]


Option [E]
If you do choose a different background image, and you wish to revert back to the original background that comes with our systems at some point in the future, you can use option [E] and simply select “background_013” – or – using the proper Uninstall feature [2], simply select option [E] and {esc} out of the list selection.

Although a File Explorer screen showing you thumbnail examples pops up, make sure you make your selection in the “Choose” (vertical list, black background) screen that look like this  ⇓

background list

You can create your own background image(s) and add it/them to the choose\more_background-images subfolder on your PC within your All-in-One folder. Simply save each new 800 x 480 image with a unique name.png.

⇓  Yes, background_013 (shown below) is the background image that Mazda chose for everyone.  To me, it ends up looking like you have a dirty screen 😉

background_original

⇓  Here’s a plain black background for those that have requested it to replace the “dirty screen” background…

OffScreenBackground

⇓  background_059 (shown below) is currently my favorite, as the splash of vibrant colors show off the color screen, rather than looking like a monotone LCD screen (like your left odometer gauge screen), yet none of the information is obscured as most of the background is dark…
background_059

⇓  Here’s an Abarth background I image I created to go with the Abarth animations…

abarth124bg


Option [S]
I also chose option [S] to back-up the entire JCI folder (took an additional 4 minutes), to the USB stick prior to installing tweaks since I felt I was probably the first person to attempt these tweaks in the Fiat 124, just in case some backtracking might be necessary. So far, the tweaks have played nicely 😉   However, if you are going to experiment beyond the common tweaks I’ve tried, you may be advised to do so as well (although there is no restore function that uses this backup file).


Option [H]
Installing different color schemes from red (default) to a choice of:

  • blue
  • green
  • orange
  • pink
  • purple
  • silver
  • or yellow

changes button colors in various menus, and if the speedometer is installed, the theme of that app screen as well.  It may also select a color-coordinated Mazda themed background, so if you desire a different background image after installing the color scheme change, simply select and install your desired background afterwards.

zgreen1zgreen2

zgreen3

these photos courtesy of wlcmlc


Option [U]
Removes the automatic footer signature caption “Sent from 124 Spider” at the bottom of predefined text message replies.  By the way, as a bonus, if you would like to exchange one of the canned responses for one of your own, you can by editing (at your own risk):

/choose/config_all/message_replies/jci/settings/configurations/blm_msg-system.xml

which is the file that will overwrite the original in your firmware.

The uninstall currently does not revert back to your original, but rather uses a Mazda firmware file, resulting in the footer signature caption “Sent from my Mazda quick-text system“.  If and when I publish AIO 1.51Fiat_d, this will be fixed.  Until then, either find the Fiat file from your Option [S] backup, or let me know if you would like the Fiat file and I will email it to you to replace:

/choose/config_org_all/message_replies/jci/settings/configurations/blm_msg-system.xml


Option [O]
Changes the order of audio sources so that the more often-used inputs are shifted upwards:
– ‘FMRadio’
– ‘DAB’ (not visible outside Europe)
– ‘USB_A’
– ‘USB_B’
– ‘BTAudio’
– ‘CD’ (not visible)
– ‘SatRadio’ (not visible in Germany)
– ‘AhaRadio’
– ‘Pandora’ (not visible in Germany)
– ‘Stitcher’
– ‘AuxIn’
– ‘AMRadio’
– ‘DVD’ (not visible)
– ‘TV’ (not visible outside Japan)


Option [2] for UNINSTALLATION
After you select option [2], the menu is pretty much the same, but you are selecting those items that you want uninstalled, instead of installed.  Do not attempt to mix!  You are either installing one or more options –OR– you are uninstalling one or more options.


Option [8]
I’d advise against choosing Option [8] (which is ALL) for either Install [1] or Uninstall [2]. Best not to uninstall any option that hasn’t been installed.


Wi-Fi
The disabling of the Wi-Fi connection option (in North America) is automatically removed by AIO, but don’t expect much if you do connect.

wifi


Reset & Reboot

Anytime your system isn’t behaving properly, it’s a good idea to try a RESET:

  1. Select SETTINGS from the Home screen.
  2. Select SYSTEM
  3. Select Restore All Factory Settings to reset system to original settings, press Yes to confirm.

The “Restore All Factory Settings” is a misnomer of sorts, but it can indeed fix settings that have somehow been messed up.   Other than the touchscreen speed restriction tweak, it will not undo other tweaks that are installed, nor does it change any files in the jci folder; it just resets options in the data folder using the Failsafe version as the source.

Also note that if you ever want to simply REBOOT the system, simply push both the Commander Mute + Nav buttons for 10 seconds.


