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CarPlay & Android Auto Hack - Walkthrough

timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
210
157
USA
I've been working with their support on trying to get the separate audio channel to work. I think it's pretty useless if it won't use the Tesla speakers and microphones.
I do have that working in my Tesla with their dongle and an Android device as the display. It's not using their Audio Channel feature that they have in newer releases of the software, as the later releases don't work on my Samsung device. So I'm routing my audio from the phone to the car "manually" by selecting it on the iPhone.

It's pretty seamless right now. If the audio is not going through like I like I can pause the playback with the left steering wheel button, when I play again it is then routed through the car.

Should be a good chance to get it working. Maybe it will help if I pester them too about it.

Their support through Amazon emails was bad. Ended up with WeChat and it got a tiny bit better.
 
Interesting @buyleonard Does it automatically connect each time you get back in the car? Is it pretty fast and responsive? It's academic to me as I'm fully immersed in the Apple ecosystem and don't see myself ever switching to Android. But this sounds like a great development for Android users.

Hoping @PorthosJon is having good luck with his new device.

Also, I find myself wondering, as others have suggested, why not just get a big iPhone and stick on the dash? Just got a new iPhone 13 Pro last weekend. Maybe I should go to the Max and use a MagSafe mount and call it a day. I know that CarPlay is much better and all the arguments for it, I've made them myself. But that may be a good compromise until one day when Tesla releases native CarPlay integration. (Well, one can dream at least)
I use it and it works well, however, if you use your car and stream music on it, it will use your phones data plan instead of tesla premium lte. For me, this wen through my 10gb max tether on my unlimited plan in two weeks. It also drains my phone battery faster than the wireless charger can replenish, and gets my Samsung s21 pretty hot. I plan to use it on trips only and plug my phone into fast charger.
 
I do have that working in my Tesla with their dongle and an Android device as the display. It's not using their Audio Channel feature that they have in newer releases of the software, as the later releases don't work on my Samsung device. So I'm routing my audio from the phone to the car "manually" by selecting it on the iPhone.

It's pretty seamless right now. If the audio is not going through like I like I can pause the playback with the left steering wheel button, when I play again it is then routed through the car.

Should be a good chance to get it working. Maybe it will help if I pester them too about it.

Their support through Amazon emails was bad. Ended up with WeChat and it got a tiny bit better.
I had that working with the hack as I posted originally here. Their pre-sales claim was that this is totally available, but the device has always routed everything to it's own speaker no matter how I have set it up. I've been in touch with their support via eMail, but it Is a slow, once-a-day eMail process at this point.
 

timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
210
157
USA
Be sure to let us know how you get on with it.
I got it! That was faster than Amazon Prime recently. :D

So far so good. Only hooked it up for just a moment. At first it wouldn't connect to Bluetooth as it instructed on screen. I plugged it in for wired CarPlay then was able to switch to wireless.

First played an Audible audiobook. It was playing through the device's speaker. I pressed pause using my steering wheel control, then play and it began playing through the Tesla audio system. Made a phone call and similarly selected the Tesla system. Subsequent calls and other audio go through the Tesla speakers. This is consistent with how it works with their dongle and an Android tablet.

Also, pleasantly surprised that the power cable is a 90 degree connection, so it doesn't stick out awkwardly.
 
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Excellent. Thanks for the quick report. Do you need to go through that switch from device to Tesla every time you get in the car or will it do that automatically from now on? I know you just got it so it might take a few days to get to know how it works over time so that's all good.
I wonder why it's working for you and not @PorthosJon ? Hope this isn't a luck of the draw thing.
 

timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
210
157
USA
Do you need to go through that switch from device to Tesla every time you get in the car or will it do that automatically from now on?
Time will tell. Not a big deal considering all the other little gotchas I've overcome with the previous solution. And as I mentioned it behaved the same way. Quite easy to pause and play again to get it to switch.

Tried to simulated coming while the car is in my garage. Haven't gotten the feel for how it will automatically connect. Struggling a bit there.

Having power to the device will be a learning curve. In daily driving as I get in and out of the car it should be OK. When I'm not in the car for a period of time I expect that it will power off when the 12 volt socket turns off. But when it's in the garage charging I think it will stay on all night. There's no on and off switch on the device.

