In this video, I check out the new CarlinKit CPC200-CP2A, also known as CarlinKit 4.0, Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto Adapter.
If you have a factory or aftermarket wired CarPlay head unit, this dongle simply inserts into its USB port and it will enable wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on your CarPlay display.
In the box, you get a small paper manual with instructions on how to install the dongle and how to connect wirelessly to your iPhone or your Android device. There is the wireless dongle itself, and there are two charging cables. One USB C to USB A and one USB C to C cable for more modern CarPlay systems.
With the dongle plugged into the USB port, it will immediately boot up into its main menu interface. From here I found this 4.0 dongle to be a little like a hybrid of Autokit and the newer software interface menus we’ve seen on other recent dongles. Whether this is an upgrade Autokit software, I don’t know, but it certainly looks like it could be.
From this boot screen, you can either go back to your car’s own system menu screen or you can enter the dongle’s own settings screen. Here is where more similarities to Autokit come in, with options to clear saved multi-user profiles, toggle auto device connection at startup, and change language.
Like the previous Autokit boot screen, the main screen on this 4.0 dongle also has the ability to toggle between previously paired devices, and with newly added support for Android Auto, both iPhone and Android devices will be listed here and can be tapped on to pair to the selected device.
Wireless/Wired Apple CarPlay
Connecting your iPhone for Wireless Apple CarPlay is as simple as pairing your iPhone to the dongle’s Bluetooth ID, that’s also shown on the centre of the dongle’s boot menu screen. Once paired, you’ll be asked to enable CarPlay and your iPhone will soon connect and display CarPlay wirelessly on your system’s display.
From here I found wireless CarPlay to perform well, with the usual wireless audio delay traits in music playback, navigation and calling. Overall, Apple CarPlay looked and worked great on my Coral Vision display. Tapping the assigned home button would take you out of the app and back to the system’s home screen. Microphone support sounds good too. Here is a test recording that I captured from the dongle from the microphone in the Coral Vision display.
Web Config UI & Custom Home Icon
Whilst connected to CarPlay, I fired up the web UI config menu by going to the required IP address in the iPhone’s Safari browser. From here we have a newer config menu that goes a little deeper than most other 2-in-1 wireless dongles do.
From the new four-tab navigation you can submit car info and feedback forms, as well as view its version number and check for updates in the info tab. Manage previously paired devices in the Manage tab. Change language to toggling the dongle to auto connect as well as change the media delay in the Settings tab. And finally, in the Advanced tab, you can toggle various modes to address compatibility and quality issues with your own CarPlay system, including frame rate, start delay and GPS. Resetting the dongle and rolling back to a previous firmware is also here too.
There is also a new feature in the Settings that allows you to customise the CarPlay’s home button icon and title with any image or title you want. You can pick from a library of downloaded manufacturer logos, or you can go wild and add your own, either from a photo in your camera roll, taking a photo from the camera itself, or from a file on your phone. So if you want your own custom CarPlay home icon, the sky’s the limit on this dongle.
With this dongle’s USB A pass-through port, you can also connect your iPhone to the dongle with a lightning cable and it will automatically switch over to wired CarPlay. This is good if you wish to continue to use CarPlay over a wired connection, for things like charging your phone, without disconnecting the dongle.
Wireless/Wired Android Auto
For wireless Android Auto, the method is just the same as CarPlay. Unlike the Ottocast U2-X, there is no need to toggle between platforms in the menu, and you simply pair your Android device to the dongle over Bluetooth, after a few seconds Android Auto will soon pop up on your display. Unlike CarPlay, connecting to Android Auto took a few attempts to launch, however, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this on a wireless dongle, and it may have been a conflict with my iPhone being previously connected to it over Bluetooth. But once connected, everything ran great with all my Android Auto apps running as intended, wirelessly and responsive.
Both wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also supported through its passthrough USB port, so you can charge and run either car platform from a USB-C or Lightning cable connected to your device, which is a good option to have if you don’t have a separate car charging port in the car.
This CarlinKit CPC200-CP2A (or 4.0) wireless dongle for CarPlay systems retails for $99.99 with an Amazon coupon, in the UK it retails for £110.99, and in Germany it retails for €126.99 (both with coupons added), and you can check out my links in the description below to learn more about this dongle and to buy yourself one.
The CarLinkit 4.0 joins a growing number of other multi-platform 2-in-1 dongles, from there likes of Ottocast and the CPC200-CCPA dongle for Android Headunits that I reviewed recently. If you only have a CarPlay system and you want to use your Android device for Android Auto on it, the options available are limited and this CarLinkit 4.0 dongle offers this ability in a nice neat looking package with plenty of customisation and configuration options to help work well with a wide number of CarPlay systems in the car, and it’s this alone that makes me recommend the 4.0 dongle from CarlinKit over other 2-in-1 dongles available right now.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:22 – Unboxing
0:37 – Bootup Menu
1:32 – Wireless CarPlay
2:11 – Microphone Quality
2:26 – Web Config Menu
3:34 – Wired CarPlay
3:59 – Wireless Android Auto
4:33 – Wired Android Auto & Multi-User Menu
4:50 – My Impressions