Apple CarPlay users want to go wireless

Alpine iLX-007 Review - The packaging is pretty sweet
Alpine iLX-007 – The packaging led us to believe wireless CarPlay was coming.

When Alpine first announced the iLX-007 in September 2014, everyone seemed to notice the “Wifi Enabled” feature displayed on the packaging and press release. There was very little information from Alpine at the time other than an assumption that the currently useless feature would eventually lead to a wireless version of Apple CarPlay.

However, if and when that would ever happen was anyone’s guess. It seemed to be a decision that was at the hands of Apple. Yet, just last week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference an announcement was made that CarPlay was going wireless. So where does this leave Alpine iLX users?

One my readers from Europe received this rather disheartening response from Alpine UK regarding wireless CarPlay on the iLX-700. With the announcement that iOS9 would contain wireless CarPlay ability, Paul emailed Alpine UK asking if there would be an update.  Here was the response he received:

“From: AOUK Gait
Date: 10 June 2015 08:07:23 BST
To: Paul
Subject: Re: Fwd: iLX-700
Good Morning Paul

I’m afraid not, the Wifi Chip was only in the first production units and is no longer in the ILX-700, this feature will not be possible on the ILX-700


Well, I can’t speak for what Alpine is doing in the UK, but I did speak with my Alpine rep regarding the iLX-007 and here is what he knew about the situation. His understanding is that Apple changed the wireless CarPlay protocol after Alpine already built in the WiFi feature. So the rumor here is that you need to have both Bluetooth AND Wifi to make Apple CarPlay work wirelessly. The other tidbit of information he gave me is that Alpine didn’t stop building WiFi into the iLX-007, they just stopped listing the feature on the box until they figured out what Apple was doing. I’m wondering if the response Paul got was just some corporate BS reply.

I’ve been told that Alpine is coming up with a solution and it will most likely be a Bluetooth dongle that connects to the USB which will add the Bluetooth necessary for wireless CarPlay. I assume there will probably also be a software update for the unit too. There is no ETA on this Wireless CarPlay dongle at this time. Additionally, I wonder if Pioneer will follow suit and create a USB WiFi dongle to allow wireless CarPlay with their models.

Either way, I think wireless CarPlay will be a huge hit. When I show a customer Apple CarPlay for the first time, that is the first question they always have, “Does it have to be connected?”. Apparently we all want everything to work wirelessly. Once Alpine figures it out, I think wireless CarPlay will be a huge hit.


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  1. from a technical standpoint, wireless carplay would be an easy add-on to any system currently with carplay. it would just take a usb dongle with the proper connectivity (wifi or wifi/BT combo). whether or not any manufactures would do it is another matter. I’m sure they would much rather sell you a new unit than a much cheaper USB dongle.
    hopefully with the growing popularity of CarPlay it would be worthwhile for a 3rd party to make such a dongle.

    • Yeah that’s what my Alpine rep had originally suggested and it was rumored Alpine would be selling such a dongle, but it never happened. I agree they will probably opt to try and sell you a new model if/when it becomes available.

  2. Any news on the wireless carplay?

  3. Hi Annie,
    Alpine announced the i109-WRA- 9 inch unit for Jeep vehicles. It’s CarPlay compatible. Any idea what’s inside? It may give us an indication of what to expect from Alpine and/or Apple for CarPlay

    • Hey John,
      Other than what I’ve got listed on this post I don’t have many more details. I know it’s essentially an over sized iLX-007 and does not do any iDatalink Maestro integration, just standard steering wheel control input.

  4. Hey Annie
    I was just wondering do you have any updates on the firmware update for the ilx-007 that enables the wireless CarPlay? I love the unit but plugging in everytime is getting old fast. Thank you in advance.

    • No I don’t, kind of frustrating – I know.

  5. My iLX-007 works like a charm with my iPhone 6s (iOS 9.1), with one exception. The phone app crashes when selected from the iLX-007 screen. Siri chimes in asking who I want to call but if I select the option to “Show Contacts” the app crashes back to the CarPlay home screen. I cannot get to any input screen within the Phone app. The only way i can make a call is using Siri and she don’t like my accent.

