Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
The latest firmware update for AAWireless adds highly anticipated functionality, allowing the device to convert wired CarPlay to wireless. In other words, if your car comes with support for CarPlay wired, you can now use AAWireless to ditch cables and connect your iPhone to the CarPlay-compatible head unit wirelessly.
Here’s everything you need to know about the AAWireless CarPlay support.
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How Android Auto adapters work
Wireless Android Auto adapters typically use a similar approach. They connect to the USB port of the vehicle and pair with the smartphone via Bluetooth.
Thanks to the wireless connection between the adapter and the Android phone, Android Auto no longer requires a cable, as the adapter receives the mobile signal and broadcasts the data to the infotainment screen.
The process runs automatically, similar to the experience with Android Auto wireless in a car fitted with this system from the factory. The wireless adapter can remain connected to the vehicle using the USB port, so users don’t have to remove it every time they turn off the engine.
When they return to the car, the device boots, connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth, and launches Android Auto wirelessly.
The CarPlay support in AAWireless
The latest AAWireless firmware update introduces early CarPlay support, allowing Apple users to connect their iPhones and switch from a wired to a wireless connection.
Firmware version 3.0.0 is available right now for AAWireless users, though the CarPlay support is still in the beta stage. It’s a sign you shouldn’t expect a flawless performance, but the most common bugs already have workarounds to let you enjoy CarPlay wireless in your car.
The first thing you must do to set up AAWireless in your car and use it with CarPlay is to disable Bluetooth on any already paired phones. The step will prevent the adapter from connecting to known devices.
Next, you must connect AAWireless to the vehicle and wait for the LED to start flashing green. On your iPhone, you must go to CarPlay settings and select the AAWireless profile – AAWireless replaces the car profile, so it should be displayed alongside other vehicles where you’ve previously used CarPlay.
The setup experience is very straightforward, but one of the known bugs causes AAWireless to disconnect shortly after launching for the first time. The developer says this is a beta bug that’ll get fixed in the next updates, so for now, users must look for the popups appearing on the phone and on the car to launch CarPlay. Once they allow CarPlay on both devices, the interface should load correctly.
The behavior only happens on the first pairing, so future connections will work automatically as long as AAWireless is connected to the vehicle’s USB port.
In some cases, AAWireless might not work on the first connection, but everything should load correctly if you attempt to launch CarPlay a second time.
AAWireless doesn’t yet come with a companion app for iPhones, so if you want to configure the device, your only option is a web-based interface. You must point your browser (Safari, Chrome, or any other application) to app.aawireless.io when CarPlay is already working in the vehicle. You will see several essential settings, though I expect more options to become available when the CarPlay integration exits the beta stage and an iOS companion app makes its way to the App Store.
The CarPlay support is only available for generation 2 devices (you can look for model number cs317 on your adapter) and sometimes produces choppy audio when listening to music on CarPlay. You can resolve this by toggling the audio fix to auto. Additionally, some drivers might be unable to use their steering wheel controls to adjust the volume or change songs, but a fix is already in the works.
The number one wireless CarPlay adapter is Carlinkit, so AAWireless’ debut in this market will provide customers with more options to convert the wired connection into a cord-free experience.
The new firmware update rolls out in stages to AAWireless owners, meaning that some users might have to wait longer than others to receive the latest version. There’s no date when the general availability is planned, but if no major bug is discovered, this phase should be reached quickly. Also, the developer did not share an ETA when he targets the CarPlay support to drop the beta tag, so keep this in mind if you want to test the functionality, especially considering the abovementioned bugs.