Even Google is a good player and allows manufacturers to integrate CarPlay WiFi in vehicles running Android Automotive ! It must be said that some applications, such as Apple Music, Waze, Google Maps, PodCasts and many others, are particularly effective on this iPhone screen replication system.
Only solution for Tesla or for old vehicles not equipped with CarPlay: add an external screen! With Carpuride, you will see that the box offered here is very efficient and very complete…even if there are still obvious compromises.
The Tesla case and beyond
Despite the return to favor with Tim Cook, Elon Musk still does not seem decided to insert CarPlay in his vehicles. If the arrival of Apple Music (very recent) is largely contained, there is still a lot of software missing from Tesla that we would like to see arrive in these cars. Starting with Waze, for speed cameras and accident zones, a real Google Maps (which knows road closures well) or even TomTom, the Message application (with Siri), the calendar…
Third-party applications are also increasingly numerous. If CarPlay does not offer a video player, it does allow you to search for charging stations and plan routes with terminals of all brands (ChargePoint, ChargeMap, ABRP…), to access numerous audio contents (Amazon Music, Overcast, Audible, Vox, Downcast), to look for a parking space (EasyPark), to be warned of speed cameras (Coyote ) or even send messages (WhatsApp, Telegram…)
The case of Tesla is a bit special, because Elon Musk’s strategy has always been to create his own OS, with native applications, where CarPlay would like to completely replace the integrated system. The latest version presented at WWDC goes even much further, Android Automotive style, by being displayed on all screens, and by offering a total alternative to manufacturers’ OS… Obviously, the stakes are also financial: When a user buys an application for CarPlay, he does not spend his money on Tesla’s Premium connectivity for example… and even chooses Android Auto/Automotive!
Carpuride: a substitute screen
It’s been a few years since of manufacturers offer CarPlay-compatible screens to be added, either in place of the old screen, or to be placed somewhere on the dashboard.
Having tested many accessories of this kind, the Carpuride case seemed to me for the first time really usable, or at least, at the height of the best systems on the market.
Already, the 7-inch (my model) or 9-inch (optional) IPS panel displays a correct resolution, even if we stay in HD (1024*600), it’s quite suitable for this screen size and given the distance from the case. But above all, the panel is very reactive, with a capacitive screen comparable to a modern tablet.
The brightness is also sufficient, even in the middle of summer, although a small notch below that of the Tesla, for example. But compared to a recent Duster, it is much higher!
CarPlay WiFi in Android system
When the box is turned on, it’s a small Android system appearing, with the same kind of layout as CarPlay : big icons, settings and some default applications.
It is necessary to pair your iPhone via Bluetooth so that he can access CarPlay over WiFi. It’s as simple as on a classic vehicle, and in two minutes you can launch the application
I’m playing which finally gives access to CarPlay.
However, if you prefer Android-Auto or MirrorLink (for Android), connect a USB key, an SD card, launch the
true radio or simply broadcast your sound via Bluetooth, this small integrated OS is already very complete natively.
Many wire outlets
As you can see, there is even a microphone on the side (to take calls, if you don’t have a bluetooth kit in the car). We also find the connection
classic with SD card, output jack and USB socket, as well as a bus for a possible reversing camera – available as an option!
Although Apple Music is now available natively from Tesla, being able to get the sound out of the box correctly is important.
Carpuride actually offers several outputs:
– the speaker of the case (not incredible, but it works)
– an output jack (if you have an entry on the car)
– bluetooth (if you have an external speaker or other)
On the other hand, I failed to use CarPlay WiFi together (which uses Bluetooth for synchronization) and put the Tesla as a Bluetooth receiver.
In contrast, on the iPhone you can set output-sound to the Tesla’s Bluetoothand the sound from CarPlay will therefore go directly to the car’s speakers – handy!
A suction cup and a cigarette lighter socket
The easiest way to hang the case is to use the supplied suction cup.
It held up pretty well during our tests (over several months), but if you prefer to use a sticky mount on the dashboardit is also possible (but I do not recommend it, because it risks getting the filling on board)
Another prerequisite is a cigarette lighter price to power the box, which is not autonomous. In return, it is possible to plug the iPhone into the USB socket for the charger, which is often useful when using CarPlay over long distances. This still makes 2 cables dangling on the central part.
So, shall we buy?
After several months of almost daily use in a Tesla Model 3, I must admit that being able to combine CarPlay and the integrated GPS is often useful : Google Maps remains more reliable on complicated journeys (in Italy, with cut roads or to optimize travel times), Waze is essential for speed cameras and accident zones, and even if Apple Music is now available from Tesla , this is not yet the case with the majority of third-party manufacturers.
And justly, this box will be perfect for anyone who has an older vehicle, without CarPlay and sometimes even without GPS. Admittedly, it is a small budget, but it must be put in parallel with the price of the options offered by the manufacturers.
Reliable, efficient, and really practical, the only constraint was having to remove it each time we park in a slightly visible place, although I doubt that GPS thefts are still really legion. Another defect, the case also masks the central visibility a little, but that didn’t bother me so much – at worst, you can move it to a less critical angle.
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