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Anyone added after-market CarPlay to their car? (1 Viewer)

DaveF

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I drive a 2016 Subaru Legacy. My biggest complaint is it doesn’t have Apple CarPlay. It’s a model year too early. I’m thinking about replacing the stereo head unit with an aftermarket unit to add CarPlay. Has anyone researched this and got a recommendation for the best unit? I’m looking at the Alpine ILX 507, but I’ve not look carefully. And this will would a $1000+ upgrade which is a lot for a car I might replace in 12-24 months. But, if $1000 today makes it easier to get 2-4 more years from my car, and wait for the EV new car situation to settle out further, and wait a bit longer before having to spend $70k (!!!) on a new car…that might be money well spent.

 

Ronald Epstein

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If it were me...

I would absolutely do this if I planned to wait a few more years for the EV car situation to settle further.

CarPlay/Android Auto is an incredible technology upgrade. I am assuming you have tried it but here are the benefits I get out of it...

Saying "Siri" allows you to listen to and respond to text messages hands-free. I can compose a text message to someone through dictation, Siri will review what I just dictated and ask if I want to send it.

I can control home automation with my voice, again using Siri, asking it to open my garage door or turn on my living room lights so I am not walking into a dark home.

I can make phone calls hands-free with Siri assistance.

If you subscribe to a music service such as SiriusXM, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, or Qobuz the apps allow you to search through and select songs from their libraries. You can also preload music on your phone and select those songs through favorite categories in each app.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of Carplay/Android Auto is that you don't have to rely on your vehicle's navigation system. Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze are the top three navigation apps that turn your stereo display into a GPS roadmap. And, unlike car navigation systems that require paid upgrades to renew maps, they are automatically upgraded on the phone apps at no additional cost.

If you are looking to buy in the next 12 months, I understand your hesitation to spend the money and I would agree with you that it might not be worth the upgrade. However, if you can eek another two years or more out of your Subaru, I would absolutely buy the system as it would add a tremendous level of enjoyment to your daily drive. It might also add value to the vehicle at resale.
 

DaveF

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I’m buying in 3 months to 36 months from now. 😆 Unsure due to prices and constant changes to charging standards, new model announcements, etc.

CarPlay upgrade might ease desire to upgrade and make it easier to wait three years vs three months.
 

Robert Saccone

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I am in the same scenario I missed CarPlay by 1 year on my 2015 Accord Coupe. I only have 25K miles on it so I am not looking to get a new car on the nearish future. The complication in the Accord is that the climate control system and car settings system is tied into the head unit display so swapping out isn’t straightforward or maybe impossible. I have CarPlay in another car and it is a joy. However that car has it wired only. I’ve seen some after market kits to allow for wireless connection but I am not sure how well they work.
 
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Scott Merryfield

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I am in the same scenario I missed CarPlay by 1 year on my 2025 Accord Coupe. I only have 25K miles on it so I am not looking to get a new car on the nearish future. The complication in the Accord is that the climate control system and car settings system is tied into the head unit display so swapping out isn’t straightforward or maybe impossible. I have CarPlay in another car and it is a joy. However that car has it wired only. I’ve seen some after market kits to allow for wireless connection but I am not sure how well they work.
My car is wired only (I use Android Auto, which is similar to Apple Car Play). I don't really see the need to add an aftermarket wireless option. I just leave a USB cable plugged into my car all the time, and plug my phone in when I get in if I need navigation (I can make/receive calls wirelessly). The navigation is enough of a drain on the phone battery that I want it plugged in anyway to keep the phone charged.
 

DaveF

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My car is old enough that climate controls are physical buttons and not part of the infotainment kit.

It’s getting wireless CarPlay plus learning that it will work with my backup camera that really grabbed my attention
 

DaveF

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I am in the same scenario I missed CarPlay by 1 year on my 2025 Accord Coupe. I only have 25K miles on it so I am not looking to get a new car on the nearish future. The complication in the Accord is that the climate control system and car settings system is tied into the head unit display so swapping out isn’t straightforward or maybe impossible. I have CarPlay in another car and it is a joy. However that car has it wired only. I’ve seen some after market kits to allow for wireless connection but I am not sure how well they work.
I assume you meant 2015 Accord?

I test drove 2016 Accord and CarPlay was too glitchy. So, feel better in that you missed it by two years realistically. :)
 

Robert Saccone

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My car is wired only (I use Android Auto, which is similar to Apple Car Play). I don't really see the need to add an aftermarket wireless option. I just leave a USB cable plugged into my car all the time, and plug my phone in when I get in if I need navigation (I can make/receive calls wirelessly). The navigation is enough of a drain on the phone battery that I want it plugged in anyway to keep the phone charged.
In our CRV there’s only one car play enabled port. I have a USB-C based iPhone and my wife still has lightening. Don’t want to be swapping cables all the time. And we still have two charging connectors available so we could charge on those and hook up to CarPlay via the wireless adapter.
 

