Auto Car Play Opinions/Recommendations

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by lordofthereef, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    If this is in the wrong place, please move it. There isn;t a subforum specifically for carplay, so I decided to just post here. After all, I am looking to use it exclusinve with the iPhone (well, maybe Android devices too, but probably not).

    For some probably unnecessary background, we inherited a Prius from my mom who just doesn't like to drive. Though it's not really a car we would buy on a whim, it helps tote the kid around (compared to our mini and fiesta lol) and gets incredible gas mileage. We pay half of what we do for the same range with the mini and about 2/3 of what we do with the Fiesta. Since it obviously also seats more, it has become our family car.

    The stero in it is awful. Not sure who thought it would be cool to have everything routed through the MFD, which you have to lean to change. The stero itself has some controls but they are not backlit (never have been) so fiddling with it at night is just aggravating.

    Anyway, the stereo is 2DIN so I figured this might be a good time to consider car play. We use maps a lot, and the car didn't come equipped with gps, so that is another bonus. Aside from that we will likely stream music over it. Would be awesome to play videos as well, though I am unsure if that is a supported feature.

    I guess I am looking for pros and cons of the system as a whole, as well as specific models. Right now, from what I can tell, they critually all function the same way. I am leaning a bit towards Alpine if only because it will work with Android devices and has multiple inputs (which could be handy for charging multiple devices too).
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #2
    I'm sorry. I wouldn't force my worst enemy to drive one of those damn things.

    Anyways, I have a Pioneer NEX with CarPlay and it works pretty well. Like you said, CarPlay is CarPlay, so it's going to work the same on any model head unit.

    Keep in mind USB ports tend to be on the back of these units, you either have to connect it to an existing in-dash USB port if your car has one, or have an extension cable hanging out of your center console or glove box. So multiple USB ports is nice in theory but generally useless in practice. My Pioneer unit has 2 USB ports. One is hooked up to the USB port in my center console, the other one will probably never be used. If you need to charge multiple devices, stick with a car charger.
     
  3. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #3
    I honestly did not know that. What a pain since the phone needs to be plugged in.
     
  4. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
    As far as driving the Prius, it would not be my first choice. But as much as we drive it is rather economical. It royally sucks in the snow, but plowing here is good, so it's mostly a non-issue. Paying $15 to fill up and get a range of about 350 miles makes up for it completely, for me anyway. Plus, getting my son, with all of his gear, into either a mini cooper or a Ford Fiesta is WAY more torturous than anything else. Of course, we could go buy a new car (my wife has her eye on a Rav-4 or Handa CRV), but that makes little sense to me when a car with ultra low mileage and impeccable maintenance record was handed to me to do with what I wish. We do have plans for another little one down the road, at which point we will probably buy something new (and larger).

    As far as the USB ports go, that is mostly a non-issue. They make aftermarket USB ports that plug into "empty" spaces on the dash (see pic), so I plan on buying some of those and just calling it a day. It looks cleaner, and it gets around the ridiculous spot that I have to plug in a car charger; It's so low to the floor that you couldn't make a phone call while plugged in unless you got a longer cable. The positioning on that doesn't make sense.

    The real question is whether or not both ports are powered simultaneously.

    I'm also curious about any models that are able to play videos right off the device. AFAIK that isn't a native carplay feature. I still don't understand why there are these limitations on these devices... It's like these companies feel the need to be my mom and physically restrict me from doing something. LOL

    [​IMG]

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    It kind of makes sense to me, considering these devices are meant to just be a large screen. Placing USB ports in the front of it would have one major side-effect; reduced screen size. When the entire point of a carplay system is to have the biggest screen possible in a 2DIN space, I think no USB in front is perfectly reasonable. JMO of course.

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    Is there anything about the device you DON'T like? The main differences are the hardware buttons that I have seen. I think my preference (based solely on looks) is that the buttons be under the screen rather than to the left or right (or above, though I haven't seen that yet).
     
  5. jokerz126 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #5
    best non-Carplay options??

    isn't Carplay kind of redundant with a nice big display like the iphone 6 plus and a stereo with bluetooth that lets u control stuff through Siri??

    of all the non-carplay stereos out now, which do you think will be most "Siri-Friendly" and up to date as far as bluetooth and interface? budget is around $2-300...or is it really worth paying more to get Carplay? seems like the touchscreen quality on these sounds kind of lame..
     
  6. lordofthereef thread starter macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #6
    I played with some CarPlay devices at best buy and the touch screen was fine.

    I think the deciding factors are budget, how clean you want the thing to look, and how interested you are in extra controls and info.

    I know maps will show step by step directions on the phone while showing you the maps and giving you vocalized direction through the head unit. We also have three iPhone in our house, so one person might use their device instead of another.

    I'm still not sold on wanting this though. I found out me head unit is compatible with a usb and aux I out cable add on that I can buy for under $40. Thinking of just doing that and calling it a day. As nice as a new head unit might be the car isn't a " forever" vehicle, and I can save a boatload. Hell, $40 is probably cheaper than just the mounting kit and cables I'd have to buy for an aftermarket stereo c
     

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