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Hybrid Retrofit of Apple Carplay in 2009-2015 cars

173891 Views 482 Replies 90 Participants Last post by  Myles Bracey

All just thought i would share i am getting a kit that allows you to retrofit an aftermarket carplay kit to a 3G MMI high/+ system without compromising the OEM system in my 2012 sportback A5

It's accessed via the navigation button, press and hold for three seconds to activate the carplay screen

This is something i have been looking for for ages, i hope it works, the kit is getting delivered today and if I can get pawn the kids onto the grandparents this weekend i'm hoping to get it installed

Installation pictures and video will follow if you want to follow the thread
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Looking forward to that. Keep posting
Really?! What kit?! Where can I get one? When? How? How much?

This is EXACTLY what I want!
Is it the naviplus thing? Their website looks like the integration is perfect with proper CarPlay, but the eBay listing seem to show just screen mirroring.

I so hope it’s as good as I hope. I’m DEFINITELY doing it if it comes good for you!
Very interested to see how this goes, Chris. Keep us posted, mate.
Very interested to see how this goes, Chris. Keep us posted, mate.
What he said :laughinatabove: :thumbsup:
This is something I have been looking into as well. Looking forward to seeing if it works well!
Guessing this is the Unichip solution available for around £500

Looks fairly good actually, I’ve dabbled with car play a fair bit too in the 2017 A5 I’ve been loaned... it’s ok, but I don’t think it’s worth £500 to me really. £300 would be my sweet spot!

Still, nice to have a retrofit solution at long last!
Keen to see this. Can you share a link at all? Cheers

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Guessing this is the Unichip solution available for around £500

Looks fairly good actually, I’ve dabbled with car play a fair bit too in the 2017 A5 I’ve been loaned... it’s ok, but I don’t think it’s worth £500 to me really. £300 would be my sweet spot!

Still, nice to have a retrofit solution at long last!
I thought the unichip one was 2016 onwards only?
I thought the unichip one was 2016 onwards only?
No, Audi themselves do a kit for that... Unichip provide one for All B8/B8.5s. Two versions infact, one for touchscreen, one for OEM control
Hi All,

Sorry for lack of response I've tried to reply a few times but A5OC has a viscous 10 character password policy and none of my usual passwords comply with this so i keep forgetting it

The install (eventually) went great - i tried to do a video of the functionality this morning however when i start recording video with my iPhone it knocks off screen whatever you are doing with carplay for obvious reasons, i'm at work at the moment but i'll get my wife's iPhone later this evening to record a video demo of me using all the functions

The unit is a Chinese built model, I say this as it has a the apple logo on it with a stupid "Apple cool Play" title on it as a splash screen, once your phone is linked with carplay though you never see this again, in saying this though the graphics look very clear and sharp, the audio quality is just as good as my 3G MMI system just like you would expect a genuine carplay system to be - maybe carplay is standardised software and they just copied it to get it right? Anyway it’s the first Chinese car system (and i have been through quite a few in my years) i have ever come across that i'm satisfied with the quality of it

Now my A5 came with standard concert stereo - I'm not a car technician but have tinkered in the past before fitting my own stereo and I retrofitted the 3G MMI High system myself, those who have looked at doing this know it is a massive job not for the faint hearted but i bravely undertook it 3 years ago and it went relatively well with the exception waiting a few weeks for a wiring loom having to be custom made by a polish company. I think if my car came with 3G MMI high as standard I would've probably installed this Carplay system in 30mins to an hour instead of the 4 hours it took me trying to figure out which loom goes where and to discover that i never wired back in my AUX from the original retrofit

It didn't help that the system came with toilet paper instructions - i had to fend for myself in this area although all the cables are labelled i managed to figure it out myself, maybe it would be a lot easier if your Audi comes with 3G MMI high/+ as standard

Operation is very seamless and simple, once you have connected your IPhone to the USB port of the carplay system (see pic attached), the OEM MMI interface needs to be the in the AUX setting under your media, before switching to it you have to press MEDIA -> SOURCES -> and switch to AUX, once you have done this you simply press and hold NAV for 3 seconds and your OEM system boots into this carplay system

All functionality looks sounds and works great, you get:

Now Playing

Siri responds to just 'hey Siri' and the 5 times I ask her to do different tasks just to have a play around she worked 100% of the time!

I've only used carplay on a hire car in experience in spain last year before so not too clued up on how carplay should work but everything seems to be identical, for instance when you enter the maps application you get to zoom in and out, select previous destination, checkout points of interest, previous destinations etc, in podcasts you get to option to skip back and forwards 15 seconds, speed up slow down etc everything was identical to my car hire experience although this carplay system also has two extra options,- Spotify and ‘Return to main Audi Navigation’ although this last one is pointless since you simply press RADIO on your OEM console and it just flicks back to radio as expected

I don't have a Spotify account so could not test this out

I got a microphone with the system however this seems to be redundant as the apply car play uses my OEM microphone, everything is controlled by the standard OEM centre knob either using the joystick or the rotary knob itself. I called my wife from the system when I installed it and she said I was clear as a bell with audio so big thumbs up for phone call quality!

