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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In a recent thread I mentioned that I had ordered an adaptor to allow Wireless Apple CarPlay and a number of members asked to hear my views. I have no connection to the supplier or the product, I am just a Kia e-Niro 4 owner who was disappointed to find I needed to plug in the phone every time. I found the CPLAY2air online and decided to take the plunge.

The unit was ordered from the website; the price was slightly different to the quoted figure as it was invoiced and paid in US dollars and so there was a currency exchange and a small fee on my credit card. The total came to £106.51. The CPLAY2air was delivered in just over a week directly from China and via Royal Mail for the final stage. There was no mention of import duty and none was paid.

I had been waiting for a long journey to test the unit fully because the first time I tried it I realised quickly that I hadn’t set it up properly. This was because the instructions inside the box appeared to be a bad translation and to be honest the text and pictures didn’t make a lot of sense - so, as usual for me, I ignored the whole lot and just plugged it in. The first attempt at setup was therefore something of a mystery tour; I got through it and it seemed to work, but it wasn’t quite right and CarPlay froze a few times. I then found clear step-by-step instructions on the back of the box, including how to reset the thing so I went ahead with the reset and started again. This time it worked perfectly so FOLLOW CLOSELY THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BACK OF THE BOX!

The size and minimal weight of the CPLAY2air means that it can simply hang out of the USB socket - in the e-Niro, it can barely be seen from the driver’s or passenger’s seat; however mine will probably be taped or cable-tied to the lead for the dashcam which is plugged into the power socket next to it. A longer lead would have been better though.

In use the CPLAY2air can simply be forgotten about. CarPlay usually starts within 30-40 seconds of switching on the car and it works seamlessly; in fact it works exactly how it would if the phone was plugged in using a lightning cable. Sometimes (I think it’s when your phone is still connected to WiFi inside the house before you drive away) startup takes a minute or two and at one point it you’ll be alarmed to see a blank screen but leave it and finally the CarPlay screen appears as normal. In day-to-day use, there doesn’t seem to be any time lag or lack of responsiveness at all. It also works perfectly with the phone charging on the wireless charging pad in the car, although for some reason my iPhone XS gets hot when it’s on the charging pad - whether using CarPlay or not - which is something I’ll have to sort out another day.

So, I’m a very happy “e-Niro with wireless Apple CarPlay” user. The CPLAY2air isn’t all that expensive (compared to the car!) and to my mind it’s a sound purchase. It’ll certainly fill the gap satisfactorily for me until Kia makes wireless Apple CarPlay an included feature.

I'll upload some photos shortly.
 

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I need to ask... next to it you have what I assume is the dashcam cable. It seems to be going down and through the bottom of the dashboard? Where does it resurface?
 

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Thanks for the detailed review!

I will probably get one (when I get the car!!). It looks rather better than the cheaper Carlink eBay thing. I think it’s a little over priced for what it is, but hey if it works it’s probably worth it.
Nice work.

Peter
 

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I decided to try the CarLinkIt 2.0 (with longer USB-C cable). 84 quid online, shipped from Spain. I'll provide an update when I have it installed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I need to ask... next to it you have what I assume is the dashcam cable. It seems to be going down and through the bottom of the dashboard? Where does it resurface?
Yes, that's the dashcam cable. There's a tiny gap at the top and to the left of the centre console between it and the bottom of the dashboard and the cable is squeezed into that. It then goes along the back of the glovebox and up the A-pillar beneath the rubber trim and finally across the top of the windscreen tucked behind the edge of the headlining. I used plastic trim tools I bought on Amazon. I hope that helps! VDIAGTOOL Car Radio Panel Trim Tool 4pcs Vehicle Audio Removal Tool Door Clip Plier Set Plastic Pry Tool Kit: Amazon.co.uk: Car & Motorbike
 

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If you get a chance, a photo of that would be very useful too! (if that's not asking too much)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you get a chance, a photo of that would be very useful too! (if that's not asking too much)
Sorry I'm overseas for a month and the car is in Gatwick Long-Term parking, so it'll be a while!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I decided to try the CarLinkIt 2.0 (with longer USB-C cable). 84 quid online, shipped from Spain. I'll provide an update when I have it installed
I may be wrong because the description is rather confusing, but after a quick read about CarLinkIt, I see it says "Your car must be an Aftermarket Android Head Unit (Without factory CarPlay)". Have I missed something?
 

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On the one I purchased, it only states "For factory wired carplay cars". But I'm ready for anything so fingers crossed...
Thanks for being the guinea pig! I’m unsure, the description is so poor.
I’ll probably wait to see how you go on before deciding which way to go. At the moment I’m leaning towards the CarPlay 2 air thingy.

Peter
 

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Got the CarLinkit 2.0 box today, shipped from Spain, and installed it.
The one I got is this one (84 quid after discounts):
US $115.2 28% OFF|Carlinkit 2.0 CarPlay Wireless for Volvo XC90 XC60 XC40 S90 V90 V60 2016 2020 Carplay2Air Adapter Activator USB Dongle iPhone|TV Receiver for Car| - AliExpress - but honestly I think they’re all the same - model CPC200-U2W-PLUS.

Installation took seconds, 3 simple steps, and the little manual included is clear enough.

The box is well built, feels solid, the wire is long enough to hide the box neatly under the Qi shelf (maybe with a little Velcroed 3M command strip)

(I think I will them also replace the cable with one of those to make it even neater: Gold Plated USB C Cable 90 Degree USB 2.0 to Type C: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics)

I could do a full review, but this video does it well enough:

How does it perform?
I’ve only been for a 15 min drive, with a few power off and on again to see how it reacts.
  • It took seconds each time, no more.
  • Initially it feels a little sluggish but it quickly gets past it and works normally.
  • It’s probably ever so slightly slower than over the USB cable
  • Since it’s wireless CarPlay you need to press and hold the voice button in the car to get to Siri.
  • At times when listening to Spotify or another audio app on the phone and doing something a bit heavy like a map search there is a small glitch in the audio
Overall I am happy. Time will tell if it remains stable

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Discussion Starter #13
Got the CarLinkit 2.0 box today, shipped from Spain, and installed it.
An interesting review and it sounds just like my CPLAY2Air. Indeed I think it might have the same innards, in a different box, because your last picture showing the loading screen is EXACTLY what I see briefly on mine! I hope you're happy with it - if nothing else you saved yourself twenty quid compared to my purchase 😀
 
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