Apple CarPlay Customization for smart cars -Add any App!

Apple CarPlay Customization for smart cars -Add any App!

There is no doubt that being smart makes modern lives easy. So why not try to make your car smarter too ? Actually both the manufacturers and the users have paid their attention in making the cars smarter and they are mostly focusing on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features. These are simply the methods of using the most important phone applications like navigations, Music, Phone on the car’s infotainment system, without being bothered to touch the phone while driving. So these smart technologies have been introduced to enhance the driver’s safety. So Let’s see how to add any desired app to Apple CarPlay for having an extraordinary driving experience filled with entertainment and convenience.

What are the CarPlay Apps?

CarPlay Apps refers to the apps which are compatible with Apple CarPlay by default. Apple has made certain apps available for CarPlay with the assumption that the driver is not distracted by those apps.

Basically most of the navigation apps including Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze apps can be reached and handled through voice commands via Apple CarPlay. Also when it comes to music, most of the audio player apps including Apple Music, Youtube Music are there as CarPlay Music Apps. Apart from that there are a lot of radio apps and news apps such as BBC Sounds and NPR One. Moreover, a range of podcasts like TuneIn, Overcast, Pandora and Spotify can be identified as CarPlay Apps. Apple has recently included communication apps like WhatsApp, Zoom in the Apple CarPlay compatible app list.  Apple has displayed the full list of CarPlay Compatible Apps in their official site for your convenience.

What are the most common apps missing in CarPlay?

When going through the CarPlay App list, you may have noticed that some of your favorite apps are missing there. What about YouTube, Netflix, FaceBook, Instagram, Games, Videos etc ? Yes, these types of video players and streaming apps are restricted by Apple as they might affect the safety since they can grab the attention of the driver's eye.
Here are some of the apps which you can not use with the default settings of CarPlay.

YouTube
Netflix
FaceBook
Messenger
Instagram
VLC Media Player
KMPlayer
Twitter
Photo Viewers
Games
Gmail
Outlook
Amazon Prime Video

How to add any app to CarPlay?

Even Though these apps can cause safety threats while driving, there is a space for using these apps in certain situations like while you are stuck in traffic or waiting in a car park. Understanding this opportunity, developers have introduced some hacks for adding these apps for CarPlay.

Most of these methods require a technique called jailbreaking. This is simply the method of expanding the restrictions imposed by Apple for customizing their products. Most common methods of CarPlay App list customization requires an iPhone which is already Jailbroken.

Apart from that, there are some other methods where you can have the same service without having a jailbroken phone. Some methods help you to get your phone jailbroken and then to customize the CarPlay app list while other methods offer solutions to get any app on CarPlay without being required to jailbreak your phone.

So as a gist, there are jailbreak and non jailbreak methods for adding apps to CarPlay.

Jailbreak Required methods - Using CarBridge or NGXPlay

Methods do not require a jailbroken device - WheelPal and third party alternative apps.

Jailbreak Required methods for adding apps to CarPlay

If your iPhone is already a jailbroken one, you can add any desired app to CarPlay using the following tweaks.

  1. CarBridge
  2. NGXPlay

Let's talk about these methods a bit more comprehensively.

CarBridge Tweak

CarBridge is a tweak which allows jailbroken devices to play any desired  app on the car’s infotainment system. Unlike just mirroring the user interface running on the phone into the CarPlay screen, CarBridge runs apps actually on the car’s screen giving a high quality experience to the user.

Yet, there are some limitations in CarBridge such as it is not compatible with some streaming apps and also this works on a limited number of devices. Since most of the latest devices with latest iOS versions are not compatible with any jailbreak, CarBridge can not be successfully  used by such devices. We have a separate article about Installing CarBridge, you can go through and make the decision of trying that based on your requirement.

NGXPlay Tweak

NGXPlay is also a tweak which offers almost similar functionality as CarBridge. Yet, it allows you to mirror your phone on the CarPlay screen. So that, you can enjoy any app on CarPlay without any restrictions.

NGXPlay too requires jailbreak for its functionality. Hence you can not use it with most if the latest iPhones running recent iOS versions as they do not have any compatible jailbreak tools available currently. You can read more on our Install NGXPlay article.

No jailbreak methods for adding apps to CarPlay

When it comes to no jailbreak CarPlay customization methods, there is WheelPal app and some aftermarket solutions.

WheelPal App

WheelPal app is the most famous and the most common method of adding apps to CarPlay. This app is compatible with most of the devices and iOS versions. This app can be installed to any phone regardless if it is a jailbroken one or not. As jailbreaking your phone is mandatory for CarPlay Customization, WheelPal guides you to jailbreak your iPhone and then to add any app to CarPlay. If yours is a jailbroken phone, then you can simply follow the provided step guide to install any  app to CarPlay. You can install WheelPal from the carplayhacks’s official website.

Aftermarket Solutions

If you do not have a jailbreak compatible iPhone, then the only possible way to install any app to CarPlay is the aftermarket solutions. There are a number of wireless CarPlay adapters and head units which allow you to enjoy YouTube, Netflix and some other streaming apps. You can use these options most of the time without jailbreaking required and most of them are USB plug and play. And 99% of them work only on original cars with built-in CarPlay functions. These types of dongles or adapters are available from $100. You can order them from online stores too.

If you want to get more connected experience, you can use wireless CarPlay adapters. Also, there're few best options for those who are looking for a reliable and efficient CarPlay wireless connection.

You may get this AutoSky Wireless CarPlay Adapter from Amazon for $82.99 and keep your all wired CarPlay features. Click the image below

You may get CarlinKit 3.0 Wireless CarPlay Adapter USB from Amazon for $120 to easily convert your wired CarPlay to wireless Carplay. Click the image below

You may get the SuperiorTek 3.0 Wireless CarPlay Adapter from Amazon for $119.99. This works with all factory wired CaPlay cars. Click the image below

Also, there're several wireless CarPlay Adapters for those who want to quickly convert their wired CarPlay to wireless CarPlay. Click the image below to buy one of them

FAQs with adding apps to CarPlay

Can I add YouTube to CarPlay from my iPhone 13 running iOS 15.5 ?

Since there is no jailbreak available for iOS 15.5 you can not get it done with CarBridge, NGXPlay or WheelPal. Still you can use a CarPlay adapter which supports YouTube.

Can CarBridge play Netflix?

No, with the DRM security of Netflix, CarBridge can not Play some Streaming apps like Netflix.

Is CarBridge Free?

No, it’s not available for free for the moment. It just costs around $10s by the time I write this article.

I do not want to jailbreak my phone. Can I still watch Netflix on CarPlay?

Yes you can simply connect a CarPlay USB Plug and Play dongle and watch Netflix on CarPlay.

Summary

Adding any app to CarPlay is now possible with various methods. If your iPhone is already a jailbroken device, then you can use tweaks like NGXPlay/CarBridge. On the other hand, if your iPhone is not already jailbroken and if you are willing to jailbreak your iPhone, WheelPal app is the best solution for you. Moreover, there are third party CarPlay adapters and dongles which enable streaming apps to CarPlay. So you can simply try these methods and enjoy your driving life!!!

And apart from your car, you can convert your home to a smart one too. if you are interested with that you can find more on smart home solutions on our blog.