TWEAKING  UPDATES

[UPDATE 10/5/2016]

speedometer mini screenshot

Option [F]
Also included in the package, is a new Speedometer / Compass app that I tried after writing this article.  The speedometer app version 4.4 screenshot below is from the developer’s European vehicle and includes:

  • a digital reading of the current speed in the center
  • a speedometer gauge with a large red needle indicating your current speed and a white needle (not showing in screen shot) indicating your top speed for the current trip
  • a rotating compass
  • a tachometer gauge with a red needle indicating top rpm for the current trip, and a white needle indicating the current rpm reading
  • a panel on the right side with more data from your current trip
  • an option to also enable the display of a “mini-speedometer” widget in the status bar, primarily for when you are displaying a screen other than the speedometer app.

The Speedometer / Compass app is option [F], and for North American vehicles, I recommend selecting 2, b, n, 0.5 to get the best results.  If the mini-speedometer option is selected, option [G] will also be automatically selected for installation, so that the additional information doesn’t overlay the Bluetooth, battery and cell phone signal strength icons, which will be relocated above the clock, rather than the default location to the left of the clock.

Even better is that that your current speed, as well as your current compass heading and altimeter readings show up in the mini-speedometer when it is displayed outside of the speedometer app screen.  By tapping the clock display, the mini-speedometer can be toggled on and off.

Sometimes, all you need to know is whether you are heading in the right direction or not. 

mzd_SpeedoCompass_kmh_4.4_by_diginix

A good way to compare  the speedometer app GPS related data with the Nav system, is to select the “Where Am I ” screen (Nav > Info > Where Am I) which will show your compass heading and altimeter – and compare those readings with the mini-speedometer display, which toggles current compass heading and altimeter readings every few seconds.

Although right after installation, the mini-speedometer app readings seemed to be incorrect, on 10/1/2016, when I decided to get screenshots to document this for the app’s author (Diginix), I instead verified that the app was working perfectly (at least that day) using this comparison method (as shown in the screen shot below). 😀

[UPDATE 11/10/2016]

I really like the app, however I wouldn’t base my travels on that compass heading alone until verifying it beforehand during that trip, using the “Where Am I ” screen. Maybe one of us will figure out the trick to consistently trigger correct readings, perhaps related to this note in the readme file:

 ### Important for MZD firmware version 56.00.511/512/513
Not confirmed: Have navigation as last opened app before switching off ignition. Next time you start the car the speedo shows correct GPS values.


Siutsch
 has reviewed my Fiat OS (56.00.521) and thinks it is very likely that it started out as Miata’s version 56.00.51x, so it is very probable that the statement above applies.  I think what is meant here is that by shutting the car off in a screen other than Navigation, the next time you start might effect the reliability of those readings.  I’m going to investigate this further…

speedometer-verify

Where Am I screen

[UPDATE 10/10/2016]

I’ve tested a new beta version of the AIO scripts that accommodates Fiat 124 Spider systems, and it works great thus far. For example, option [I] which is Pause-on-Mute when playing USB, Bluetooth, etc. and didn’t work before, now installs and works properly (for North American vehicles only). The options that interested me and that I’ve tried successfully thus far: WiFi, A, C, D, F, G, I, K and W.

The other two options that are OS version specific and should now work with this version are speedcam-patch [P] and track-order / FLAC support [N]. I haven’t tried them yet though.

[UPDATE 12/30/2016]

A new Windows version of AIO (version 2) is in Beta and looks very promising, but at least as of today, the actual scripts are the same as the latest 1.51 update; it’s primarily the GUI that is different, with a little more control of the default and combined options, as shown below…

aio-ver-2

NOTE:  According to the website for this version,  no Fiat versions of the firmware are supported with this software.  That’s when I decided to   ⇓⇓⇓

AIO_1.51Fiat Tweaks

[UPDATED 1/19/2017, 1/31/2017, 3/11/2017, 3/16/2017]

animated 124Abarth colors

I see that the download for version 1.50 (which is limited in function for 124 Spiders anyways) is no longer available, and I imagine it may be a while before the various developers bring Fiat 124 firmware versions on board into version 2.0+, so in the mean time, I’m modifying ver 1.51 (which is out of Beta now,has all of the most recent tweaks, but also seems to be no longer available) into AIO 1.51Fiat_c to work exclusively with the following versions of our Fiat firmware:

  • 56.00.521-NA (for Fiats in North America, USA, Canada, Mexico ONLY)
  • 56.00.521-EU (for Fiats in Europe, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia. etc.)
  • 56.00.530-EU (for Abarths in Europe, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia. etc.)
  • 56.00.530-4A (for Abarths in Australia, NZ, Thailand, Philippines, South Africa-America, Oceania)

In other words, a  2017 Fiat 124 Spider & 124 Abarth  tweak package.

