Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Faults and Technical chat for the Seat Ateca
iPaul
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by iPaul » Thu May 14, 2020 2:05 pm

I have an Ateca Excellence Lux, which I've very happy with. I prefer to use Apple CarPlay for Navigation etc. rather than the built in VAG apps. That worked great, but I frequently forget to plug in my phone when I start a journey, or leave my phone accidentally in the car when I get out. What makes that more annoying is that my better half's BMW has wireless CarPlay, so you don't need to physically plug the phone in to use CarPlay, it just works over Bluetooth.

In these days of lockdown, I have been playing on the internet and came across a device which claims to convert a plug in CarPlay solution, such as the one we have in our Atecas, into a wireless version. It consists of a small box which plugs into the car's USB port. The car then thinks that this is an iPhone, so allows it to connect as a CarPlay server. You then set up a bluetooth connection to the box from your iPhone, which thinks the box is a CarPlay enabled head unit, and the box then relays all the CarPlay traffic between your phone over bluetooth to the Ateca's infotainment display.

I managed to find one of these devices on Amazon and ordered it up. This is what the device looks like:

carplayHack - 1.jpeg

I started off by deleting the Bluetooth connect between my iPhone and the Ateca, so it did not conflict with the bluetooth link between the iPhone and this new device. I then plugged in the device to one of the USB ports in the car, started the car up and selected the apps button. The Ateca recognised the new device as a Car Play enabled 'phone and asked if I wanted to connect. When I clicked yes, the device put up a screen on the Ateca's display asking me to connect my iPhone to it over bluetooth. Once I did that, the car play screen was displayed on the Ateca successfully. Unfortunately, at that point, the touch screen did not respond to my touches, so the manual suggested I upgraded the firmware on the device. This was easily done by pointing a web browser on my iPhone to the update server and then the software was downloaded and installed onto the device. After that, it worked perfectly and is just as functional as when I used to plug my 'phone directly into the USB port of the car.

Here is a picture go the dongle plugged in and CarPlay being displayed on the Ateca's screen from my wirelessly connected iPhone (which I was using to take the picture):

carplayHack - 2.jpeg

So, now when I get in the car and start it up, I get a screen generated by the dongle saying that it is searching for my phone over bluetooth, and then once it is connected, CarPlay is up and fully functional on the Ateca's screen while my iPhone stays in my trouser pocket. I have used some velcro patches to attach the device out of the way underneath the cigarette lighter socket, so the wireless induction charging mat is still accessible, should I want to charge my phone.

All in all, a worthwhile upgrade for the £150-ish cost of the dongle, in my humble opinion. Car play is now always available to me, I don't leave my 'phone in the car, and the wear and tear of inserting and removing the cable from my 'phone is avoided. I have posted this up in case anyone else is interested in a similar solution. I have no affiliation to Amazon or the device manufacturer, I'm just a bloke with too much time on his hands and a bunch of first world problems to solve ;)

Cheers,

Paul

EricM
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:00 pm

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by EricM » Fri May 15, 2020 1:43 pm

Hi Paul

Just what I am looking for.

Do you have a link to the User Manual, I always like to read these first.

Thanks

Eric
ATECA 1.5 TSI EVO XCLNCE EZ DSG, Magic Black, Power Tailgate, Spare Wheel, Personal Reg, Thinkware F800 Front & Rear Dashcam

iPaul
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by iPaul » Fri May 15, 2020 2:00 pm

Here are the complete instructions supplied with the device:

instructions p1.jpeg

instructions p2.jpeg

instructions p3.jpeg

instructions p4.jpeg

The other side of the paper is the same thing in Chinese.

User avatar
sads45
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 1:32 pm
Location: Cyprus

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by sads45 » Sat May 16, 2020 8:28 am

Is there a similar device for Android phones?
Ateca 1.4 Excellence DSG, Lava Blue, electric tailgate, double boot floor, towbar, black alcantara

Davidj241
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:32 am

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by Davidj241 » Sat May 16, 2020 8:56 am

Hi Paul

I have been using one of these dongles now for about 6 weeks and am so impressed with the way it set up and how reliable the connection is when using it.
I particularly like the way that once set up it works every time you get in the car with no messing about.

It might be a bit on the expensive side BUT it does what it claims to do so am not grumbling at all.

iPaul
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 5:23 pm

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by iPaul » Sat May 16, 2020 2:42 pm

I'm sure there must be equivalent devices out there for Android auto. Google search is your friend for finding one ;)

Glad you're enjoying your dongle too Davidj241. Whilst I appreciate £150 is not exactly beer money, I would have happily paid that when I bought the car for SEAT to provide the equivalent functionality. At least this way, when I eventually do change cars, I can bring the dongle with me if the new car doesn't support wireless CarPlay.

Reddamper
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:20 am
Location: Dublin

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by Reddamper » Sun May 17, 2020 7:30 am

Good write-up there iPaul. Almost tempted to trade in my Samsung for an iPhone just for that. :) I'd happily pay 150 quid for the wireless option but I've not come across an Android equivalent on my searches.
Ateca XCellence 1.6 TDI DSG, Lava Blue, Brown Leather, Virtual Cockpit, Heated Windscreen, Performance 18" Alloys, Full Link Integration

EricM
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:00 pm

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by EricM » Sun May 17, 2020 11:47 am

Research shows it also works with Android. I will let you know soon.
Eric
ATECA 1.5 TSI EVO XCLNCE EZ DSG, Magic Black, Power Tailgate, Spare Wheel, Personal Reg, Thinkware F800 Front & Rear Dashcam

iamwhoiam
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:03 pm

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by iamwhoiam » Mon May 25, 2020 5:56 pm

Thanks for highlighting this product. Never knew it existed!

However, it's much cheaper direct: https://carlinkit.aliexpress.com/store/ ... 84552.html

Around £50 delivered

EricM
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:00 pm

Re: Upgrading CarPlay to work wirelessly

Post by EricM » Tue May 26, 2020 11:36 am

Is the Ateca (2019) infotainment system Android O/S?
ATECA 1.5 TSI EVO XCLNCE EZ DSG, Magic Black, Power Tailgate, Spare Wheel, Personal Reg, Thinkware F800 Front & Rear Dashcam

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