Harman shared today that it has successfully implemented wireless CarPlay commercially through its new end-to-end infotainment system. Wireless CarPlay has been supported by Apple since iOS 9, and the feature is finally being implemented by automakers starting this month.
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Harman says its wireless CarPlay solution is already being used by a German luxury brand:
Through HARMAN’s end-to-end infotainment system, a vehicle’s Bluetooth and WiFi will enable the connectivity required to support CarPlay, creating a greatly enhanced wireless experience for the user. The solution is currently being deployed in the market on HARMAN infotainment systems for a luxury German automaker.
That likely refers to the 2017 BMW 5 Series Sedan, which was announced back in October to be the first car on the road with wireless CarPlay built-in when it hits the road this month.
Wireless CarPlay is also coming to aftermarket receivers that you can install in existing cars starting with a new solution from Alpine that was announced in January at CES.
Alpine’s new iLX-107 aftermarket receiver will work with wireless CarPlay and retail for $899 later this month. Alpine’s wireless CarPlay unit features a 7-inch capacitive touch screen and will be the first aftermarket solution for customers not buying a new car. We briefly went hands-on with a demo unit back in January and look forward to further testing when the receiver launches.
Apple is introducing a few subtle improvements to CarPlay through iOS 10.3 which is currently in beta. New features including a persistent app launcher and tweaks to the Music app can be seen in our hands-on.
Questions about overall performance and impact on battery life when using wireless CarPlay remain, but the convenience of automatically being connected when you enter the car is definitely positive.