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Dash Cams and Apple CarPlay

Modern Dash cam manufacturers have begun redesigning Dash Cameras without a screen, so drivers can focus on the road and prevent them from settling on mediocre, limited views from the tiny dash cam screens.

Nowadays, modern dash cams already come with a dedicated smartphone app to enable users to manage footage – from streaming, downloading, and sharing the clips. Of course, you will need to connect your dash cam to your phone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to enable this.

Still, many newer vehicles have their connectivity and wifi connections, in the form of CarPlay, or Android Auto. Prioritizing seamless connection, this technology allows users to connect their smartphones to the infotainment system of your car, providing easier access to your mobile apps, navigation, music, messaging, and more – while keeping the driver focused on the road – just like how dash cams do.

Sometimes these connections can fight, frequently with the dash cam’s wifi getting the short end of the stick. Here, we’ll investigate how these connections interact with each other, and what we can do to fix it.

Common Issues Between Dash Cams and Apple CarPlay

Some dash cams do encounter connectivity issues when it comes to interacting with Apple CarPlay. Since CarPlay normally takes control of the driver’s phone, there’s a chance that it can interfere with the dash cam’s app connectivity, booting the phone off the camera Wi-Fi. This is a common issue for all dash cam models — old and new.

CarPlay connections overall, like to take control of your phone once you enter into the vehicle, automatically connecting you to the CarPlay system. This is normally through a bluetooth connection, which then pairs your phone automatically to the wifi signal of the CarPlay. This CarPlay connection can frequently be a bully, ripping your phone off of other wifi networks, especially if they are not true network connections.

Remember, our dash cams have their own Wi-Fi connection, but are mainly used for connecting to the camera. It’s not a true Wi-Fi connection and does not connect your iPhone to the internet. Instead, the dash cam’s Wi-Fi connects you to the dedicated smartphone app so you can stream and download your footage.

If ever you encounter these problems, our first recommendation is to switch to Airplane mode so you can restart the Wi-Fi connection. Moreover, you can also try forgetting the carplay’s Wi-Fi network, and reconnecting to the dash cam’s Wi-Fi as needed.

You can also temporarily turn off your CarPlay, or un-pair your phone from CarPlay, both options temporarily through your vehicle’s infotainment system, depending on your system.

How can I use CarPlay and Dash Cam Wi-Fi together?

A common desire we hear often is the possibility of using the dash cam’s Wi-Fi app to stream footage, and using a wireless CarPlay adapter at the same time. Is it possible?

In order for the dash cam to work, the phone must be connected to the dash cam’s Wi-Fi, and the same goes for the wireless CarPlay. Fundamentally, both wifi networks are mutually exclusive.

And since phones can only connect to one WiFi signal at any given time, it’s not possible to use CarPlay wirelessly with the smartphone app and dash cam when streaming during a drive or while you're saving videos. You may have to use it wired, or use an alternative where you can watch your footage while CarPlay is running. For this, we recommend using Wireless Apple CarPlay adapters like the ZZAIR-PRO or the Zeus Ultra Box.

Unlike standard CarPlay, these systems have their own infotainment display, which can be used independently of the CarPlay phone connectivity. With the ZZAIR-PRO, you can stream Youtube and Netflix on your infotainment system, and watch anything downloaded to the SD card inserted in the device. With the Zeus Ultra, it has a much wider range of streaming services available, and the option to insert a SIM card to allow for a connection wherever you are. Therefore, if your dash cam has your videos stored in its micro SD card, you can plug the SD card in the ZZAIR adapter and watch your footage right in your car’s screen, even without having your phone actively connected to it over wifi.

Got More Questions?

Not to fret, our in-house product experts are here to help. We have spent years curating helpful content and video guides, helping customers with their dash cams, but we understand that we can always do better. Contact us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We love what we do, because we're here to help you make the most informed purchasing decision.