In this video, I check out EZonTronics Wireless CarPlay Dongle for Android Head Units.
Links to the Android app:
For the instruction manual, please ask the seller of this dongle.
This adapter connects to an installed app on your Android OS 4.4.2 or higher head unit and it can breathe new life into it by allowing you to connect wirelessly to Apple CarPlay, and it also offers the ability to AirPlay or MirrorLink to the dongle over Wi-Fi from your iPhone or Android device.
In the box there aren’t any paper instructions, you just get the white adapter and a short charging cable to power it. Instructions and the CarLink app can be downloaded from the seller’s page, or you can contact the seller directly. This dongle has been available for some time, it isn’t that new, I just haven’t been able to bring my review until I had my hands on the Android app that you need to connect the dongle to the head unit, and I’ll link to the file locations of the app in this video’s description below.
Connecting App & Boot Up Menu
Once the app file location has been supplied and downloaded you can either download it directly to the head unit if it has an internet connection or download it to a USB drive and install it from there. Once installed you then launch the app and insert the dongle into your head unit’s USB port and wait for the dongle to connect to the app’s main menu interface.
Connecting the dongle took about 7 seconds before the app recognised the adapter was connected. Once connected to the adapter you’re first asked to connect to your iPhone over Bluetooth for wireless Apple CarPlay. To switch to a different connection type, you have to head into the adapter’s Settings menu and select the first menu option which will then offer you the options to switch between CarPlay, AirPlay and Android Mirroring.
Whilst in the Settings menu you can also toggle such options like: Auto start at boot up, set an alternative resolution, alter the microphone volume gain, allow the Android app to go full screen on the head unit, alter steering wheel button functionality for the app, change the return logo whilst in CarPlay, as well as saving logs, checking for updates and viewing the current firmware version number.
Wireless Apple CarPlay
Booting into wireless CarPlay took 16 seconds after pairing my iPhone to the dongle’s Bluetooth profile. So with auto boot turned on and knowing your own system bootup time, this will give you the total time it takes to get into wireless CarPlay from a cold start.
Once in wireless CarPlay, everything felt fairly responsive and rapid. The audio delay in audio, navigation and calling was the expected 1-2 second delay. Unfortunately in my setup whenever I evoked Siri the app would crash, so there are some compatibility issues with my Android head unit setup in its current firmware.
AirPlay Casting from iPhone
Unlike most factory wireless CarPlay adapters, this EZonTronics adapter has one extra trick with that’s the ability to cast content over AirPlay or MIrrorLink from your iPhone or Android device respectively.
Selecting AirPlay from the settings menu and connecting to the Wi-Fi profile of the dongle, you can AirPlay content from your iPhone to the dongle and onto your head unit’s display. Why you’d want to do this when you have an Android head unit, might be because your head unit may not have an internet connection whilst your mobile will likely have. So accessing apps like YouTube on your phone and casting it to your Android head unit becomes a possible use case here.
Streaming from the iOS YouTube app to the dongle was pretty easy to set up and playback video onto the head unit, with the video cast to the display whilst audio plays out through the car’s speaker system. The types of apps might restrict what you can cast from your iPhone. Anything with a copyright block in the app will not show video on the display during playback. But videos from your camera roll, YouTube and even apps like Plex had no issues casting to the dongle. I didn’t notice any significant audio lag during playback, and the video stream was definitely watchable.
Mirror Link Casting from Android
Switching to Android MirrorLink, I encountered many problems getting my Google Pixel 5 to recognise the dongle as a casting device, even though it was connected to the dongle over Wi-Fi and I tried both the native Screen Casting option and the Mirror Link app from the Google Play Store, neither wanted to connect or cast to the dongle. So I would be aware of this issue if casting from your Android is your primary use with this dongle.
This EZonTronics wireless CarPlay and casting adapter for Android head units currently retails for $49.99 from Amazon US and you can also buy it from their store on AliExpress currently for $39.99, and I’ll leave my links to both of these stores in the description below so you can learn more about the dongle and to buy yourself one.
If you have an Android head unit and you’re looking to future proof it with wireless Apple CarPlay or you wish to cast from your mobile phone instead of from an app on your head unit, then this is a cheap and fairly reliable way to get this kind of functionality running on your Android head unit.
Unlike the CarlinKit CPCA dongle, there’s no wired or wireless Android Auto support from this dongle, and there is no passthrough port for wired CarPlay either, should you want to charge and use CarPlay wired to your head unit. So if your use case is just wireless CarPlay or casting to your Android version 4.4.2 or higher head unit then check out this CarPlay adapter from EZonTronics.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:31 – Unboxing
1:01 – Features
1:17 – Bootup & app install
1:53 – Settings menu
2:28 – Wireless Apple CarPlay
3:01 – AirPlay video casting from iPhone
4:20 – MirrorLink video casting from Android
4:44 – My Impressions