Clinton McClure

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In 2018, I bought a new Civic Hatchback Sport. The Sport models do not come equipped with CarPlay capable head units. After a few months of messing with the very incapable factory head unit, I replaced mine with a Sony XAV-AX100 CarPlay capable head unit. I did the work myself and it only took about an hour to swap head units and program the box (I forget the name of it) that allows my steering wheel controls to work with the aftermarket HU.

The XAV-AX100 is not wireless like some of the Alpine units, but it was relatively inexpensive. Since I bought the Civic Sport and not the Sport Touring edition, the head unit wasn’t an all-encompassing thing and it ONLY controlled the stereo and nothing else. That’s one of the reasons I opted for the Sport over the Sport Touring.

Long story short, have a CarPlay enabled head unit installed if at all possible. It’s a game changer.
 

John Dirk

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There are much cheaper, standalone options available. They won't be elegant but might be acceptable for the short term.

Example only...

 

DaveF

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There are much cheaper, standalone options available. They won't be elegant but might be acceptable for the short term.
Thanks for the suggestion, I wasn’t aware of those devices. But if I’m going to this, I’m going with an integrated solution. I’ve already got my iPhone in a vent-clamped mount. If I spend some money, I’m getting away from that too. :)
 

John Dirk

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My 2018 Mercedes has wired only and, like Ron said, it's a game changer. I wouldn't even consider a new car that didn't support Carplay, and I generally avoid Apple products. I did add a wireless dongle because I got tired of replacing kinked lightening cables at $15.00 a pop. The way my phone sits in the provided space all but guarantees recurring cable issues, If I were looking for a new vehicle I'd want the announced but illusive Next-Gen Carplay.
 

Todd Erwin

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If you are looking to install yourself, Crutchfield is excellent. We upgraded the car stereo in my wife’s 2002 Camry this summer, and Crutchfield provided excellent step by step instructions and made sure I had purchased all of the required accessories to complete the installation. They were even able to walk me through a few of the more confusing steps over the phone.
 

Nelson Au

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Dave, I have a 2001 BMW 330ci that I bought new, a car I still love very much after 22 years! It really is an ultimate driving machine.

In November 2019 i replaced the stock head unit with one from Dynavin. The unit I got is the N7 pro. This company designed the units to fit in the dash and is a very close appearance and control layout to a factory head unit. They make versions for other cars too. This set up requires a wired connection. It works great for the most part and the two things I like the most is using my iTunes music library for music and maps of course for navigation. It’s also fun to use the Microsoft Teams app if I’m in a meeting for work in the car.

I did the install myself in one day. As my car is a fairly popular model, I found several youtube videos and BMW forum threads for info. I did not install the back-up camera yet. Only because I still have not determined the best place to install the camera.

This unit will also play video files from a thumb drive. i experimented with one movie file. I had hoped to add more, but when I’m driving, I’m not watching it of course. So I haven’t tried more video files.
IMG_7484.jpeg IMG_7551.jpeg
They even matched the backlighted control colors to the factory red color. i know there are aftermarket wireless adaptors, but ts unclear how well they will work with this unit.

Edit: Dave, I looked at the Dynavin site, i see there’s a new model for my car that does include wireless CarPlay. I might upgrade! I did not see a Subaru option unfortunately.
 
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Robert Saccone

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My 2018 Mercedes has wired only and, like Ron said, it's a game changer. I wouldn't even consider a new car that didn't support Carplay, and I generally avoid Apple products. I did add a wireless dongle because I got tired of replacing kinked lightening cables at $15.00 a pop. The way my phone sits in the provided space all but guarantees recurring cable issues, If I were looking for a new vehicle I'd want the announced but illusive Next-Gen Carplay.
Nextgen looks great! Curious to see when it actually comes out and if the supported list of cars grows. I don't know what the heck GM is thinking abandoning support for CarPlay and Android auto.

Off topic but when I was with MLB I did some work on the MLB app's support for CarPlay. I spent a number of hours with my computer and phone debugging issues using my CRV. 🤣
 

John Dirk

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I don't know what the heck GM is thinking abandoning support for CarPlay and Android auto.
It's a power play I think they'll live to regret. They've gotten into bed with Google to develop a proprietary solution that will likely flop.
 
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Robert Saccone

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It's a power play I think they'll live to regret. They gotten into bed with Google to develop a proprietary solution that will likely flop.
Oh Yeah. Definitely a power play and a way to likely get additional $$$ from subscriptions to things like seat warmers. Amazing that Google would get into this since they have Android Auto. Maybe it will end up being a rebranded Android Auto.
 

Robert Saccone

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I looked at Crutchfield and while I can find something that fits, retains climate controls, and steering controls with my Honda, they do warn that the second in-dash display will stop functioning. This is problematic because that's where the side and backup cameras show up. I've been thinking that what I might do for a bigger screen in the car is just mount an iPad mini and either tether it to my phone for data or just add it to my plan.
 

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