Shoutout to Russ Keys who slid into my DM’s to tell me about a product I may never have come across without a nudge – CarPlay2Air – it turns any car with Apple CarPlay into a car that supports Wireless Apple CarPlay – Giddyup!
I was early on the CarPlay bandwagon, I saw it for what it is – a personal and easy to use infotainment system. I had it installed in my simple 2010 Mazda 2 via a Pioneer Head-unit.
Since then, It’s become ubiquitous – almost. And recently, BMW have started rolling out Wireless Apple CarPlay – this was a game-changer for me.
Today, with cars supporting wireless charging for your smartphones, and plenty of wireless charging phone cradles hitting the market, it seems strange to plug your phone into a cable to get CarPlay running – enter CarPlay2Air. Genius.
This simple dongle creates a wireless connection between your phone and the car – and it works a treat.
I’ve tested it on a Nissan Leaf with factory fitted Apple CarPlay, as well as my Mazda with a Pioneer head unit that supports Apple CarPlay.
Basically, the unit gets power from the USB, displays a setup menu. You pair your phone via Bluetooth to the unit, that initiates a WiFi connection and within seconds you’ve got Apple CarPlay on screen – no cable in your phone.
This means your phone stays in your pocket, or in the glovebox, or up in a cradle with no cable required.
The downsides are a small lag, and an infrequent audio streaming glitch, as well as the removal of your car steering-wheel controls for track forward and back.
Your car also won’t display the current track information if it has the capability to do that.
Frankly, not deal breakers for me.
It cost around $240 landed in Australia, give or take – and that’s a lot – but by gosh, as someone who relies on CarPlay for my mapping and music plus podcasting – this is a must-have.
Works with multiple phones – it will simply pair the most recent one if you have both phones in the car and should work on any car that already has a cable connected version of CarPlay running.
Love it to bits, will be keeping it in our Mazda 2 – such a high-tech little runabout:)