Do Wireless CarPlay adapters actually work? My Honda Civic came with wired Apple CarPlay. I really wanted Wireless CarPlay in the Civic, but replacing its entertainment system seemed unwise. However, there’s a solution for turning standard CarPlay into Wireless CarPlay, and it works with iOS 17 and iPhone 15.
Setting up the adapter is no harder than pairing with Wireless CarPlay. Connect the adapter to your car’s USB port that powers wired CarPlay, then pair your iPhone to the adapter over Bluetooth from the Settings app.
I tried the adapter when it arrived just to check if it paired. I had a total surprise-and-delight moment a few days later. I took a short drive across town with my iPhone in my pocket without thinking about the adapter, and CarPlay just appeared on my screen automatically.
Expect some latency
Perfect! Well, almost. From my experience driving with standard and Wireless CarPlay, I know to expect latency when using steering wheel controls to skip tracks.
The important thing is that steering wheel controls for volume, track skipping, and voice input actually work.
Wired CarPlay versus Wireless CarPlay using the adapter
Latency aside, there is one other issue I’ve experienced using the adapter.
Standard CarPlay takes over if you connect a Lightning or USB-C cable
Top comment by Conrad7570
I purchased one of these about 2 years ago (based on the strength of a 9to5 article which was actually a Sponsored Post). Turns out many of these units are marketed under different names but are all made by the same company. If you look on their website, their contact info is in Shenzhen (China) – my experience was that customer service was almost non-existent. The unit I had worked for all of 1 day. It would not re-link (despite other devices easily connecting via BT). Even with the firmware update, there was an incredible latency delay (when it worked). And though I had the device for only a couple of days, the company would not accept a return or replacement – I probably would have done better ordering through Amazon and using their return policy. After reading the frustrations of other buyers, my experience was these wireless adapters are not consistently reliable – I am just fine with a wired CarPlay connection.
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Standard CarPlay in my car doesn’t display boxes around on-screen content like cars with physical controls for selecting content without touch input. Wireless CarPlay using the adapter does show these boxes around buttons, however, but I don’t mind.
Wireless CarPlay adapter
The upside is that the adapter receives firmware updates! There may actually be one already available, but I didn’t have the patience to run it during setup. I’ll update the piece if it resolves either issue.
In the meantime, I’m incredibly happy with the CarLink adapter. I highly recommend trying this adapter or one similar if you already have CarPlay but wish it was wireless.
The price can be much more affordable than buying an aftermarket Wireless CarPlay head unit and paying for installation. The adapter currently ships for around $55 with a coupon code from Amazon.
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