Apple CarPlay makes things very convenient, whether playing your favorite songs or checking out the Google Maps directions on your car’s infotainment system. You’ll need to connect your phone to your car, and Apple CarPlay will load instantly. The best part is that you can open several screens together. Plus, if you want your Maps to stay dark, you can do so. And not to mention the convenience of automation and shortcuts.
However, the connecting USB cables and wires can lead to a cluttered look on the dashboard. Wireless CarPlay adapters help you to solve this issue. These are simple devices that plug into the USB port of your car and connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth, thereby letting you access Apple CarPlay minus the cable. Almost magic, right?
But is wireless Apple CarPlay worth it? How does it compare against the wired version? Well, that’s what we will explore in this post today and the various issues that come up with wireless CarPlay adapters.
IS IT WORTH BUYING WIRELESS CARPLAY ADAPTERS
There are quite a few wireless CarPlay accessories out there. If you want something portable and do not want to replace the built-in infotainment system of your car, the portable adapters are your best bet. Once paired to your phone, you can leave them on your car’s dashboard. At the same time, you can leave your phone in your pocket/bag and leave behind the hassle of manually connecting it with a wire.
Another way to achieve wireless CarPlay is through dedicated car multimedia receivers. These devices come with built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, thereby making things convenient and easy. Quite obviously, these multimedia devices are more expensive than their counterparts.
Now, that we are settled, let’s see some of the advantages and disadvantages of wireless CarPlay.
One of the main advantages of wired CarPlay is flawless connectivity. Once you connect your phone to your car (and provided the car supports CarPlay), the home screen of CarPlay will pop right away. You can use Google Maps, play songs on Spotify and summon Siri, among others. Plus, if you receive a call on your phone, CarPlay will make receiving or disconnecting such calls a seamless experience.
We have been using wired CarPlay for a year now, and there have been no issues with lags, audio quality, and call drops. Just ensure that the connected iPhone doesn’t run hot, and you will be in the clear.
When it comes to connectivity in wireless CarPlay adapters, things may not be as seamless as the wired version. Again, the connectivity depends greatly on the type of device and its compatibility with CarPlay.
If you want to buy one of the portable adapters, they have a mixed bag of responses when it comes to user experiences. The popular CarlinKit 3.0 wireless adapter has several users complaining about the latency during voice calls, playing songs, or button responses. On the bright side, there are adapters like the tnvtec Wireless Carplay Adapter, which don’t have as much latency or delay.
The connectivity issue almost vanishes if you plan to upgrade to a full-fledged car multimedia receiver with CarPlay support. Receivers like the Pioneer AVH-2400NEX or the Kenwood DDX276BT are more expensive than their counterparts. They come with the bells and whistles like Bluetooth connection, touchscreen display, radio, and additional apps.
And they deliver flawless connectivity, whether it’s a phone conversation or summoning Siri via CarPlay. But it comes with all the pros and cons (and costs) of adding an altogether different multimedia system to your car.
Wireless Bluetooth adapters and devices connect via Bluetooth to your phone. After the initial pairing, the phone will connect automatically to the device. It removes the hassles of connecting the lightning cable every time you get in your car.
While establishing a connection to your iPhone is almost seamless in multimedia devices, some portable adapters encounter issues in consecutive connections. They either refuse to connect, which means you will have to go through the unpairing and pairing process again. Or, they can take a few minutes to connect, thus delaying your journey.
The good news is that some wireless CarPlay adapters like the Carlinkit 4.0 Wireless CarPlay Adapter have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which minimizes the issues with consecutive connections.
EASE OF USE
Ease of use ultimately translates to how fast the device is in a real-world scenario. If establishing a touch, playing a song, or answering a call requires more than a minute’s delay, it defeats the purpose.
Again, if you are planning to upgrade to a full-fledged wireless CarPlay, you may want to look at the number of apps it supports, the touchscreen interface, and additional features.
WIRELESS VS. WIRED
Wireless Apple CarPlay is worth every cent if you can find the right adapter for the price and one compatible with the version of CarPlay in your car. While most multimedia systems work flawlessly, they come with the additional cost of fitting. The mantra is to get the right wireless CarPlay adapters, one that utilizes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for connections.
Connecting a simple Lightning cable is not too big of a hassle. Besides that, you also get the added advantage of charging your iPhone.
CARLINKIT 4.0, AUTOKIT OR A2A?
" I am sure to buy an adapter, but there are many types of adapter. How should I choose the correct product for my car? Do they all support my iPhone or Android phone? "
First of all, there are three adapters here, Carlinkit 4.0, Autokit and A2A.
They both support wireless carplay and wireless Android Auto. In other words, All three can be used with your phone or Android phone.
Second, please choose the right product for your car based on the following criteria:
1. For OEM Car Radios which support wired CarPlay: Carlinkit 4.0
2. For OEM Car Radios which support wired Android Auto: A2A
3. For Aftermarket Android Car Screen: Autokit