  • Unlike the 1.51 Beta which was an update “add-on” to 1.50 software, this is a standalone download that installs as per the instructions below
  • The same precautions that I write about apply however; tweaking is at your own risk, especially for those options that haven’t been verified
  • Based on feedback from North American & European users, listed below are the results of this AIO package for each individual tweak
  • Ideally, keep track of all the tweaks you’ve installed, so that you will easily be able to uninstall them when we learn of Fiat dealers upgrading the firmware
  • For more details regarding many of the individual tweaks, click on the Option [ß], linking you to previous notes, as well as…
  • The reference documents and source downloads for Siutsch’s AIO 1.51 have all been removed as of 3/11/2017

In appreciation of the many hours I have dedicated to this project, it has been kindly suggested to me that I should make the link to my current version of AIO 1.51Fiat available (along with any future updates) in return for a nominal donation to my coffee fund.  I liked the idea, but unless individual donations are at least $3.00, PayPal® is the only one making anything, so please consider at least enough for one cup-a-joe  🙂  and you should receive an email with a link to the download within 15 minutes.

Based on feedback from recent NA and EU owners, here is what you should expect with the AIO 1.51Fiat_c Tweaks applied to  56.00.521 and 56.00.530 firmwares for the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider & 124 Abarth:

[ß] WiFi option is added by default for North America, so that you have the option of attaching to your phone’s hotspot ⇒ (WORKS, but almost useless)
[ß] The hidden CID number that the SD manufacturer has assigned to the inserted card, is saved in a txt file on the SD card by default(WORKS, but unnecessary since we will not be hacking Nav cards)
[A] Enable the touchscreen while moving ⇒ (WORKS; Updated versions since  AIO 1.51Fiat_a  have all speed restrictions removed)
[B] Reduce disclaimer time from 3.5 to 0.5 seconds ⇒ (WORKS, but Option [M] which eliminates disclaimer altogether is preferred)
[C] Remove the safety warning label from the reverse camera ⇒ (WORKS)
[D] Remove the blank album art frame ⇒ (WORKS)
[E] Change to an individual background image ⇒ (WORKS)
[F] Install speedometer by Diginix ⇒ (WORKS, app not flawless though; see 11/10/2016 Update for more; large digital alternative version available)
[G] Install date_to_statusbar_mod by diginix ⇒ (WORKS)
[H] Install custom_color_scheme ⇒ (WORKS)
[I] Install pause_on_mute ⇒ (WORKS)
[J] Install semi-transparent parking sensor graphics on the backup camera screen ⇒ (WORKS)
[K] Install improved_list_loop (with optional shorter_delay_mod) ⇒ (WORKS, but need to answer Ja instead of Yes if you want shorter delay response for commander knob option)
[L] Install main_menu_loop ⇒ (WORKS)
[M] Remove disclaimer completely ⇒ (WORKS)
[N] Enable media_order patch and FLAC support ⇒ (have not tested; music will be sorted alphabetically rather than by date with newest entries first; FLAC music files will also work but seems to be limited to 2GB max)
[O] Change order of the audio source list ⇒  (WORKS)
[P] Install speedcam-patch(no longer available with versions since AIO 1.51Fiat_c)
[Q] Install castscreen-receiver ⇒ (caution – have not tested)
[R] Install Android Auto Headunit App (version 0.93A) ⇒ (caution – have not tested)
[S] Do backup of JCI folder before installing tweaks ⇒ (WORKS)
[T] Install SSH_bringback  ⇒ (caution – have not tested, as it is much safer to perform simple tweaks using this AIO package) 
[U] Remove footer from message replies ⇒ (WORKS; but uninstall replaces with Mazda’s signature, rather than Fiat’s)
[V] Generate swapfile on your mp3 USB drive (intended for media player v2, but may help with overall slowdowns) ⇒ (have not tested; the kernel of the linux in the cmu has a memory management bug in it, so by using the swapfile there is less chance of an out of memory problem; USB drive is also used for memory and must remain plugged in)
[W] Install 1 sec. diagnostic menu shortcut ⇒ (WORKS, but you have to press clock for about 5 seconds in Settings > Display screen; most people have no need to access these screens which are for technicians use in diagnosing CMU issues.  Back in version 55, this option was popular because from this menu, you could disable the speed restriction of the touchscreen, but that selection has since been removed.)
[X] Replace Fiat 124 boot animation with Abarth 124 boot animation ⇒ (WORKS,
Updated versions since  AIO 1.51Fiat_b  accommodate North American Abarth owners that didn’t get all of the Abarth goodies – NF platform can get the NE boot animation now!)