So the bad parts about the system

1) Doesn't seem to work with Bluetooth, i.e you can’t just jump into your car and expect your iPhone to automatically, you have to get your phone out of your pocket and plug into your lighting cable before setting off - there is loads of spare cable for you to install the USB port into your centre armrest or glovebox so not so much of a problem just a farce IMO having to do this every time you get into the car

2) I was told to voice activate SIRI you can simply press and hold the steering talk function for 3 seconds and it will activate SIRI, this doesn't work, instead you can just say "Hey Siri" (since your iPhone is plugged in it should automatically activate) - Or you can activate Siri by whatever menu you are in on the carplay system - I'm not to bothered about this since it's much quicker and easier to activate Siri by saying 'Hey Siri' instead of pressing and holding the talk button for three seconds and like I mentioned before it worked seamlessly with my voice every time I tried it

3) Cameras, it came with a front and rear camera, rear camera looks to be a proper Audi retrofit since it comes with the number plate light. They don't seem to activate when i put the car in reverse however i haven't plugged them in yet as i ran out of time fiddling with my retrofit loom but surely when I stick the car in reverse I should get some sort of blank screen, anyway i'm going to have a second attempt at this next Saturday with the cameras properly powered up before writing this off - maybe i need to activate some sort of reverse camera option using VCDS too

4) There is a loom with this kit called RADAR- I haven't the foggiest what this connects to it kind of looks like OBDC port but isn't quite the same so i just left it unplugged - It may be why the reverse camera or steering talk or bluetooth carplay isn't working. Or it might be for an option on the KIT called IPAS which i think is something to do with Intelligent Parking Activated System - my car doesn't have that so i just dismissed it as all other functions seem to work fine

Besides above (well maybe point 1 but i suppose i'll have to live with that) i am pleased as punch with it, I love my A5 Quattro I bought it with 1200 miles on the clock and I wanted to keep it until run it into the ground but lack of ever being able to have integration with it via my iPhone podcasts and crap sat nav (in comparison to Apple Maps) was niggling at me. Think this system has breathed new life into the car for me to continue to keep it for another 5 years

I did this video mid install on saturday before i figured out you need to switch to AUX for the audio to work, If kids permit I will post a better video later tonight showing all features


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Looks great Chris!

Can i ask where you got it from (is it the unichips one?), and where you put the box? Behind the dash?

And is there any chance you might remember any of the particular installation steps that would have been helpful to know in advance?

Many thanks!

Thanks for the feedback Chris!

Few points;

Seems incredibly odd your kit came with cameras, since this has absolutely nothing to do with Carplay and would be an MMI/Car feature and need coding appropriately. Did you specify them? As if not I'd say its poor since you're being charged for items not necessary. Also the camera you're provided is not a guenine or even a close match, OEM does not include have a number plate light, it houses the handle to open the boot as seen here

Where did you buy this from and how much?

Im almost certain all these kits are basically Unichip just sold through different distributors. RSNAV seems to be the easiest to deal with so far but I do wonder who else sources these.

If there's enough interest in a group buy I might make some enquiries and see if we can get any better rates... I know RSNAV for example initially sold these kind of units a fair bit cheaper as an introductory offer than they do now.

I am tempted at these as I should be able to get them for about £350.. I just cant decide if I'm going to get the use out of this at the moment for that kind of investment!
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Chris, also one crucial question thats come to my attention; since these boxes do nothing more that "hijack" your system, all OEM controls used.... will still be operating the MMI behind the scenes, meaning you are most likely entering destinations into your nav system etc without realising it... but worse still- hit "back" too many times and you'll be in the main menu without knowing it, and quite possibly changing some basic car settings without realising it.

I like Im sure most other members would love to know, what in reality this is like for you. Ie using carplay as you'd expect, going in and out of apps, scrolling through podcasts, entering destinations in maps- all via your car controls.... Id love to know what you find behind the screen when you come out of Carplay (I'd assume by unplugging your phone or something similar).

Hi Chris,

Thanks very much for the post. I am also very interested to add Carplay to my 2014 A5. After seeing the report I immediately jumped on to it and searched a bit on chinese website and found two main suppliers of this kind of device (yes I'm a chinese). thought I just write down what I gathered here.

* the device is claimed to be non-destructive, no split of the cables required. As you showed in the pictures, it just put an extra box (called smart box) into the connection and then uses the orginal screen.
* price listed on the website is around £250 - 300 range, depending on which company to buy from.
* I required an installation guide video, as I plan to buy it and ship it to the UK then install it myself. I will see if I can upload it to youtube so you can have a reference.
* good point on the BT function. I will ask the seller if they have a model with BT.

not sure if the forum has a policy on posting item link. I'm happy to link the items I found if needed.

My questions:
1. is it difficult to open the middle control frame and install the box myself? I haven't got time to watch the full video (at work).
2. possible to add a BT adapter myself if the box doesn't take BT connection for carplay.


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jw505 this will be easy to install. I too have done my trawling of the various sites and found pricing similar to you (currently negotiating the best price I can get).

From someone that had no prior car experience, but have now done many things on my own A5, installing this should be fairly straight forward. The only "complicated" bit will be putting your lightning connector in the location you desire, since ideally you might want this under your arm rest in which case its just pulling the cables through the gaps. Ive seen some do this by removing the cigarette lighter which I might do. Others simply run the cable from the closest gap from the headunit to the steering wheel compartment- feeding it straight into a mount.

Please note my upper reply before ordering anything though in case you're worried. Im still on the fence over this because of it.

The MMI is almost certain to be still functioning and following the control operations in the background, that's the only drawback I can think of with this product (other than obvious warranty issues)
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Thanks Grangey, all valid points.

the warranty issue may be fine. I was promised the box doesn't split the cables or tear off any sticker, i.e. I can remove it and restore the original arrangement if there's a warranty need. The continuous background running MMI is true but I dont know if it would be a problem. so far I haven't seen any issue shown on MMI but not shown on dashboard. several warnings I encounters include tyre pressure, service due and low fuel level.

I have watched the video guide it's actually a Q5 fitting video. I think I can handle it. also they will provide support during installation.

I'm still waiting the answer on BT capability.....
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