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CarPlay CarPlay adapter to convert to wireless CarPlay?

MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
I have a manufacturer fitted head unit that has CarPlay in and works great. The unit is wired only though. Works fine just a bit awkward when going short journeys when I'd like CarPlay but it's in bag or pocket and forget. It uses the USB plug in the front.

Is there a way to make it wireless somehow? I'm not talking a new head unit, a dongle or something? I know there is CarPlay dongle to add CarPlay on these Android head units, just wondering if there is such a thing.

I presume it communicates over Wifi and/or Bluetooth so is there not a USB dongle to fool the iPhone to say it's plugged in?

I'd buy one straight away for the convenience factor alone.
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Stickies

Firmware USB downloads, grabbed from CarLinkIt server depository (thanks to KevinGrabher). Use at own risk

https://projects.grabher-industries.com/U2W/
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Firmware update instructions USB method (at own risk)

1) Format a USB drive (format must should be FAT32/Allocation unit size 1024bit or default)
2) Copy the U2W_Update.img onto the root of the USB drive
3) Using a wall charger (iPad/iPhone etc), plug the dongle to it and then put it into a wall outlet power (don't plug USB drive yet)
4) Wait for the red light to turn solid red and then plug the USB drive into the dongle
5) The update has initiated once the dongle light switches from a solid red to alternating flashing red and green
6) Wait until the dongle light switches back to a solid red (about a minute or so), wait a couple of minutes more (to be safe), then the update is completed and you can unplug the dongle from the wall outlet and the USB drive from the dongle.


Firmware update instructions OTA
1. Connect your phone to the adapter and wait until CarPlay appears on the screen.
2. Enter 192.168.50.2 in your browser and click “Go.”
3. If you see an update available, click it.
4. Wait until the update bar reaches 100%.
5. When CarPlay reappears on the screen, you’re done!

Direct link from CarLinkIt website.

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For language selection there is a small globe in the bottom right corner, of the startup screen of the dongle. Select the icon, it cycles thru the languages. You'll eventually get back to English.

After an update it sometimes goes back to default Chinese language.
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If you have 2 iPhones linked, and problems connecting, use following to delete an iPhone in connection list.

When showing the screen with both devices, hold down on the device that you want to get rid of. Hold it for 5-10 seconds and it should bring up a screen that says delete.
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SETTINGS:

Synchronous mode (normal, compatible):
Standard: normal mode
Normal mode: Resolve issues with the instrument panel display.
Compatible mode: Fixes the problem that certain vehicles cannot connect to the dongle.

Media sound (CD, DVD):
Standard DVD
DVD: better sound quality.
CD: Fixes the problem that certain cars have static / playback issues

Media delay (300 to 2000 milliseconds):
Standard 1000,
The greater the delay, the less the audio stutters. The smaller the delay, the better the music and album art / pictures will sync

Background mode information: some cars go black after plugging in. So, turning on background mode will fix this.

GPS:When you enable this feature, the adapter will help iPhone get more accurate positioning

Start-up delay information: If you set the setting to 5 seconds, the adapter will start the system after 5 seconds when connected to the vehicle's USB port. (If a vehicle system does not recognize the adapter or the adapter only works to plug it in again, configure this setting parameter
 
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Solver

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2004
1,049
2,992
USA
One thing that prevents wireless CarPlay is not having a GPS system built into the car. Another thing is not having Wi-Fi built-in to the car.
 
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dwfaust

macrumors 604
Jul 3, 2011
6,807
7,631
One thing that prevents wireless CarPlay is not having a GPS system built into the car. Another thing is not having Wi-Fi built-in to the car.

The Alpine ILX-107 has its own WiFi... for the sole purpose of connecting the phone to the head unit. It uses Bluetooth as a trigger to change over to 5GHz Wi-Fi direct for CarPlay. Call audio is routed over Wi-Fi as well.
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
I was hoping a USB dongle could be plugged in to where I normally plug in my iPhone though to substitute. Presume the dongle would be Bluetooth and/or WiFi for this to communicate with the iPhone wirelessly.
 
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Solver

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2004
1,049
2,992
USA
The Alpine ILX-107 has its own WiFi... for the sole purpose of connecting the phone to the head unit. It uses Bluetooth as a trigger to change over to 5GHz Wi-Fi direct for CarPlay. Call audio is routed over Wi-Fi as well.
It also has a built-in GPS with included GPS antenna.
 
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Squid7085

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2002
558
48
Charlotte, NC
I have hunted around for something like this and it appears it is just not possible without Apple supporting it somehow. I would pay $99-$200 in a heartbeat for something like that either from Apple or third party.

For most of the factory head units, replacing it with a Wireless capable head unit is easily $1000+, and almost 0% chance of full compatibility with the rest of the cars systems.
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK

Hard to work out what it is, if it converts one of these 3rd party Android units to allow CarPlay, or if it allows wireless CarPlay I'm not 100%. There's a few of these about to get CarPlay on a non-CarPlay unit, ie Android unit.