[Y] Install bigger album art cover ⇒ (WORKS)
[Z] No background behind buttons ⇒ (WORKS, transparent background for buttons)
[4] Install videoplayer ⇒ (WORKS, may be better to install more recent version)
[5] Install Fuel Consumption Tweak ⇒ (WORKS, offers KM/L rather than only MPG)
[6] Install Background Rotator (cycles thru 10 images @ 1 min. each) ⇒ (WORKS)
[2] UNINSTALLATION ⇒ (WORKS, the menu is pretty much the same, but you are selecting those items that you want uninstalled, instead of installed; DO NOT UNINSTALL “ALL”)
[8] Install “ALL” ⇒ (DO NOT USE THIS OPTION)


Changelog

AIO 1.51FIAT_C CHANGES (3/16/2017):

☑  Option [P]:  Removed Speedcam-patch

AIO 1.51FIAT_C will supersede and replace the 3 previous versions (which will soon be have been removed from the download site) of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider & 124 Abarth tweaks.

Although I haven’t been asked to, I’m proactively following actions demanded of the original developers of AIO, by removing Option [P] (the speedcam-patch) and all of what were deemed “illegal copies of NNG code and data files”, along with the NNG_Tool and NNG_patcher folders, both of which allow the use of pirated maps.  My whole goal in making this tweak package available is to make it easy for my blog followers to be able to tweak certain display characteristics of the Infotainment system in the Fiat and Abarth 124 Spiders, period.

In other words, tweak, not hack (yes, there is a difference).


☑  Option [F]: Improved Speedometer App

Install: Altered the code to prevent the mini-speedometer from appearing in the backup camera screen, if that sub-option is chosen.

☑  Option [T]: Without this AIO script package, the only other way to access and tweak your CMU firmware requires you to have SSH access to the Linux system used in the MZD Connect.  After this tweak, you should be able to establish a network connection between your Computer (or your Mobile) and your CMU @ 192.168.43.109:22 with user cmu and password jci using either a USB ethernet adapter or perhaps WiFi.

Install: Modified the SSH_bringback routine to work with 56.00.521 and 56.00.530 firmwares per Trezdog44.

Uninstall: There is no uninstall for SSH_bringback.


AIO 1.51Fiat_b changes:

☑ Option [G]: Improved “date_to_statusbar_mod”

Install: Changing status bar background from 100% light transparent to 80% dark transparent so that items are more easily readable in the Daytime Navigation screens or with background screens that are not dark-colored.

Uninstall: Will return status bar to factory settings.


☑ Option [X]: Replace Fiat 124 Boot Animation with Abarth 124 Boot Animation

Install: Rather than “removing” the Fiat 124 boot animation, this option will now substitute it with the Abarth 124 version.

Uninstall: Will restore the Fiat 124 animation (instead of the Mazda logo animation).

Note1: I’ve only changed the wording in the English version though, since I don’t know the other languages. But in Europe and elsewhere, despite the wording, although my changes will work, those Abarths already have the proper boot animation anyways.

Note2: If for some reason an Abarth owner would rather have the Fiat 124 animation, simply “Uninstall” option [X].

Note3: As a bonus, custom boot animations can also be substituted in the config\bootanimation\jci\resources folder of your compiled install USB drive and the tweak will install those instead.

☑ Option [E]: Changing Screen Background Image

Install: I fixed the default background image that results if you’ve selected this option, but didn’t actually make a proper selection of an actual image.  Although a File Explorer screen showing you thumbnail examples pops up, if you don’t choose an image selection in the “Choose” (vertical list, black background) screen, you’ve set the script to install a default image which the developers had inserted (a fiery red cloud with Mazda logo) rather than our factory default background.

Uninstall: I fixed the default background image, which the developers had inserted (a fiery red cloud with Mazda logo) rather than our factory default background.

☑ Adjusted the scripts to accommodate 56.00.530D-EU, rather than 56.00.530A-EU.  So now, the following options should work for the Abarth European firmware.

