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Wireless CarPlay is coming to more cars

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Apple’s CarPlay is a terrific piece of technology that we like quite a lot. But perhaps the biggest annoyance with CarPlay (aside from its persistent bugginess) is that you have to plug in your phone in order to make it work. Sometimes, particularly for short drives, pulling my iPhone out of my pocket and plugging it in isn’t something I want to do, but CarPlay requires that I do it. Until now.

Harman, a “tier 1” supplier to automakers, has announced the first wireless CarPlay system for those companies, suggesting that the system will be coming to new cars over the next few years. Most carmakers don’t actually build everything that goes into their cars — instead, they buy lots of parts and components from suppliers, integrating them into the vehicle as they go. Infotainment system connectivity is one of those items, and the fact that Harman now supports wireless CarPlay means that a lot more cars will soon gain the technology.

BMW was the first brand to offer wireless CarPlay, connecting iPhone and car over Bluetooth (for initial handshaking) and then Wi-Fi (for ongoing connectivity). This means that you get the familiar iPhone interface on the car’s infotainment screen without needing to plug it in every time. And now, thanks to Harman, a lot more people will soon be enjoying wireless CarPlay even if they don’t have a sweet German sports sedan.