CarPlay Skip/Prev Track Solution FOUND for cars w/o workable CarPlay steering wheel controls

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by PeteLP, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. PeteLP, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018

    PeteLP macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008
    Many cars either have no steering wheel, skip/prev track controls, or have controls that don't support CarPlay.

    When I'm using CarPlay without Skip Track Controls and I'm using Maps and need to skip forward or back, I've got to leave maps in carplay, go to the carplay audio app, tap the on screen skip controls until I find the right spot, and then return to maps. (Too much time with my eyes off the road) Siri works for this, but IMO its too disruptive. I use the carplay audible app all the time and this is a big deal for me, since I very often need to skip back to catch something I missed.

    I found a solution that works perfectly for me: Satechi Bluetooth Media Button, a bluetooth audio controller.

    Here's how it looks in my car:
    Bluetooth Audio Button.jpg
    It's really working beautifully. It is battery operated, with no wiring to install, just that little button. The MFR claims the battery will last two years. You just pair it to your iPhone and you're done. They include a steering wheel attachment, if you want to go that way, and a non destructive sticky pad which you can use to attach it to any small flat surface (As in the Photo). It also has a pause button in the center, which is a nice plus, and works well when pausing any audio app I've tried.

    You can use it entirely by feel without ever looking at it. And because it talks to your phone, rather than the car's head unit, it should work with any any car, and any head unit. I'm using it with my iPhone XS Max.

    Two minor imperfections to note:
    1) In order to achieve their long battery life, it automatically goes to sleep after about 10 minutes. The next time you press ANY button on this remote it wakes up and reconnects with the phone. But that first click after it's sleeping will be ignored by the phone (for its intended purpose). Just wait about a second after that wake-up click, and its ready. At this point you can click as many times as you want, as quickly as you want, and every click works perfectly.

    2) The volume doesn't work because this remote is controlling the iphone volume, and CarPlay volume is totally independent of iPhone volume. We all have usable volume controls in the car so it's not an issue, but if you want to use this for adding CarPlay volume control to your steering wheel, it won't do it.

    I have to say I'm delighted with this little device.

    EDIT: Removed my comments about skip controls not working on Porsche with CarPlay. It now seems to be working fine in my Panamera. (could be an iOS update that fixed it)
  2. danmart macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2015
    Lancs, UK
    I used to have one of these in my wife’s car in combo with a simple Bluetooth dongle to send music to the Aux In port. It worked well.

    The only faff was re-pairing it when you changed phones as I seem to recall the pin hole that allowed this was in the back of the device and normal usage is to stick it to something.

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