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How to add wireless Apple CarPlay to your car

Wired connections are a pain, but wireless is not without some limitations.
Apple CarPlay is great, but using a wired connection can be a nuisance

Apple CarPlay is great, but using a wired connection can be a nuisance 

Apple

If you have a car that makes use of a wired USB Apple CarPlay entertainment system, you might be wondering if there's some way to get rid of the wire and go wireless.

Wires are, after all, a bit of a pain. Doubly so in the car where you have to remember the cable and to connect it to your iPhone.

I have good news. There is a solution: wireless CarPlay dongles.

These dongles connect to the CarPlay USB port in your car and allow for a wireless connection between the iPhone and the CarPlay system.

Also: iOS 16: Five features I can't live without now

You plug the dongle into the USB port, connect your iPhone to the Wi-Fi signal, and you're ready to go.

Note: To use a dongle you will need a car that has a CarPlay system

Wireless CarPlay dongles tend to share a number of pros and cons.

The pros are obvious -- you're freed from the hassle of having to connect your iPhone to a cable, which means that you can keep your iPhone in a bag or pocket, and not have to fiddle around with it each time you get in and out of your car.

As for cons, there are a few of those too. 

The setup of these dongles can be a bit frustrating (this is partly down to instructions being a bit vague), and it may take a few tries. I recommend familiarizing yourself with the instructions, and to install the dongle when you're not in a rush to get anywhere.

Another issue I've noticed is that it can take up to 30 seconds for the iPhone to connect to the dongle, and if you try to use CarPlay while this is happening, it can cause problems like preventing the connection.

Be patient! Remember, a wired CarPlay system was not originally meant to work like this.

Also, something that seems to catch people out -- and it caught me out initially -- is that no wire means that your iPhone isn't getting a charge. A good solution for this that doesn't introduce another wire is to fit a wireless charging dock

Finally, there's an increased latency or lag when using a CarPlay dongle. The delay can be felt when using the CarPlay touchscreen or buttons on the steering wheel, and this can result in people mashing buttons in order to try to get a response, which can cause problems.

There's no escaping the fact that a wired connection is faster and smoother than using a wireless CarPlay dongle. This is because the dongle is having to act as a middleman between the iPhone and the CarPlay system (this is not true for factory-installed CarPlay systems because these are better optimized).

The bottom line is that if you really have had enough of using a wire, you can make the switch, but with the upsides, that switch also comes with some downsides. 

If you're happy to navigate the downsides, then a dongle such as the SuperiorTek 5.0 is well worth taking a look at. It's definitely a far cheaper solution than buying a new car! 

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