Ok so I finally have it mostly dialed in the way I want the unit to behave. I am probably outside the norm of how I like these tablets to function in regards to carplay and sync 3. I do NOT use the full screen carplay - to me that just limits you to, well, carplay. This thing can do SO much more. Why limit it to that? So, like my phoenix unit, I have carplay hooked up wirelessly to sync 3. Why? Because I like to be able to hit the siri button on the steering wheel and say 'call wifey' or 'play dark side of the moon by pink floyd' or text daughter 'your spending too much money this month' etc. I can be in full screen waze and doing all of this does not interrupt that. Waze stays on full screen. I chose to use the modern home screen - it almost seems like nova launcher a bit even though it isn't, I'm not sure what it is, but it works great for my needs. I added a couple of widgets and the most used applications, it's simple and minimalist and it works great.
The 'classic' home screen is just shit. Trust me. Anyway, this table is MILES better than the phoenix it replaced, and now I really have zero need for any firmware or anything, it works EXACTLY how I want it and I couldn't be happier at this point. Here is a shot of my setup, the glare in the photo is awful but doesn't seem as bad in reality although what matte screen protectors are people using?