In this video, I check out the TNVTEC 2-in-1 Wireless CarPlay Adapter.
This upgraded wireless dongle will convert an existing wired CarPlay system into a wireless one and it also supports wireless Android Auto, so if your vehicle only supports CarPlay and you have an Android phone, you’ll be able to bring Android Auto to your CarPlay system also.
In the box, you get a small paper instruction manual, a small 3m adhesive sticker, there is the wireless dongle itself, and there is a long USB-A to C charging cable and a smaller USB C to C cable for more modern CarPlay systems.
Features & Install
Looking over the dongle itself, its outer casing is exactly the same as the previous wireless CarPlay dongle I have reviewed. The only exception is some new brand logos on the top of the casing. There is no pass-through port on this dongle, it just has one USB C power connecting port on the side and the usual status indicator lights on the top of the casing.
I tried this wireless dongle on a number of CarPlay setups I had available and I could only get it working successfully on my Alpine aftermarket system. It didn’t work on my newest Pioneer 93DAB system, or reliably on my Dasaita Android OS head unit in my Golf. My Alpine aftermarket had no problem running this dongle and it is said to work with over 600 factory wired-CarPlay systems too, so if you’re interested in buying this dongle I would check out my link in the description below to check its vehicle compatibility before buying one.
Boot up & Menu UI
Once plugged into my CarPlay USB port the dongle lit up and it soon landed on its rather simple boot menu screen in around 14 seconds.
Like previous 2-in-1 dongles, this dongle is using similar software, so again, you only have one interaction on this Home Screen, which is the lower left button to switch between CarPlay and Android Auto platforms. Sadly you can’t swap platforms without rebooting the adapter first, and to do this you just tap twice on the button and the dongle will reboot into the alternative platform, be it CarPlay or Android Auto.
Displayed on the bottom right of the home screen is the current firmware version and in the middle is the Bluetooth profile name that you will need to search for and connect to from your iPhone or Android device.
Connecting to the dongle is done by simply entering the Bluetooth settings menu on your phone, then once selecting the same Bluetooth profile, your device will connect to CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly and display your chosen platform from your phone onto the CarPlay system’s display.
- BT Boot to CP – 18-24s
- BT Boot to AA – 12-24s
- Boot into CP from power on 53s on Alpine system
- Boot into AA from power on 46s on Alpine system
Wireless Apple CarPlay
From Bluetooth pairing, it took around 18-19 seconds to connect my iPhone to wireless Apple CarPlay on this adapter, and 53 seconds in total if you include the bootup of my Alpine system. This time matches most of the other dongles running this same software and likely hardware inside.
Once in wireless CarPlay, everything felt rapid and responsive. I checked its Wi-Fi specs and it had a max data rate of 433.3mbps, and looking at the other specs, I would say its Wi-Fi ship is the same if not similar to the Ottocast U2-X and ApplePie Lite, which also offers both CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly, and this was the only dongle so far to give out is Terraworks Wi-Fi vendor. But as I said the connection felt solid and the touch input was responsive.
The general expected audio lag was present here, but it felt a little faster, leaning between 1-2 seconds when swapping tracks. At the time of recording, the dongle was already running the latest software. However, should you want to upgrade the dongle you simply connect your iPhone to the dongle’s browser config menu. From here there are a few options to adjust the dongle for addressing any compatibility issues.
Being installed in my demo pod I wasn’t able to test the microphone or call performance of this dongle, but I’d expect it to be similar to the few similar 2-in-1 dongles selling today.
Wireless Android Auto
I found this dongle to be a little more temperamental than the other two recent 2-in1 dongles I tested. When using this dongle for wireless Android Auto I encountered a few connecting issues where it didn’t connect first time and I had to restart the dongle and forget the BT profile to get it finally up and running. Connecting to wireless Android Auto took around 12-24 seconds from the boot menu and 46 seconds after connecting power to the dongle.
Like wireless CarPlay, everything felt as you would expect with Android Auto. Navigation felt rapid, swapping between navigation and music modes was responsive and smooth, and audio lag felt a little more improved than in CarPlay.
This TNVTEC 2-in-1 wireless CarPlay and Android Auto adapter currently retails for $119.90 from Amazon US and €119 from Amazon DE. And you can check out my links in the video description below to learn more about this dongle and to buy yourself one.
This is yet another 2-in-1 dongle that lets you run both Android Auto and CarPlay wirelessly. Unfortunately, some of its competition offer USB-A pass-through, a nicer-looking boot menu and the ApplePie Lite specifically offered a newer firmware release with the option to adjust its start-up delay.
Comparing it to the other 2-in-1 dongles on my WiFi dongle table, it sits alongside the X
At its current retail price, this 2-in-1 dongle is priced in the middle of the last 2-in-1 dongles I have tested, so you can do a little better choosing elsewhere, but at the end of the day these dongles are all very similar and their firmware updates will eventually align and offer just the same config options. So it may just come down to availability and price because the experience is pretty much the same on this one.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:26 – Unboxing
0:43 – Adapter features
1:07 – Installation compatibility
1:39 – Boot up & interface
2:20 – Connecting to wireless CarPlay
3:39 – Updating and config menu
4:06 – Connecting to wireless Android Auto
4:47 – My Impressions