  • Pause-on-Mute [I]
  • Speedcam-patch [P]
  • Track-order / FLAC support [N]

Apparently, I need to modify some more code for 56.00.530A-4A and 56.00.530A-NA, as this firmware versions are actually 56.00.530D-4A and 56.00.530D-NA.  Until then, just answer YES when you see the following screen (all options will install fine as the individual Option [I] and [N] scripts have already been modified):

56-00-530D-NA


AIO 1.51Fiat_a changes:

☑ Option [A]: No Speed Restrictions for Touchscreen

Install: Your Infotainment system will totally lose all of Mazda’s Speed Restricted tasks and [your passenger] will gain the ability to have full use of your touchscreen while travelling more than 5 mph.

Uninstall: Will return Speed Restricted tasks to factory settings.

☑ Option [P]: Speedcam patching

Install: Allowed Speedcam tweak to install for NA firmware as well (I guess you would use your own database).

Uninstall: There is no uninstall for this tweak.


AIO 1.51Fiat changes:

☑ Although Siutsch modified the AIO 1.51 tweaks to accommodate 56.00.521-NA and to properly process the following options (which AIO 1.50 will not do),

  • pause-on-mute [I]
  • speedcam-patch [P]
  • track-order / FLAC support [N]

the other regional versions, as well as the Abarth versions needed to be addressed. I’ve modified the code to also work with:

  • 56.00.521-EU (for Europe, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia. etc.)
  • 56.00.521-4A (if this version even exists; for Australia, NZ, Thailand, Philippines, South Africa-America, Oceania)
  • 56.00.530-NA (for North America, USA, Canada, Mexico ONLY)
  • 56.00.530-EU (for Europe, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia. etc.)
  • 56.00.530-4A (for Australia, NZ, Thailand, Philippines, South Africa-America, Oceania)

GRACENOTE LOGOIf you wish to update your Gracenote music database, see this article of mine…


Installation   Instructions

[Steven Park posted a nice tutorial on YouTube on 7/14/2017]

  1. The All-In-One program is a DOS program that only runs in Windows (do not use a Mac computer).
  2. Create a folder within your Documents folder on your PC (I called mine All_In_One_Tweaks).
  3. Unzip the contents of the downloaded file to that new folder – not to the USB drive.
  4. Put an empty FAT32 formatted USB ¹  2.0 or 3.0 drive (not larger than 64GB) drive in your Windows PC ².
  5. From within the folder you created, double-click  choose.cmd ³  and acknowledge any permission issues.
  6. Click anywhere on the AIO window (with your mouse) to insure it is active, otherwise selections may be ignored.
  7. Make your individual option selection(s) with the keyboard, each followed by by Enter, and your chosen selections will turn yellow to indicate that they have been selected.  When you are finished, select “0” (zero).
  8. Allow the program to write directly to your already inserted USB drive ², then remove it from your PC.
  9. Insert the USB drive into your car USB port.
  10. Tap your Start button once (without touching the brake pedal) to put the car in ACC mode.
  11. Be patient and wait for the first message (could take as long as 5 or 6 minutes), acknowledge the OS version message (using the touchscreen) and wait while the progress messages scroll by.  As long as you have a variation of 56.00.521 or 56.00.530 firmware, just answer YES if you see the following screen (all options will install fine).
    56-00-530D-NA
  12. Acknowledge the reboot prompt (using the touchscreen).
  13. After the screen turns black (system reboot), pull out your USB drive and…
  14. Enjoy!  Repeat the process (starting with step 3) to try other options, or to uninstall any combination of options using the same USB drive (best not to “uninstall” any option that hasn’t been installed though).  Note: there is no need to delete files that the program copied to the USB drive, as you repeat these steps.

¹   Many larger USB drives are pre-formatted ExFAT, not FAT32 (especially the larger drives), so to be sure, right click on the drive in Windows Explorer, and choose “Format…”, FAT32.   Windows may not offer FAT32 option for larger drives, in which case you’ll need a separate utility like this one from HP (that you must run as an administrator).  For some, it’s just easier to just use smaller USB drives.

²   By having the USB drive inserted and allowing the program to write the files directly, this saves you the step of manually copying files from the newly compiled folder ‘_copy_content_to_root_of_fat32_usb_stick‘ to the USB drive.

³  Optional: You might want to create a desktop shortcut to choose.cmd for easier future access.  Easy way to do this – right click on choose.cmd (it’s in the folder you created) and select create shortcut.  Then drag that shortcut to your desktop and rename it Fiat AIO and click that instead.


Some more tweaks that I would like to see added…
1.  Guidance Mute

guidance-mute

… or at least treat a volume reading of 0 (Zero) as Visual Only (Mute).

I consider this a safety feature since you aren’t supposed to be programming your destination while driving, so that by entering it prior to starting your trip so that you will  be offered the needed guidance as we get closer to your destination, you have a simple method to “shut her up” without cancelling the route while varying from the recommended route in the initial portion of your trip.

