Previously, installing wireless Android Auto required purchasing a high-end vehicle or an aftermarket head unit, but in recent years, adapters have made the capability much more widely available. The Motorola MA1 further popularized the concept after being introduced by AAWireless. Carsifi has been around for a while and, like those other Android Auto adapters, has a lot in common with them. However, it also has a unique feature.
The first wireless Android Auto adaptor, AAWireless, and Carsifi have a surprising amount in common. It has an understated black plastic style and connects to any USB-C cable you choose. It first connects over Wi-Fi Direct after pairing via Bluetooth. Quite simply, it does the job really well!
I’ve been switching between Carsifi, AAWireless, and the Motorola MA1 in my 2019 Subaru Crosstrek for the past few months, and all three of them function quite similarly when used on a daily basis.
In recent months, Carsifi has quickly established connections with my numerous smartphones, particularly the Pixel 6 Pro, Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy Z Fold 4, and typically gets Android Auto functioning within 30 to 50 seconds. On the overall, I’ve had little to no trouble with lag or pairing issues. Carsifi did refuse to recognize my phone on two times, which needed re-pairing to fix the issue, however this typically happened after I switched to a new device. Similar difficulties with AAWireless have previously come up for me.
Carsifi’s unique gimmick is that it has a magic button that you can press to select whatever phone powers Android Auto in your car. Double-clicking the button switches between the most recent two Carsifi-paired devices. In my experience over the past few months, I’ve discovered that this works ok. At least in my car, there is a wait of several seconds between hitting the button and the connection actually switching over, but it generally functions as intended.
However, I find it difficult to understand how valuable this is. The apparent use case is if you share a vehicle with someone else, but most of the time, pairing doesn’t finish until after I leave the house, thus the adaptor typically connects to the phone in my pocket without any problems. And it’s even less realistic if the goal is to be able to flip between phones while driving. Giving the driver better phone management without having to take their eyes off the road is the whole goal of Android Auto. Giving the passenger control of the navigation and audio just seems unnecessary, especially because this wouldn’t function like handing the AUX cable during a drive since Android Auto won’t allow you to set up the system when the car is driving.
Android Auto may be paused with the magic button, which serves another purpose. I’ll be honest—I never saw any real need for this.
The Carsifi app can be used to manage the options for this button and the dongle in general. The software is really simple and functional, but you won’t use it much beyond debugging. In no way is it necessary for setup. But the fact that this app even exists addresses my main issue with the Motorola MA1. Contrary to that adapter, Carsifi is completely capable of receiving firmware upgrades, and throughout the time I’ve been using it, it has received a few.
Carsifi ultimately does the job reasonably effectively and isn’t much more expensive than alternative options.
But in all honesty, I believe that most customers would be better off choosing another option. Both AAWireless and stock on the Motorola MA1 are getting easier to come by, and both have a stronger track record for customer service. Finding messy experiences with Carsifis support won’t take much searching.
The quick-switch button is the one feature that truly distinguishes Carsifi, and it isn’t all that useful. Carsifi is available for $89 and costs $99 with a temporary discount directly from the brands website .
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