How to integrate your smartphone with your cars factory radio
We’ve all seen or heard of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and of course we all love it and want to add those features to our vehicles, but those features aren’t cheap, and not realistic for your average person. Rather than replacing the radio or buying a new car, there are a few companies out there that make a product that can mirror your phone screen directly to the factory radio creating an experience just like CarPlay or Android Auto.
Companies such as Crux and Grom Audio make smartphone integration kits that are designed to work with specific vehicles and radio systems that range in price depending on the type of vehicle you have but generally average around $300-$400 for the complete kit. This is a huge savings from adding one of the Apple or Android solutions that can range in price from $2,000 and up.
These smartphone integration kits are designed to plug into the back of the factory radio where the video and radio harnesses are all plugged in. The kits include a Y-harness that allows you to unplug the existing harness, plug in the Y-harness, and then plug the existing harness into the new Y-harness and then back into the radio.
There are several types of smartphone integration kits that work differently. Some kits provide an HDMI connection that requires an MHL adapter, and others use WiFi technology to pair your smartphone with a WiFi signal that comes from the newly installed kit. Currently, Grom makes a wired version called the V-Line while Crux makes both a wired and a wireless version called the AVI Series (wired) and the WVI Series (wireless) which have been pretty popular lately.
CarPlay and Android Auto come with 2-way communication which means that you’re able to control the phone directly from the radios display screen where as others only have 1-way communication which means that the phone must be controlled by the phone itself. The Grom V-Line adapters support 2-way communication whereas the Crux AVI and WVI adapters only support 1-way communication.
Below are some links to some of the most popular vehicles that we sell smartphone integration kits for: