The aftermarket producer now gives us the option to leave the iPhone in the pocket or bag and still use all of the CarPlay’s system safe and useful amenities.
Apple CarPlay – just like Android Auto – gives users an easy and safe way of pairing the smartphone with a vehicle’s infotainment system. One of the elements involved in the process – dreaded by many (though it helps top up the battery, a well-known Achille’s heal for the iPhone) was the mandatory use of a cable to connect the two devices. Alpine is now the first company to make the head unit cable connection superfluous – though you’ll need to get the pricey $900 iLX-107 in-dash receiver to solve the problem.
The aftermarket, seven-inch touchscreen display interface will hook up to the Apple CarPlay over a 5 gigahertz Wi-fi signal – following the initial setup the device will automatically connect whenever the iPhone is within range. All CarPlay features are usable, phone, texting, playing music, and getting directions, as well as Siri’s voice commands. The iLX-107 also comes with aux input for other devices, pre-wiring for rear-view camera, iDatalink Maestro or the $250 External Accessory Controller for items such as a motorized tonneau cover. The system first appeared in January during the Consumer Electronics Show – and went on to win an Innovations Award for outstanding design and engineering, part of the In-Vehicle Audio/Video category.