Android Auto Smarts to Your Car With Aphqua’s Infotainment System
Auto Smarts to Your Car With Aphqua’s Infotainment System I’m in the market for a new car. My old 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee is nearing the end of its life, and I would like to get something that has more in the way of modern amenities. But I’ve put my search on hold for now because, as you know if you’ve tried buying a vehicle lately, the prices for even used cars are skyrocketing. So until the market cools down, I’ve managed to smarten up the Jeep. I didn’t want to invest in upgrading the stereo system with time or labor costs. That’s where Aphqua’s Intellidash system shines—this gadget installs in under a minute using a windshield suction cup or dashboard adhesive. It looks like an external GPS system of yesteryear and creates a large 7-inch infotainment center for any vehicle that doesn’t already have one. With smooth phone integration for navigation, music controls, and notifications now at my fingertips, it’s easier to overlook that I’m driving something that’s almost two decades old.I like that this setup leaves my physical climate and audio controls intact. I prefer this to newer systems, which often opt for a capacitive touch layout. Unlike a majority of factory systems, this model supports wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay protocols for controlling your smartphone while you drive or streaming media to the unit. Most new systems forego the wireless variant so you can access your phone on the display without a wire. And when you do connect your phone via a wire, it charges through the built-in USB 2.1 port.
While the system’s built-in speakers are passable, you’re going to want the audio to output through your car’s existing speakers. If you don’t have a 3.5mm auxiliary port, there are a few options for adding audio to your system. I recommend using the built-in FM tuner, which allows you to tune your original radio to a frequency created by the Aphqua intellidash. This outputs audio from the device to your car’s built-in radio. While driving through urban areas, you’ll likely notice static interference due to the busier airwaves. For the most direct connection, I use this aux adapter cassette—it’s a cassette tape attached to a 3.5mm headphone cable. When I hit the old-school tape button on my radio, that really takes me to my newly created auxiliary input.
Another tip: Set your Aphqua’s background boot image to a photo or logo you prefer. I recommend loading into a company photo for the make of your car so that it feels like the system is a stock part of your vehicle. However, you can set the photo to anything from a fun family memory to a skyline shot of your home city.
Number of Channels
For just $270 (after clipping the on-page coupon) and ten minutes of my time, I added a new infotainment center and backup camera directly to my car on my own. You can do this just as easily thanks to this gadget’s easy installation and affordable price that makes it way more accessible than replacing your existing console. Normally, upgrading a radio unit is expensive—you need the wiring harness and mounting kit, and if you get this setup installed by a professional, you’re easily looking at a near $1,000 job.
To get started, I simply plugged the unit into my lighter port. After powering it up to make sure the screen functioned properly, I attached it to the included suction cup base using the four indentation clips on the back. (There’s also an included adhesive dashboard base, which you can also use to mount the system like a classic GPS unit if you prefer.) To connect the included backup camera, I spliced the camera’s power wire into my brake light wire using a T-Tap and ran the video cable along the ceiling of my Jeep. When I put my car into reverse and the backup lights turn on, that now sends a signal directly to the screen mounted on the dash, showing the view out the back. Not only does this device make my drives more bearable with improved navigation and phone control, but it’s boosted the lifetime of my Jeep. I very well plan to drive it until it dies while I wait for the car market to recover.
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