Car Tech "tip"

After all my trouble-reporting posts, I thought I would post one with good news. I recently purchased a 2024 Ioniq 5. I love it. It’s put the fun back in driving for me. I joke that it’s less a car and more a “mobile computer.”

The 2023 version, while excellent overall, had two minor tech-related omissions: It had no USB-C ports (just USB-A) and had only wired CarPlay (no wireless). I had hoped these would be addressed in the 2024 model, but alas no. Numerous reviews of the car have cited these omissions and given the car a few demerits for them.

And yes, the car does include a wireless charging pad, which negates some of the need for a wired connection. But still USB-C would have been nice.

However (and here’s the good news), these deficiencies can be easily remedied for relatively little cost.

First get these USB adapters:
They are so small (and with a choice of colors that at least one can ideally blend with your car’s interior) that they are hardly noticeable. And they convert your USB-A ports to USB-C when needed.

Second get this CarlinKit wireless CarPlay adapter:
Just leave it plugged into to the car’s data port…and you will automatically get a wireless CarPlay connection every time you turn the car on. It takes a bit longer to start up than built-in wireless CarPlay…but (at least in my case) it has otherwise worked near flawlessly.

So…for about $70 (at current Amazon sale prices)…you’ve just solved these two minor deficiencies in an otherwise superb car.


I don’t know your normal routine, but I usually leave USB cables connected to the car when I disconnect my phone (or iPod). So in a situation like yours, I’d just get an A-to-C cable (USB 2.0 or 3.0, depending on what the phone requires) and leave the type-A connector connected to the car all the time. To me, this is no different from the A-to-lightning cable I use today or the A-to-Dock cable I used several years ago.

In this specific situation, I’m not sure why a C-to-C cable with an adapter is a better choice, unless you typically remove the cable from the car when you’re not using it.

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That’s probably what I would do as well — if I used any cables at all. I don’t. Between the wireless CarPlay and wireless charging pad, I have had no need for one so far.
I was mainly responding to the people I have seen online who comment about the lack of USB-C ports as some noteworthy negative. I was just saying if they want USB-C for some reason, they can easily have it. Certainly no reason to prefer some other alternative car.
Beyond that, it’s just a reflection of where the future is going. USB-A is on its deathbed. Five years from now (if not sooner), I imagine it will be impossible to buy a car that has USB-A built-in. C-to-C cables will be the default. In that sense, USB-C ports are a bit of future-proofing of the car. Not a big deal. But nice.

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P.S. One possible “real world” example: As I recall, the iPhone 15 models come with a USB C-to-C cable. If your car has USB-C, it could save you the expense of otherwise having to buy a A-to-C cable. A minor deal to be sure. But still.

Please let us know how well the wireless CarPlay works. On those few occasions where I use Bluetooth to play music to a car stereo, I have been unimpressed. I seem to get a lot of dropouts, especially on a crowded highway. I suspect due to interference from other cars on the road. But the audio from a wired connection (USB or analog line-in) has always been flawless.

True, but only if you don’t plan on leaving the cable in the car. Otherwise you’re going to be buying a few cables anyway, so picking one that matches the car’s connector shouldn’t be a big deal.

FWIW, the devices in my home (3 iPhones and an iPod Touch) are all old enough to have Lightning connectors. We have at least 18 cables (all A-to-Lightning) around the house:

  • 2 in my car: one connected to the car stereo for audio, one to a 12v charger.
  • 3 in my wife’s car: all connected to charge-only ports. The USB-audio connector in that car is flaky so we use either Bluetooth or analog line-in for audio
  • 4 distributed across our three nightstands for charging overnight
  • 2 in our home offices, attached to computers
  • 2 in the living room, attached to a power-strip charger
  • 2 attached to wall warts, to charge from other locations
  • 3 attached to wall warts, which we carry when traveling (e.g. for hotel rooms)

Plus a few spares, in case one breaks or otherwise needs replacement.

We usually get Anker 2m braided cables. They’re good quality and are not very expensive when purchased in multi-packs.

(And this is why I’m annoyed by Apple’s switch to USB-C. They’re going to make me replace quite a lot of perfectly good cables.)

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My understanding is that wireless CarPlay is implemented using WiFi because Bluetooth does not have the bandwidth to support it. That’s why cars have to specifically be labeled as supporting wireless CarPlay — that support requires that the car have a built-in WiFi network.

I haven’t felt the need for wireless CarPlay; generally if I’m driving I’m glad to spend a couple of seconds of connection time to have my phone charging while I’m on the go.



