Everything You Need to Know About Wireless Apple CarPlay

Wireless Apple CarPlay

In today’s fast-paced world, staying connected while on the move is more important than ever. Apple CarPlay has revolutionized the way we interact with our car’s infotainment system by bringing the power of our iPhones to the car’s display. But what if you could enjoy all the benefits of CarPlay without the hassle of plugging in your phone every time you get in the car? That’s where wireless Apple CarPlay comes in. In this blog, we’ll answer all your questions about wireless Apple CarPlay, from what it is to how you can connect it in your vehicle.

What is Wireless Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while you drive. It lets you control your phone’s functions such as navigation, music, and messaging through your car’s built-in display. Traditionally, CarPlay required a wired connection using a USB cable. Wireless Apple CarPlay, however, eliminates the need for cables by allowing you to connect your iPhone to your car’s infotainment system via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Can Apple CarPlay Be Wireless?

Yes, Apple CarPlay can indeed be wireless. Wireless CarPlay uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to establish and maintain a connection between your iPhone and your car’s infotainment system. Once connected, you can enjoy all the features of CarPlay without needing to plug your phone in. This seamless connectivity provides greater convenience and reduces clutter in your car.

When Did Wireless Apple CarPlay Come Out?

Wireless Apple CarPlay was first introduced in 2015 with the release of iOS 9. This update allowed compatible cars and head units to connect to CarPlay without needing a USB cable. However, it wasn’t until a few years later that more car manufacturers and aftermarket systems started to widely support the feature. Today, many new car models come equipped with wireless CarPlay as standard or as an option.

Apple CarPlay Timeline vs. Wireless Apple CarPlay Timeline

Feature Apple CarPlay Timeline Wireless Apple CarPlay Timeline
Announcement March 2014: Announced at Geneva International Motor Show June 2015: Introduced with iOS 9 at WWDC
Initial Release 2014: Available in cars from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo 2016: BMW offers Wireless CarPlay
Major Updates 2015: Expanded third-party app support 2017-2018: More manufacturers adopt Wireless CarPlay
  2016: iOS 10 enhances features  
  2017: iOS 11 adds lane guidance, rearrange app icons  
Broader Adoption 2015-2016: Adoption by BMW, Ford, Honda 2019: Broader adoption by more car manufacturers
New Features and Enhancements 2020: iOS 14 introduces wallpaper customization 2020: Wireless CarPlay becomes common in mid/high-end
Standard Feature 2021-2022: Improved integration and expanded functionality 2021-2022: Standard in many new vehicles
Latest Updates 2023: Enhanced vehicle system integration at WWDC 2023 2023: Wireless CarPlay standard in various price ranges

What Cars Have Wireless Apple CarPlay?

Since 2016, many car models have been equipped with Apple CarPlay. However, most of these required a USB connection to function. Only a few models initially came with wireless CarPlay capabilities, such as those from BMW and select models from Porsche.

Here are some of the manufacturers and models that currently offer wireless Apple CarPlay:

  • BMW: Many models from 2017 onwards.
  • Audi: Select models from 2019 onwards.
  • Mercedes-Benz: Certain models from 2019 onwards.
  • Volkswagen: Newer models including Golf, Passat, and Tiguan.
  • Ford: Models such as the Mustang Mach-E and F-150.
  • Porsche: Select models from 2017 onwards.

With continuous advancements in technology, we can expect to see an increasing number of cars equipped with wireless CarPlay straight from the factory. For the latest information, it's always best to check with the manufacturer or your car dealer.

How to Make Apple CarPlay Wireless?

If your car doesn’t support wireless Apple CarPlay, you can still enjoy the convenience of a cable-free experience. Here are several ways to upgrade your existing setup:

Method 1: Use a Wireless CarPlay Adapter

For cars equipped with wired CarPlay, using a wireless CarPlay adapter is one of the simplest methods. These adapters plug into your car’s USB port and connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, enabling wireless CarPlay.


Here’s how to set it up:

1. Purchase a Compatible Adapter: Ensure the adapter is compatible with your car model and CarPlay system.

2. Plug In the Adapter: Insert the adapter into your car’s USB port.

3. Pair Your iPhone: Follow the instructions provided with the adapter to pair your iPhone. This typically involves connecting via Bluetooth and then establishing a Wi-Fi connection.

4. Enjoy Wireless CarPlay: Once connected, your iPhone will automatically link to the adapter whenever you start your car, enabling wireless CarPlay.

Method 2: Retrofit Older Car Systems

For older car models with head units from before 2016, retrofitting the car’s infotainment system can be a good option. Many aftermarket head units support wireless CarPlay and can replace your existing system. This provides a more seamless experience but can be more costly and complex to install.

1. Select a Compatible Head Unit: Choose a head unit that supports wireless CarPlay and is compatible with your car model.

2. Professional Installation: Consider having the head unit installed by a professional to ensure proper functionality and integration.

3. Pair Your iPhone: Once installed, follow the pairing instructions to connect your iPhone to the new head unit via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Method 3: Use OEM Wireless CarPlay Kits

Some car manufacturers offer OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) wireless CarPlay upgrade kits. These kits are designed to work with specific car models and integrate seamlessly with your existing infotainment system.

1. Check Availability: Contact your car dealer or manufacturer to see if an OEM wireless CarPlay kit is available for your car model.

2. Purchase and Install: Purchase the kit and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, which may involve professional installation services.

3. Pair Your iPhone: Connect your iPhone to the upgraded system using the provided instructions to enable wireless CarPlay.

Upgrading to wireless Apple CarPlay can significantly enhance your driving experience by providing greater convenience and reducing clutter in your car. Whether you choose a wireless adapter, retrofit your infotainment system, or use an OEM upgrade kit, there are various options available to suit your needs and budget.


Wireless Apple CarPlay offers a seamless and convenient way to use your iPhone’s features while driving. From making calls to navigating and playing your favorite tunes, you can do it all without the need for cables. If your car doesn’t already support wireless CarPlay, consider upgrading with a wireless CarPlay adapter for a hassle-free experience.

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