Looks like this and says specifically for Android head unit only.
£28.53 25% Off | Car Link Dongle Link Dongle Universal Auto Link Dongle Navigation Player USB Dongle For Apple Android CarPlay
https://m.aliexpress.com/item/1811818.html

If it worked I'd buy though for the convenience factor alone. Although my USB CarPlay still has a bug whereby I have to unlock my iPhone randomly "to allow USB accessories".
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
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AMTYVLE

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2014
629
455
Treasure Coast, Florida
That looks more like it! Wireless activator even sounds what it needs to do.

Yes let me know please!

Found it on Amazon as well, but even more. Suppose Amazon better protection even though a 3rd party seller?

Just be worried on iOS updates breaking it and the support
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07WG1J1DC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_rC6yDb648FP5S

WOW - This adapter looks like a dream come true, but it does look sketchy at the same time...Unfortunately my 2017 Nissan Maxima isn't on the list of supported vehicles, even though I do have Apple CarPlay. Looking forward to see what others say about this adapter...
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
It does look like what I want. However I've been on the website and a lot of pages don't even work.

I'd be worried on support for firmware in case a new iOS version broke it.

If it was a bit cheaper I'd maybe risk, but just worried on support as well.
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
I contacted them via website. They say they'd keep up with updates for iOS.

I'm just not sure as it's £131 on AliExpress or Amazon UK. At £50 I would have probably tried it.

I wonder how it works, asked but didn't answer. Apparently you connect to the dongle via Bluetooth. I just wonder if Apple could stop it easily on an iOS updates. Can't imagine audio manufacturers will be to happy if this works.

If not works as expected, I wonder if others can do it and maybe bring price down? This is only one I've heard about, anyone else found any others?
 
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Einz

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
346
59
Don't think BT will have enough bandwidth, otherwise Apple would have used BT. It would make sense if the dongle uses Wi-Fi.
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
Don't think BT will have enough bandwidth, otherwise Apple would have used BT. It would make sense if the dongle uses Wi-Fi.
It says to connect the dongle to your iPhone via BT though.

I've asked numerous question, like how to connect, does it lag etc but no reply
 
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Einz

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
346
59
They probably gave you bad info. BT to for setup and wi-fi for CarPlay make more sense.
screenshot_197.png
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
They probably gave you bad info. BT to for setup and wi-fi for CarPlay make more sense.
Ah I see the icons now, maybe they just meant the initial connection from iPhone to they dongle is BT then thanks.

So tempted on this, but the cost....and support...?...

I just think once Apple get wind of it they could disable it somehow in an iOS updates or similar.
 
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MrMister111

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Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
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UK
Can’t get to work so far....working with manufacturer with updates, but doesn’t look like can at moment
 
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swandy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2012
607
166
Can’t get to work so far....working with manufacturer with updates, but doesn’t look like can at moment
From what I read in several different listings - there are many on Amazon for what looks like the same product - this was made to connect an Android phone to a "display" meant for Androids and this "connector" would allow you to use it with an iPhone. Perhaps if someone could test my "understanding" of the connector on a car that actually connects to Android phones? (Yeah, I know - wrong forums.) It also said in some of the descriptions that it would not currently work with iOS 13.
 
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shanewtravel

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2004
10
11
I purchased the Carlinkit wireless activator for my Audi A4 with Factory wired carplay. Basically it is a WiFi to USB adaptor that uses Bluetooth to initiate the wireless CarPlay. I purchased it as the A4 comes with a wireless charging pad, but you still have to plug in for CarPlay. I paid around $126 for it. It does work, with a few caveats. Firstly, the text that initially appears when your phone is connecting is in chinese. Luckily my better half translated it for me. Secondly, the audio is scratchy for the first 10-20 seconds; then it works as you would expect. Also, on the Audi, the dash display shows “unknown“ for the track and artist (but the CarPlay display on the center display works just like wired CarPlay). Lastly, it was a bit of a pain to purchase. I had not used Alibaba to buy anything before, and it really was setup to be a business buying these things in bulk, not a one-off like me.

All-in-all, it was worth it; but I can only verify it working on an Audi (even though they mention other makes & models). Just don’t expect much in the way of good documentation. I was able to talk to the seller through WhatsApp, and they have been good so far with support, firmware, etc., but it is a very manual process.

Link to the one I got: https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...ctivator-module-Android-auto_62184751318.html
 
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MrMister111

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 28, 2009
3,169
230
UK
I It does work, with a few caveats. Firstly, the text that initially appears when your phone is connecting is in chinese. Luckily my better half translated it for me
Can you tell me what it says? It’s happened to me once, when 1/2 worked.

Does Bluetooth stay connected the whole time to AutoKit-BT? As mine connects to it but then shows disconnected all the time
 
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hagjohn

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2006
1,081
2,287
Pennsylvania
My Subaru has built in Bluetooth, which you can use with phone calls but for CarPlay, you have to plug the phone into the car.
 
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swandy

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2012
607
166
My Subaru has built in Bluetooth, which you can use with phone calls but for CarPlay, you have to plug the phone into the car.
That's like my Lexus - you can use BlueTooth actually for phone calls, messages and it plays music also BUT if you want to use CarPlay (like to see the Map apps on the screen), you have to plug it in via USB. Would love this "wireless" connection if it works properly on my car.
 
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