Well first of all, there isn’t actually an ‘us’, there is a ‘me’! My name is Ben Willcox and I am the creator of JagDroid. Imagine ‘man in a shed’ rather than ‘large shiny factory’.
I bought myself a 2004 model year Jaguar XJ X350 Super V8 around 2016, which has with the touchscreen entertainment system fitted. I’m not sure it was really cutting edge even when introduced in the early 2000s, but certainly in 2016 it was very dated with no ability for bluetooth music streaming, let alone navigation with live traffic, or the ability to install apps etc.
I had read on the Jaguar Forum that some people had retro-fitted an Android computer which splices into the touchscreen video signal, but these were quite specialist units with limited scope for future upgrades, and they still used the original low resolution LCD panel within the Jaguar touchscreen system.
I am trained in Electronic Engineering and thought that there must be a better way. So, I started experimenting and reverse engineering the original touchscreen, you can read the journey here on the Jaguar Forum. I eventually came up with a solution that met all of the design goals – it retains all of the original Jaguar screen functions, has a higher resolution multi-touch LCD panel, runs Android so it can run any app that a modern phone or tablet can, supports wifi, bluetooth, GPS, and looks absolutely factory with no additional external buttons required.
Fast forward a little while and the upgrade gained such interest and popularity that I decided to start building the conversions as a paid service. I have made many improvements along the way, including designing and having manufactured professionally produced Printed Circuit Boards which are used in the upgrades, to improve reliability, add functionality, and optimise the upgrade process. The DIY instructions on this site are now very old compared to the upgrade process that I carry out today.
There was also interest from those Jag owners who didn’t necessarily want the full Android experience, but wanted the ability to play music from their phone via blueooth. So I went on to develop the JagDroid-BT upgrade, which is a cheaper, simpler solution for those who just want music streaming. I have since expanded this to offer JagDroid-BT solutions for the older XJ models, and well as some XK models.