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Some expensive cars can't run CarPlay, but this Raspberry Pi 3 can

CarPlay
CarPlay (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Manufacturers have to support CarPlay for it to work.
  • Most charge an extra fee, if they support it at all.
  • This Reddit user turned a Raspberry Pi into a CarPlay receiver.

If you head onto any car manufacturer's website you'll see some very nice, very expensive cars. Most of them will have the option to enable Apple CarPlay and a few might even have it as standard. But what if you could just use a Raspberry Pi and an $8 cable instead? Wouldn't that be cool?

Why yes, yes it is.

Reddit user 41298 shared the whole thing on Twitter, complete with a video showing it in action.

Apparently, all it took was an old Raspberry Pi 3 and an $8 CarPlay cable from AlliExpress. Right now you need to use a mouse to move around, but the poster says they might try the whole thing with a touchscreen next.

So I haven't seen anybody post this but I just got the CarPlay Interface running on my raspberry pi 3. To get that done I installed linage os in the pi. That allowed me to install the app to enable CarPlay that came with my aliexpress CarPlay dongle. Overall it was very straightforward to get it to work although I was not able to test it with a touchscreen so I could only navigate the interface with my mouse.

Is there anything those little computers can't do?

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.