  6. Right now my ilx-007 is an expensive paperweight in my car. Only Maps and the radio work. Music apps play, but I get no audio. It wasn’t working with iOS 8, and thought iOS 9 would fix this. NOPE. I have to think that both sides will blame tho other on this. This has been really frustrating. Apparently it’s a bug, restoring the phone as a new phone will make it work, but that’s not gonna cut it as a solution for me.

    • Dude – you need to check your install. I’ve sold quite a few of these and have not encountered this. You probably have a stock amplifier that you need to power up and it sounds like you connected the power antenna lead of the stereo harness to the remote turn on lead in the car – which is why you have audio on radio. Check your install before blaming everyone else. P.S. running ios 9.0.2 and listening to Pandora on my ilx-007 on my display board as I type.

      • I just ordered the ILX-007 for my old SUV. Have had AppRadio 4 in my Mini for over a year. AR4 has had 3 firmware updates and Pandora has a CarPlay button now in addition to the AppRadio Pandora button. Do CarPlay functions get added by head unit firmware updates or by iPhone OS?
        Or… does the Alpine have a CarPlay Pandora button or is Pandora forced on through phone’s touchscreen?
        I’ll know this in a week after I install the Alpine, but I thought I’d ask.
        AR4 has a smaller screen, but GPS antenna, HDMI mode and USB MP3’s are nice.

      • Hey David, you probably already figured it out, but it popped up because of Apple’s update to the phone/CarPlay functionality. So as more apps become CarPlay compatible you’ll simply notice them pop up on the screen.

  7. Did you hear back from Alpine or are they still being coy about that chipset?

  8. Now that ios9 is out with wireless CarPlay, do we know anymore about Alpine’s support?

    Thank you


  9. any update on this issue? IOS 9 brought wireless carplay to the iphone. Has Alpine answered? Does ILX-007 in fact feature wireless capabilities?

  10. So back on Reddit, where they had originally discovered the presence of the WiFi chip, there was a new thread posted:

    In it, one of the users posted a picture he took a more recently purchased iLX-007 that he had taken apart. The picture he took of the inside: show that where the wireless chip used to be, it no longer is. That seems to indicate that Alpine ceased including the chip in production at some unknown point in the past.

    If you’re able to talk to your Alpine rep, could you see with him what the exact deal is now? Is Alpine still planning somehow to support wireless? Because an email I got back from Alpine said that the unit will not support wireless CarPlay, because it doesn’t have the ability to support BT at all. Which seems like it would be fixable with the release of a dongle, as was mentioned in your post. My assumption is that Alpine doesn’t look like they’re going to be providing wireless CarPlay to the iLX-007 at all.

    • I think the big problem is all this stuff takes time. Even if Alpine has already figured out the solution (like the previously mentioned and rumored dongle) they have to wait for Apple’s approval before releasing anything to the market.

  11. Any update on this now that iOS 9 is out?

  12. I don’t suppose there’s been any update on this? Since iOS 9 came out yesterday, there’s nothing preventing Alpine from putting out a firmware update now, if they’re going to.

  13. According to this post on Reddit

    the WiFi chip in the ilx-007 looks like this: . An ALPS UGKZ2.

    On the ALPS website this part is listed as a “Bluetooth® & Wireless LAN Combination Module for Car AV equipment & Smart phone connection.”

    So hopefully no dongle is needed, the chip should already have both WiFi and bluetooth.

    • Very interesting find! I didn’t think to take one apart and look, but that is indeed a good way to tell. I’ve just sent that off to my Alpine rep, I’ll see what he says.

      • Did you ever hear anything more on this whole question about whether they removed the wireless/Bluetooth chip from the Alpine iLX-007, and/or if wireless CarPlay might be enabled in a future firmware update?

      • Nope – still no word.

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