Friday, April 01, 2016

Mazda Had Best Start Supporting CarPlay

Recently, I've had two passions in my life as a consumer. I've been dreaming of finally moving on from my 2003 Honda Civic, and buying the hatchback version of the Mazda 3. And, I've been eagerly awaiting delivery of a pre-ordered JBL Legend CP100 CarPlay aftermarket stereo for my Civic; a wait that keeps on getting stretched.

The air conditioning might not work, but my old Civic is going to have a nice looking dash (in early June).

You might ask what's keeping me from just buying the lovely and fun to drive 2016 Mazda 3. One, I've been listening to a lot of Dave Ramsey, so I'm intending to do the mature thing and save cash to buy a used one coming off a lease (or a flease as Dave would call it). And two, the current firmware for the infotainment system in Mazdas doesn't support CarPlay. Worse, unlike my Civic, my wife's 2009 Civic, and even the 2012 Mazda 3 my little sister just bought, you can't just pop the factory one out and put in a standard double-DIN receiver along with some cheaply bought custom trim. Crutchfield doesn't list any CarPlay receivers that fit and if there was such a receiver, what would you do with the screen bolted to the top of the dash? Putting CarPlay into a modern Mazda 3 without Mazda's help would take some doing.  

If this situation doesn't change in the next couple years, I'll be happily purchasing the well reviewed 2016 Civic, which does support CarPlay.  

[Update: I noticed in this ride along review (8:22 in) of the new Mazda CX-9, that the Mazda engineer says when asked when CarPlay and Android Auto are coming:
We don't know exactly when yet. Not at launch, unfortunately. As soon as we possibly can. We're working on it. It's really tricky with those guys, they've got their own requirements, our system has its own requirements. You think you've got it lined up—it seems like it should be so simple, and every time we think we've got it so simple they pull another thing out and change something on us.