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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2015 Mazda 3 and I’ve always been a bit underwhelmed by infotainment. I was really excited by the CarPlay announcement but really turned off by the $480 I’d need to spend at the dealership. And no, I’m not savvy enough to install it on my own. Since the release, it doesn’t seem like people are crazy impressed by it. Especially since you still need to plug the phone in and can’t use the touchscreen.

So my question is for those that upgraded, was it worth the $500 for you?


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I have a 2015 Mazda 3 and I’ve always been a bit underwhelmed by infotainment. I was really excited by the CarPlay announcement but really turned off by the $480 I’d need to spend at the dealership. And no, I’m not savvy enough to install it on my own. Since the release, it doesn’t seem like people are crazy impressed by it. Especially since you still need to plug the phone in and can’t use the touchscreen.

So my question is for those that upgraded, was it worth the $500 for you?


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The M3 GT stock Nav/phone/message infotainment were underwhelming and useless. The upgrade was worth the upgrade with better options/features.
 

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I'm sure I'll be in the minority, because the ease of use after the upgrade is very nice, however I was used to the Nav/Phone/Message system on my 2017 3GT. After the upgrade, the sound quality using Carplay, especially the middle and high frequencies - is much lower quality than the old USB connection. The Bluetooth audio was somewhat in the middle of the quality level. So, Airplay < Bluetooth < USB input. I will say that now, with the software upgrade, its nice to see the album artwork when using Bluetooth. With CarPlay, when you are just playing audio from your phone, there is a ton of wasted space on the display, because of Apples UI, and, no album artwork. What's with the oversized fonts?

In any case, I can certainly live with the Apple UI, but the diminished sound quality makes the upgrade a downgrade, from my perspective.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I'm sure I'll be in the minority, because the ease of use after the upgrade is very nice, however I was used to the Nav/Phone/Message system on my 2017 3GT. After the upgrade, the sound quality using Carplay, especially the middle and high frequencies - is much lower quality than the old USB connection. The Bluetooth audio was somewhat in the middle of the quality level. So, Airplay < Bluetooth < USB input. I will say that now, with the software upgrade, its nice to see the album artwork when using Bluetooth. With CarPlay, when you are just playing audio from your phone, there is a ton of wasted space on the display, because of Apples UI, and, no album artwork. What's with the oversized fonts?

In any case, I can certainly live with the Apple UI, but the diminished sound quality makes the upgrade a downgrade, from my perspective.


You mentioned seeing album artwork on Bluetooth now. Is that just on a regular update that I can throw on a usb stick and do?


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I just had the upgrade done today to my 2015 M3 GT. I currently use an Android based LG G7 and have until now primarily streamed the music from my phone over the bluetooth connection. I've tried using an Apple iPod (classic hard drive model) through the USB connection and found the audio quality no better than the bluetooth connection and at times even worse. Which is rather disappointing as thr iPod sounds pretty decent through earphones. In my experience the highest quality audio has always using a DAP plugged into the AUX jack.

To my surprise I am finding that the audio quality through Android Auto to be quite good, distinctly better than bluetooth. I tried playing both FLAC files stored on my phone's SC card and streaming hires music from TIDAL. So it appears that the music is streaming through the USB connection rather than through bluetooth and benefiting from the higher bandwidth.

The Google integration is great as I can control my home's smart devices on my drive home (turning on lights and turning up the thermostat). Plus of course getting Google responses over the car speakers in response to my queries.
 

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The Google integration is great as I can control my home's smart devices on my drive home (turning on lights and turning up the thermostat). Plus of course getting Google responses over the car speakers in response to my queries.
This is the one area where I'm seriously disappointed in Carplay. All my home automation goes through either SmartThings or Wifi/Alexa. To use anything with Carplay or Siri you need to have HomeKit devices and pay the Apple tax. I was hoping to be able to turn on my flood lights and open my garage from the car, but no way am I replacing all my existing hardware. One nice bonus of having the new higher amperage USB hub though, I will be able to power that $25 Alexa Auto device when it comes out in a month or so.
 