As you’ve probably already discovered, just lowering the volume doesn’t eliminate the annoying music interruptions in your headrest speakers (left channel) during each announcement.

2.  Compass

Be able to select the No-Navigation “Compass” screen (minus the “You don’t have a Navigation SD card” message).  Or better yet, I feel that the display of the already created compass button from the map manipulation screen, should be affixed to the bottom right corner of the 3D cockpit view, when the Menu bar is hidden (as shown below).  For more details on this suggestion, go here.

map-manip2

3.  FM/HD Radio RDS Live Traffic

(thanking muserltd for the suggestion)
Rather than depending on an XM subscription for real-time traffic data, which is how the Infotainment system is currently setup for the U.S., be able to switch the function back to the FM Radio Data System (RDS) data that is…

  • presumably already programmed into the Infotainment software  (but disabled)
  • broadcast as a free service at many large-city FM & HD radio stations
  • was planned for the 124 Spider (based on the owner’s manual)…
  • Fiat websites and corporate materials (aside from the owner’s manuals) still claim that this feature is programmed into our Infotainment systems, as evidenced in this screen shot taken 3/25/2017 (click to enlarge)…

nav live traffic

How does it work?

from Crutchfield.com

Real-time traffic data is compiled by a traffic-information provider, then broadcast over a radio frequency to equipment set up to receive it. Depending on the equipment you have, you’ll subscribe to a service that’s broadcast over terrestrial FM, or to one that’s broadcast along with satellite radio signals. Traffic information doesn’t interfere with FM or XM radio reception, so you can continue to listen to either source while you receive traffic signals.

The traffic information comes from a variety of sources, including commercial traffic data providers, departments of transportation, police and emergency services, road sensors, traffic cameras, and even aircraft reports. This information is compiled and delivered via radio frequency (FM/HD Radio or XM) to your navigation system. These providers work with the two main companies behind map data for the U.S., Tele Atlas and HERE (formerly known as NAVTEQ), to deliver accurate representation of traffic data on GPS map displays.

In terrestrial FM applications, the traffic signals are broadcast over the FM Radio Data System (RDS), a special application of the radio band for sending small amounts of digital information. Most car stereos support FM RDS signals, which is how you can see radio station call letters or artist and song title information on your display when tuned to certain stations.

HD Radio signals broadcast traffic data in a similar fashion, but since HD Radio signals are able to carry more information, they can provide real-time updates more rapidly — up to four times more quickly than FM RDS in some cases.

Asked an expert…

Quote: Originally Posted by ameridan View Post

Championway,

By any chance, would you know the TMC settings to enable traffic data in North America via FM/HD radio stations, as was planned for 2017 models (at least for the 124 Spider)?

His answer…

If the CMU unit FM socket supports RDS, then disable [tmc-http] and enable [tmc]. This setting is at “data.zip/project_config” and at “data.zip/config/devices”. Also need the [appropriate] data.zip first [from the jci/nng/ux folder].

Unfortunately, this is not very useful to me and I probably won’t be persueing this further.

120 thoughts on “Common tweaks that work in the Fiat 124 Spider Infotainment Center 7.0

  1. FYI, I noted recently that it was difficult to read posts and access menus for my blog from my phone, so digging into the WordPress site administration settings, I just found an option checkbox that allows for mobile-friendly viewing that simply needed a click. Why WordPress wouldn’t make that a default setting I haven’t a clue, but the site works much better now!

    Like

  2. Picked up my (US) Abarth Spider last week and did the tweaks today. Everything works great – except selecting the speedometer from the Apps menu locks up the head unit and I have to shut down the car for a few minutes to get it to restart. Is there a way to uninstall and reinstall just the speedometer tweak, or do I have to go back to factory then and re-do everything? Thanks!

    Like

  3. Now – Any chance of a tweak to get text messages to work with the iPhone? Everything related to emails & texts is dimmed out in my communications menu… (?)

    Like

  4. I would totally disconnect all of the pairing from both the phone side as well as the car’s and start over. Many have had success doing so (just like your speedo install 😉 ).

    1. Clear all text messages on your phone.
    2. Forget the paired references on both the phone and car
    3. Disable Bluetooth on the phone and the car
    4. Turn off the phone and turn in back on
    5. Re-enable Bluetooth on the phone and the car
    5. Pair the phone to the car
    6. Hit the i button next to Fiat Spider>then select show notifications.

    Unless you install the touchscreen tweak, the system will not show the text of a message on the screen if you’re in motion — it will only read it out loud. If the volume is down, or the message contains is a picture, emoticon or any other MME files, you’ll just get nothing.

