Which Better: Android Auto vs CarPlay ?
CarPlay and Android Auto respectively released the latest AutoPlay application interface last year, and our box is also adapted to the latest app. How about the latest experience, or different opinions, let's take a look. Android Auto vs CarPlay, which one is better?
Android Auto vs CarPlay : Part Two
I recently bought a car for my daughter that had wireless CarPlay built in and was a bit jealous. Had previously looked at the wireless dongles for my 2018 RAM and couldn't justify the cost. This one came up on a Lightning Deal and I figured I'd give it a try.
Android Auto vs CarPlay :Pros
Easy to setup
Loads pretty quickly
Not really any settings to set or mess up.
Very easy to set up via Bluetooth and then it shifts over to a WiFi connection. This is interesting and important to note if the USB in your vehicle keeps the unit powered on after you turn the vehicle off. My truck keeps the port powered for like 2-3 hours after I turn it off. If it's still on and your vehicle is close to the house, your phone will stay connected to it's WiFi network and your phone will essentially be using mobile data not your home WiFi. You can easily just turn WiFi off and back on in your phone settings and ensure it picks up the WiFi network you want. Good thing to know. There are minimal settings to change on the unit itself. I know some other units have a config page you can access through the head unit on startup, but this one does not. You can access the unit via IP after you've connected to it and change some Audio Sync settings and update the firmware and that's about it.
Android Auto vs CarPlay :Cons
Needs to be power cycled pretty regularly (will explain below)
Blocks WiFi on phone temporarily
Locks up my head unit frequently
Locks to the backup camera view
So like I said, it's pretty cool, when it works like it's supposed to. However, it's pretty temperamental.
If I don't wait for it to fully start before I put my truck in reverse, I may or may not get a backup camera, which is real safety hazard. Other times it will show the backup camera, but when I put it in drive it stays on the backup camera and I have no control of the head unit and the dongle must be pulled from the USB and plugged back in. It will also frequently not update, as in live view, my Waze app on iPhone. I use it all the time, but I've had it where I'll drive somewhere, stop for a bit, get back going and it will show on the screen like I'm still at home or at the previous location. I will admit, that even wired, Waze has had similar issues, but they seem to be compounded with the wireless unit. Other times it will look as though everything booted up fine and shows the main screen but the head unit it completely locked up. Can't change volume and touch screen will not respond.
Unplugging and replugging the wireless unit fixes all of these issues, but why is it causing them to begin with. I suspect some sort of software timing issues with the vehicle system and the wireless unit, but that's just a guess. Had I paid more for the unit, I would have returned it and tried a different device, as there are dozens of them out there now, but all seem to run on the same chips/software, so figure the issues would be similar.
Android Auto vs CarPlay : Conclusion
Overall, Android Auto vs CarPlay, I can live with it. I wish it was a seamless and consistent experience like a built in OEM unit provides, but it isn't. The other downside to using one of these is, you still have to charge your phone, either by plugging your phone in to charge on a long trip or purchase a wireless charge mat (which I did) and find somewhere to put it. So why bother? If I'm going to be going on a trip where I need to make sure my Waze or Google Maps is going to work right the whole time, I'll just plug in my phone.