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Yikes. Gotta admit that I’m probably closer to just sticking with infotainment than upgrading to CarPlay than I was before starting this thread. Lol


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I have a 2015 Mazda 3 and I’ve always been a bit underwhelmed by infotainment. I was really excited by the CarPlay announcement but really turned off by the $480 I’d need to spend at the dealership. And no, I’m not savvy enough to install it on my own. Since the release, it doesn’t seem like people are crazy impressed by it. Especially since you still need to plug the phone in and can’t use the touchscreen.

So my question is for those that upgraded, was it worth the $500 for you?


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It was the best ~$200 I’ve spent on this car. I can’t say it would be worth $500 at a dealer. It’s very easy to do it yourself
 

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you can always do it yourself and make the entry price just 150 bucks.

It isn't that hard honestly. just watch the videos, i won't take more than one hour of your life and you will feel great afterwards
 

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You mentioned seeing album artwork on Bluetooth now. Is that just on a regular update that I can throw on a usb stick and do?


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Well, I did it all at once so that's a hard question to know for sure. My inclination is that functionality was part of the software update that was done at the same time the hardware was updated.
 

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When I bought my 2016 last week, I had the dealer include the Android Auto update in the sale price. If I had to pay $500 for it, I probably wouldn't have done it. For my phone (Sony XZ2C), there's no discernible difference between bluetooth and USB audio quality on the Bose system.

My girlfriend has Apple doesn't like CarPlay, and shes very happy using the in-built nav because it shows up in the HUD as well. I purchased the Mazda Connected Services so she can get traffic updates and that functions flawlessly.
 

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(1) With hardware on eBay for less around $155, it is not that bad. Many dealers will reduce the installation fee once it is not that a "hot" option, say $150? That's was how I paid with less than $320, tax included.

(2) WRT whether it is worth it, it all depends on your own preference. I don't use CP that much daily, and I am fine with the built-in Nav. But when I drove to NYC yesterday, the map and traffic information did help. I also heard more bass (for some reason?) when I play Apple Music via CP (Hamilton sound track in this case).

(3) High amperage charging is actually BAD for your phone, and I had wished they stayed at 1A. Your battery is much better off with low amperage slow charging for a long run, but it might be just me who do not change phone every year.

(4) Since I have AIO installed, I feel it is easier to use the CP interface with touchscreen while driving, but also totally fine with the control knob. Only wish to show more information in CP like the Speedometer tweak, but it will be another story.

(5) Wish there will be some sort of Apple Home Kit interface screen in future CP, and more apps and smart devices that support CP. Current voice interaction is no way near convenient!
 

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Got Apple CarPlay on mine and love it. Everything works really well including voice recognition to text back n forth (Siri reads your text).
 

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A little late to the thread but had Carplay installed on my 2014 Mazda 3. I like it, not sure if its "$500 worth of liking" but oh well. The streaming music option is one thing, which I already did with the Pandora integration but I'm also using the Carplay navigation (Google Maps), which I think is significantly better than the built-in NAV. Not to mention my subscription was up a year ago and I didn't feel like paying for another 3 years... The only thing that's a little bit of a bummer is that there's no integration with the heads-up display so the NAV steps won't show there. I'm also using Carplay for podcasts etc. I know there are ways to do it via the (Aha comes to mind) but the integration is not as good in my opinion. Just my 2 cents...
 

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Am I only the only one that was really hoping for wireless CP? Is that even a thing? In general I like it on my 2017, sometimes it seems like it doesn't recognize the phone and I need to plug it in again though.
 

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i installed it myself . im happy with everything , work as they should . patience and a little reading will save you $300 . yeah it has its thing, with not using touch screen while driving . but it will probably save your life, or an accident . what good is carplay without either of the two. GL
 
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