    Like

    • That actually worked! (Although there’s one additional thing that you didn’t mention that I did – turn off BlueTooth, power-cycle the iPhone, then turn BlueTooth back on.) Thanks!

      Three months after they announced it, I’m kinda hoping Mazda will eventually get around to the promised CarPlay update.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I got one of those “Oh my god!” emails from a friend yesterday that the Mazda (and Fiat 124) infotainment system can be hacked (Gasp!) by anyone with a USB stick!!!! (Yup. That’s us…) But the worst part was that the article said “…the USB code execution flaws have been fixed with MZD Connect firmware version 59.00.502, released last month. Cars that have not been updated to this version are most likely open to attacks, albeit there are no reports of this issue being abused in any other way except to tweak infotainment dashboards.” If they really “fixed” it, that sucks… I’ve been loving my Abarth startup graphics, the Speedometer app, and being able to let my co-pilot use the touchscreen while I’m driving…

    Article: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/you-can-hack-some-mazda-cars-with-a-usb-flash-drive/

    Like

  6. I’m really hoping Fiat doesn’t go this extreme with any firmware updates!!!

    My little blog and the one thread in the 124spider.org forum doesn’t get the attention that Mazda3Revolution does (because it effects almost all Mazda models regarding AIO), so there hopefully is no publicity pressure to do so. Plus, the one tweak that the Mazda brand oriented AIO which contained “illegal copies of NNG code and data files”, along with the NNG_Tool and NNG_patcher tweaks that allowed the use of pirated maps, really pressured Mazda to disallow tweaks anyways, even though the code is now, no longer is part of AIO.

    I proactively removed that tweak as soon as I became aware of the situation, so as to not call any negative attention to the Fiat package.

    One takeaway >>> if you are heading to the dealer and you decide to remove obvious tweaks (screen background, boot animation, initial disclaimer, date-to-status bar, speedometer app, etc) in case they decide to apply a firmware upgrade (so far, I’m not aware of any upgrades being available for the 124 Spider), be sure to leave the touchscreen tweak enabled, because that tweak is supposed to carry through firmware upgrades 🙂

    Like

    • As the owner of the vehicle, can we refuse any update to the infotainment system that we don’t choose to accept? As a retired IT Manager, unless I know the details of what’s included in an upgrade, my first response is to refuse it till the details are disclosed, and I think that’s a responsible position to take. Yes, there is the potential for malicious code to be installed on the system, but only if the source we obtained it from is unscrupulous to begin with. That said, it could just as easily be introduced via BT data pairing with a phone or tablet. So, though it’s a valid concern, I don’t think the risk is high (at this point in time). Others may well disagree with my position on this.

      Like

  7. Unless a firmware upgrade includes documented improvements (safety, reliability, emissions, recall issue, etc), I would think you should be able to formally request that your firmware be left alone until just prior to your 4-year warranty elapsing (or even beyond if you so choose with the expectation that you may then have to pay for the upgrade).

    Like

    • Update: I took my vehicle in for it’s first oil and filter change (at a whole whopping 5km on the odometer). I had a discussion with the service team to add a note to my maintenance file noting that no updates to the Infotainment system be installed without my prior review and consent, and they were totally okay with that. In fact, I’d already shown the service manager the changes I’ve made to my vehicle and he was so impressed that he asked if he could refer other owners to me if they were interested in doing some of them… which, with your blessing, will result in me referring them to your “most excellent” site. Everything other than badging, engine covers, and Abarth seat belt shoulder pads have come from your site and guidance.

      One very quick follow up question for you. The startup animation (Abarth version) seems to work intermittently. The Abarth logo always shows up, but the Abarth 124 Spider red car animation appears randomly. I honestly can’t figure out what triggers it, but am wondering if it’s the custom background screen that in jumping the queue to boot in it’s place. Do you have any thoughts on this?

      Regards and thanks,

      Cal.

      Like

      • Thank you again Cal, and no problem with the referrals.

        Regarding the boot animation, Here’s my opinion…
        Depending on the amount of time between shutdown and restart, I think the CMU first goes into a suspend/sleep mode when you shut off your vehicle. and then actually powers down the CMU after an unknown amount of time (a few hours?). Since the power-up from suspend mode is so much quicker, the “filler” boot animation sequence


        LoopLogo.ivf
        TranLogo.ivf
        TranLogoEnd.ivf

        is simply cut short, and you might observe that the Navigation is ready much sooner as well.

        I’m pretty sure that it has nothing to do with the tweak, since the Fiat animation behaves the same. You really only see the full animation from a true boot sequence from a powered-down state. Look at the bright side – the system resumes where it left off as soon as possible, rather than running a forced timed boot sequence.

        Once in awhile in the tweaked Abarth bootup, I observe the Fiat logo starting things off. Although I’ve located the animation files to be substituted, there must be one more static image file I haven’t located yet, that also needs to be substituted.

        Cal, here’s something for you to try…
        Before shutting off the vehicle, engage the Home screen and see if the boot sequence is more to your liking. It may finish TranLogo.ivf so that TranlLogoEnd.ivf (the 5-button Home screen with Mazda’s background) can be played.

        Like

  8. Just wondering – what’s the little mountain icon that shares the space with the mini compass? I was thinking maybe it was altitude, but it’s not always the same sitting in my driveway…?

    Like

  9. Lou, it is altitude via the GPS which, along with the compass heading, needs to be verified in the “Where Am I” screen. As I allude to in the blog, it was often incorrect with my firmware version, and is the main reason I uninstalled Speedometer. A few feet difference is understandable depending on how many satellites it is triangulating the data with, but when the difference is over 100′, you know that some days there are unreliable computations.

    If the compass seems correct, the altitude should likewise be correct.

    Like

  10. If anyone wishes to try an alternative to the Speedometer app screen, here is a link to the substitute files with instructions. Be aware that I have not personally tested this alternative, so let us know your results.

    Touching the screen allows you to switch from km/h to mph AND to switch from the regular main screen to a large digital speed-only screen as shown below ⇓

    You: “But officer, I had no idea I was going that fast”
    Officer replies: “Do you want to see YOUR speedometer display on my dashcam from 100′ behind you, showing 105?” 🙂

    Like

  11. I don’t have an Abarth, but looking through the manual, it doesn’t appear that the readings are displayed anywhere. There is a possibility that they may be readable via OBDII using your smartphone, but no app has been written yet that I am aware of to display OBDII data on the 7″ screen.

    Like

  12. Hello,
    It is possible to implement the same as Speedometer a display for the turbo charge pressure.
    Drink a coffee and think about it.

    Greetings from Switzerland

    Like

    • Thank you. Apparently the scan rate isn’t quick enough for an acceptable display of turbo readings with the current configuration, so we are stuck with using a real turbo boost gauge.

      Like

  13. Enjoy your coffee – you deserve it. Tweaks installed and work perfectly. Thanks for all of your effort. Now I’m going to create my own Abarth background image. Thanks again S.

    Like

    • Of the hundreds that have installed tweaks, I don’t think anyone has lost Nav. They aren’t related at all, other than the tweaks inserting a text file to the Nav card with the CID value. You didn’t install Android Auto did you?

      Like

      • Hmm. Installed the tweaks. Everything works, except I did try Android Auto, and it isn’t working right. I don’t mind figuring it out, except I did lose the NAV. It says loading NAV and just sits there without loading. I went ahead and removed AA, but the problem still persists. I am going to have to figure out what happened.

        Like

      • Since you did uninstall AA, do a reboot and/or a factory reset and hopefully you should be good again. Let us know as I want to add a note to advise others (as you can tell by the comments, most have heeded my advice and not even tried AA).

        Like

  14. I just installed a few of the tweaks, including Speedometer app, removal of warning screen, touch-screen always enabled are the primary ones. Since then, I’ve experienced what “feels” like a bit of a lag and longer than usual response time on “clicks”. Once it was “stuck” and I couldn’t select an alternate audio source for several tries, and finally the system “caught up” and gave a bunch of peeps in a row (from when I clicked ten times on “audio source”). I might just be playing more with it than usual – I think the system was trying to import contacts at the same time – so it might be “normal” not sure but wanted to at least ask – has anyone else having those issues? Which of the tweaks should I uninstall that might cause the “most” problems with the stock behavior of the program? I’m considering uninstalling the speedometer app, that seems to be the most involved modification.

    Thanks for your help.

    Like

    • The system has a known inherent memory bug that whereby too many files on your USB drive can cause the slowdown, especially perhaps in conjunction with Navigation and perhaps the speedometer app. Option [V] attempts to help overcome that bug, but you have to leave the USB drive in as the swap file then becomes additional system memory. Reboot and give it a few more tries and it may clear up for the majority of the time. Too many contacts on your paired phone might also trigger the memory issues.

      Many of us are somewhat disappointed in the speedometer app and you may someday decide to just uninstall as I did.

      Like

  15. It’s been a couple of months since they announced that CarPlay would be made available to all versions – not a peep since then?

    Like

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