The Road to Apple CarPlay in an older car

I wanted to add Apple CarPlay to my 2013 Land Rover Freelander 2, which turned out to be easier said than done!

There didn’t seem to be an easy way to replace the head unit in the car with a new unit that could run CarPlay.

I then found a website where Taimur Asad had used an old android tablet with a USB device to make it a CarPlay unit so I thought I’d give this a try.

I bought myself the following items:

  • Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet
  • A USB carlinKit which supported wireless CarPlay
  • A micro USB to USB OTG (on the go) adapter

I waited patiently for all the bits to arrive. Installed the APK on the tablet. When I had all the parts, plugged it all together, and hey presto I had a good working CarPlay device, with all the CarPlay compatible apps on my phone appearing on the device.

I installed a couple of hacks on the tablet to get it to not sleep:

  • Enabled developer mode and enabled always on
  • Removed the Lock Screen
  • Always on still dimmed the screen which I didn’t like, so another app sorted that

The final thing was to get a splitter cable so I could have the tablet charging when the car was on. This is when everything started to go downhill…

I tried a couple of splitter cables with no joy, then after a bit of web searching found out that not many tablets support being charged and having a USB device attached simultaneously. So my plans are scuppered, for now