Yes. I can confirm about CarPlay and Bluetooth/wireless. Here is a quote: “CarPlay uses Bluetooth to set up the connection between the phone and the vehicle and then it switches to use the WiFi for the actually functionality.” According to what I’ve read…the result is that sound quality is much better with wireless CarPlay than with Bluetooth connections. According to some reports I’ve read, it’s indistinguishable from a wired CarPlay connection (although I cannot confirm that). It’s certainly been very good in my limited experience.

As to the need/preference for wireless CarPlay…I typically don’t need to charge my phone while I’m driving…so it stays in my pocket the whole time. I get in the car, sit down, turn the car on…and bingo…CarPlay appears. No extra steps involved. It may be trivial to some, but to me it makes for a much more pleasant and seamless experience — like the entirety of CarPlay is built into the car.

I don’t mind that either. But more importantly to me, driving with navigation in my experience runs down battery fast and it’s the nav part that gets me to use the iPhone while driving anyway. Now if it’s just a 15 min drive no biggie. But if it’s several hours or even a road trip I’d be connecting either way just for the battery alone.

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Thanks, Ted, this is very useful. I went ahead and ordered the wireless adaptor as it was on a good Black Friday deal.

Having the wireless will be really helpful. Most of my trips are short enough that I don’t need to worry about the battery draining because of nav/audio. Also my phone is getting a bit finicky about the lightning connection so it’ll sometimes disconnect randomly during a drive, which is a giant pain. Being able to keep my phone in my pocket and just have it automatically link in will be amazing.

Well, with a wireless charging pad…there’s still no need for a wired connection. Six of one…I guess.

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Great. I hope you find the adapter as useful as I have. I will point out: There will likely be times when the CarPlay connection drops. Of course, there are times when the connection drops even with built-in wireless CarPlay. Oddly, I have found some drops are linked to a specific location — there’s a stretch of highway on Route 80 where it alway seems to drop. The good news is…if I just wait it out…about a minute or less typically…and keep driving…it reconnects on its own. Aside from these occasional glitches, it has worked perfectly.

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Blame the EU. Apple held out of the switch for as long as they possibly could:

“If Apple Inc. had its way, the iPhone would continue to use the current Lightning connector for the next few years — until the point when the company is ready to begin phasing out ports on its smartphones altogether.

But the European Union forced its hand, requiring mobile device makers to use the USB-C standard by the end of next year. So Apple is now in the awkward position of embracing the very technology it didn’t want. When the company introduces the iPhone 15 on Sept. 12, USB-C connectors will appear on its four new phone models, as well as the AirPods Pro, and Apple will describe it as a major win for customers.”

I also just bought an 2023 Ioniq 5 - I just leave the USB A to Lighting cable attached and connect my iPhone 15 via Lighting. I don’t mind the need to physically connect the iPhone. What really bugs me is that the navigation system (generally very good) doesn’t read the iPhone contacts and use them to specify destinations. (It does read the contacts for phone calls.). I had a MINI Countryman S with Navigation that read and used the contacts - very convenient since I could make sure my destination for any trip was in contacts and I didn’t have to tap in the address on the car.


Yes (Maps does not use Contacts) - it is even more irritating when the Contacts Settings (Privacy & Security) allows me to give access for other navigation apps (I use Garmin’s Earthmate and the Australian offline Metroview app).
Am I imagining things or did Maps used to access Contacts many “upgrades” ago?

I have submitted feedback to Apple:

I might be missing something here, but I just assumed Apple maps app uses contacts. I use CarPlay and I am frequently navigating to new locations that are in my Contacts. I use Siri and ask it for “directions to contact name”. I don’t recall it coming back to me saying it could not process my request when I have that contact with an address in the contacts app. It might have here and there, but again, I don’t recall any issues recently.

I can use Siri to navigate to a contact but if I use the search keyboard of Maps it will not give me contacts.

Amazing. I just tested this by first typing in the name of a person in my Contacts list in the Maps search. Th app did not recognize that name to find his address. I then asked Siri to 'Guide me to [name]‘s house’ and it provided the directions in Maps. I then exited from that and started typing the person’s name in a search in Maps. It located him.

So, it looks like you can use Siri to add a contact’s address to the history file in Maps, thus letting you use Maps in the future to get directions to the contact. What a mess.

Okay - that explains things. Thanks for the update and testing. Agreed that this doesn’t make sense. Either an oversight on Apple’s part or perhaps they are deliberately encouraging people to use voice instead of typing.

I will say that I can’t remember the last time I used the keyboard in CarPlay, but that’s just me.

You can also access CarPlay’s Maps from an event in CarPlay’s Calendar if you’ve entered the destination for it. That’s what I’ve taken to doing . . .

Probably this.