Their 12 volt (cigarette lighter adapter) plug fits nicely in the console. It's just long enough that it doesn't interfere with the coin tray under the armrest.
 

timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
210
157
USA
Is that you @timeshifter over on the YouTube review of this thing trying to convince me my car has an FM tuner?
Oh, I see that comment now. I didn't realize that FM tuner availability was not standard across all markets, I now see that you're in Australia.

Shouldn't matter though. On my drive to my first appointment today I used the new device and it worked quite well. No FM tuner involved.
 
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timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
210
157
USA
Day two review

Getting better at getting connected. Worked from home this morning, went out to lunch. Parked and went in for about 40 minutes. When I came out my phone did not connect. My next stop was only 3 minutes away so I went without. Left car for 40 minutes again, when I returned it again didn't connect. I power cycled the unit. Connected right away.

Next stop, was away from car for about two hours. Got back to car and sat there for 10 minutes doing work on my laptop. Was still connected to business's WiFi on my phone. Went to Bluetooth on my phone and selected CarTb_ce244c (the Bluetooth signal of the unit) and it immediately connected to CarPlay. Left car again to go back inside for 10 minutes. Came back and connecting to Bluetooth didn't solve, the Bluetooth connection on my iPhone just gave the little spinning icon. Power cycle resolved.

Went to a meeting tonight. When I got out of the car I unplugged the unit, I didn't want it glowing in the dark drawing attention. When I returned an hour later and plugged it in, phone connected for wireless CarPlay just fine.

I think Teslas may present a special challenge for the design of this thing. Our 12V stays on longer. Maybe the whole time your away, depending on where you are and what you're doing. So returning to the unit still up and running may be where most of the problems connecting happen. They probably designed and tested the unit with the idea that when you leave the car it always goes off.

Summary of today, is that when I power cycled the unit it seemed to connect flawlessly, and fast.

I've been brainstorming a way to easily power cycle the unit with an elegant on off switch. Ideally one that could be non-destructive to the Tesla or the power cord that came with the unit.
 
@timeshifter Thanks for your comprehensive updates. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and order one.
Just a question on todays report. Are you just talking here about your phone connecting and not about the audio going through the car? So power cycling solves connection issues but you still have to pause and start the audio to get it to play through the car?
 

timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
210
157
USA
@timeshifter Thanks for your comprehensive updates. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and order one.
Just a question on todays report. Are you just talking here about your phone connecting and not about the audio going through the car? So power cycling solves connection issues but you still have to pause and start the audio to get it to play through the car?
Yes, I’m talking about the iPhone connecting to the CarPlay unit. The equivalent of plugging the lightning cable into the phone on a wired CarPlay system, but in this case I am establishing a wireless CarPlay connection.

Once that connection is made, the audio will play through the CarPlay unit. To get it to play through the Teslas audio system it’s a simple matter of pressing the pause and then play function by using the left steering wheel control. This only Hass to be done once after I’ve entered the car and connected to the CarPlay unit. It will remain connected for all audio functions until I leave the car.

That primarily covers the audio for music or podcast or whatever. Phone calls are handled a little bit differently. If a call is coming in I’ll press the Teslas screen to answer it. If I making a call I’ll select the Tesla from the audio sources on my iPhone itself. Again, I think this only needs to be done once per trip.

I’ll add one more data point here. Tonight I went to the car as I was getting something out of the garage and thought I would try the connection again. I sat down in the car and powered up the CarPlay unit. I counted how long it took for the phone to connect to the CarPlay unit, it was about 15 seconds. That is pretty impressive based on the other solutions I’ve tried, so I am growing to be very pleased with this part of the set up.
 

timeshifter

Member
Jan 23, 2021
210
157
USA
Day 4...

I figured out the trick. If the unit has stayed on while away I was having trouble getting my phone to connect to it and establish CarPlay. To solve that I would simply power cycle the unit. It would connect every time I did that. It's actually 30 seconds from the moment the screen lights up until CarPlay is ready. But, I can avoid power cycling the unit in this way:

Get in car
Turn off Wi-Fi on my iPhone
Go to Bluetooth and click on the CarPlay device in the list and let it connect.
Wait for prompt on my iPhone that I need to turn on Wi-Fi to use CarPlay then let it turn on
Enjoy CarPlay

There was just one bug this week. After connecting like that (rather than a power cycle) my CarPlay display unit went black. Crashed I suppose. A power cycle and we're back in business.
 
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