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Apple Carplay is a feature that turns the display screen on your vehicle into an extension of your iPhone. As a relatively new feature, it’s not always clear whether or not a car is Apple Carplay-friendly. It’s challenging to tell with Audi vehicles like the A3. So, we researched the Audi A3’s Apple Carplay capabilities and have a detailed answer for you here.
The 2020 Audi A3 does have Apple Carplay, but you’ll have to enable and connect to it before use. Every Audi A3 model since 2017 should have Apple Carplay available. If yours doesn’t have the feature, you may need a display system software update.
That’s the short answer on the A3’s Apple Carplay, but if you can’t find the feature or are having difficulties getting it set up, then you should keep reading. We will discuss how to enable and use Apple Carplay on your Audi A3 and which A3 models come with the feature.
Apple Carplay on the Audi A3
Models of the Audi A3 have come equipped with Apple Carplay since the year 2017. The Carplay feature will not be ready to use as soon as you purchase your Audi. Instead, you’ll have to first enable and connect your iPhone to your Audi’s display system. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do so:
How to Enable Apple Carplay on your Audi A3
You can set up Apple Carplay on your Audi A3 in just a few steps. Please keep in mind that the steps and interface might be a little different depending on the model year of your Audi. Here’s how you do it:
- Turn on your Audi, keeping your car in park.
- Turn on the Bluetooth on your iPhone.
- Wait for the “Audi MMI” option to show up, and then click it.
- Press “Pair.”
- Choose whether or not you want to sync your contacts.
- On your vehicle display screen, select “Accept” when the request to pair your iPhone shows up.
- Finally, press “Use Carplay” on your iPhone when the option appears.
After following those steps, the tile on your Audi display screen that used to say “Phone Apps” will now say “Apple Carplay.” You can then use the functions of your iPhone directly on your Audi display screen.
It’s worth noting that you can also connect your iPhone to Apple Carplay through a wired USB connection. This is useful if you don’t like using Bluetooth or need your Bluetooth connection for something else.
If you are more of a visual learner, here is a quick Youtube video on how to get your Carplay up and running:
How Do I Use Apple Carplay on my Audi A3?
Using Apple Carplay on your Audi A3 is as easy as using your iPhone. After all, you should have already completed the setup, and that’s the hardest part. The Apply Carplay screen is just as user-friendly as an iPhone, perfect for use on the go.
Audi’s MMI, or multi-media interface, is the default view on your A3 display screen. After you link your iPhone to the system by following the steps above, the main screen will change to look like an iPhone home screen – complete with application tiles (buttons) and everything.
On the left side of the screen, you will see your phone’s battery level as well as data connectivity. Just above that, you will see small tiles that show your most commonly used applications.
On the main area of the new Apple Carplay home screen, you can navigate between applications like music, maps, phone, podcast, and even messages. There is even a tile for returning to the regular Audi MMI view if you need it. There is an option in your iPhone for configuring which applications show up on your Carplay home screen.
Can I use Siri on Apple Carplay in my Audi?
With Carplay on your Audi, you even have normal use of Siri, just like with your iPhone. You can activate Siri by holding the voice command button on your steering wheel if you have one.
You may remember that step five on the instructions above was choosing whether or not you want your contacts synced with the Apple Carplay system. Choosing yes to this will give you the best experience when using Carplay.
Clicking on the phone tile on the home screen will allow you to make calls as if you were on your iPhone. You can view your contact list from the display screen and even ask Siri to call one of your contacts directly.
Which Audi has Wireless Carplay?
Apple Carplay has been a standard feature on most Audi vehicles since the year 2017. Apple has an extensive list of all of the vehicles that are Carplay compatible regardless of manufacturer. Of course, the Audi A3 is among those that are listed, but here is the full list of Audi models and model years:
- A3 (2017-2020)
- A4 (2017-2021)
- A5 (2017-2021)
- A6 (2017-2021)
- A7 (2017-2021)
- Q2 (2017-2021)
- Q7 (2017-2021)
- R8 (2017-2021)
- TT (2017-2021)
- Q5 (2018-2021)
- E-tron (2019-2021)
- Q8 (2019-2021)
- Q3 (2020-2021)
- E-tron Sportback (2021)
- E-tron GT (2021)
- Q4 E-tron (2022)
- Q4 E-tron Sportback (2022)
When Did Audi A3 get Apple Carplay?
The first Audi A3 to come standard with Apple Carplay was the 2017 model. Since then, each of the subsequent model years has come with the option to access Apple Carplay from the display screen. Before that, the only connectivity offered between the Audi systems and a cell phone was through Bluetooth, USB, or auxiliary connectivity.
If you have an Audi model that is older or does not support Apple Carplay for some reason, you are not out of luck. If you still want to add Carplay to your Audi, many third-party Carplay retrofitting kits are for sale online. With one of these kits, you can upgrade your Audi interface to be more modern and compatible with Apple Carplay.
Does the 2016 Audi A3 have Apple Carplay?
When the 2016 Audi A3 was first released, it did not have Apple Carplay. But a later released software update for the display system makes the 2016 A3 compatible with Apple Carplay.
Does 2020 Audi have Apple Carplay?
The 2020 Audi A3 does have Apple Carplay as long as it is a model built after May 2020. You can check this on your Audi by opening the setting menu, clicking on “General,” and then the “Version Information” section.
The video above covers this process and states that there is currently no software update available for early 2020 model A3’s that don’t have Carplay. You’ll have to hold out for that, and you can always call your Audi dealer with any specific software-update-related questions.
Why Doesn’t the 2021 Audi A3 have Apple Carplay?
You may have noticed on Apple’s list of Carplay-ready vehicles that the 2021 Audi A3 is excluded. The reason for this exclusion is because there will be no 2021 Audi A3. Audi is actually skipping one model year as they update the A3 for a 2022 release. So don’t worry, the Audi A3 will be back in 2022, and Apple Carplay will surely be a part of its feature list.
Is Apple Carplay Worth It?
After all this discussion on Apple Carplay, you may be wondering if the feature is even worth the trouble of the setup process. As with all auto features, especially those involving technology, whether or not Apple Carplay is worth it is a matter of opinion. If you don’t have an iPhone, it will be an unimportant and unnecessary feature for you.
But, if you are an avid fan of Apple and plan on having an iPhone year after year, then the feature will bring your digital connectivity full-circle. Apple Carplay in the Audi A3 or vehicles like it will give you a safer way to access the features of your cellphone without breaking the law and putting yourself in danger. Anything features that accomplish something like that are definitely worth the setup time.
The Audi A3 between model years 2017 and 2020 all come with the ability to connect to your iPhone through Apple Carplay. We anticipate that the new 2022 A3 will also come standard with Carplay when it is finally released.
If your A3 doesn’t have Carplay, the first thing you should try is an MMI software update. Otherwise, you may need to connect your iPhone by following the steps above to access the convenience and safety of the Apple Carplay system.
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