The Toyota Tacoma is a great mid-size pick-up truck for both urban and off-road driving. If you're a Tacoma owner, you might also be wondering how to relax and watch videos while inside your vehicle. We've done the research for your convenience.
If you want to watch videos in your Toyota Tacoma, then you cannot rely on Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Instead, you will need third-party phone software or one of several aftermarket products.
- Mirroring kit
- Multimedia box
- Rear entertainment system
If you're interested to know more, then we've got your back. Do read on as we discuss these video viewing options in detail.
How Do I Watch Movies On My Toyota?
When you're driving your Tacoma with your friends or family, watching videos is a good way to entertain them, especially on long trips. However, watching videos on your front infotainment screen is not safe or legal while the car is moving.
Like many car makers, Toyota takes passenger safety as a priority in providing an infotainment system for the Tacoma. Since entertainment videos are driving distractions, your system only allows the following video displays:
- Vehicle status displays
- GPS Navigation
- Vehicle camera displays
- Phone mirroring except for videos
The Toyota Tacoma's infotainment system features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, but both technologies do not permit downloading, streaming, or playing videos like YouTube or Netflix.
Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also do not allow mirroring of your phone's streaming apps to your front infotainment display.
Some manufacturers, however, allow the car owner to play videos through their front-row infotainment system screens. For example, Tesla designed their multimedia system to allow Netflix videos but only when the car is parked.
Now, assuming that you will keep safety in mind and play videos only when parked, how do you do so in your Toyota Tacoma? We have researched a few ways below:
- Use an aftermarket mirroring kit
- Plug in an aftermarket multimedia box
- Install an unofficial third-party software
- Use streaming devices on an aftermarket rear entertainment system
Keep reading as we will tell you more about these video-viewing solutions for your Toyota Tacoma.
Aftermarket Mirroring Kit
As mentioned above, Apple CarPlay, as well as Android Auto, allow you to use your smartphone safely while driving your car. Although both technologies allow the mirroring of many of your phone apps, they restrict videos for driving safety.
However, you may want to mirror your Youtube or Netflix through your infotainment system while you're parked. Again, we would like to reiterate the "parked" part.
Picture this - you may be waiting on the school grounds for your kids' dismissal. Alternatively, you may be at the supermarket waiting for your spouse. Finally, you may just be outdoors, cooling down your truck after a run on the trail.
And then you remember that your much-awaited episode in your favorite Netflix series is already out. Sure, you can watch it on your phone, but you would rather have a bigger screen, better speakers, and air-conditioning.
This is how an aftermarket smartphone mirroring kit can help. Through a mirroring kit, your infotainment's mirroring capability will include video streaming apps.
Check out this helpful video comparing an aftermarket smartphone mirroring kit against your standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
An aftermarket mirroring kit will all you to mirror all your phone's apps to your car's infotainment screen, including the ones that are otherwise restricted by the car's default system.
However, current aftermarket smartphone mirroring kits will require you to control your phone's functions from your phone and not from your infotainment screen.
Aftermarket Multimedia Box
Using an aftermarket kit to mirror your smartphone onto your car's infotainment screen can be quite convenient. However, some people may not want to dedicate their phones just for video viewing purposes.
Here are some possible reasons:
- Video playing discharges the smartphone's battery quickly.
- Even if you charge your phone on your car's USB port, the heat from the prolonged usage, as well as the heat from the charging process, will decrease the smartphone's battery lifespan.
- You might have to reply to an incoming message or e-mail or answer a phone call while the video is playing.
If you do not want to use your phone to play videos on your Tacoma's infotainment screen, then an aftermarket multimedia box may be a better choice for you.
An aftermarket multimedia box is a piece of electronic equipment that plugs into your car's main USB data port. Through the multimedia box, you can download and open video apps like Netflix from your car's infotainment screen.
Of course, you will need to connect your multimedia box to a reliable wi-fi connection for you to stream your videos. However, if you want to watch videos offline, you may also plug in and play movies or other videos from a USB thumb drive.
See this helpful video below about a multimedia box for your car's infotainment system.
Unofficial Third-Party Software
Some third-party applications allow you to override your phone's restrictions and let you mirror all of your apps, including videos. However, many of them will require you to jailbreak or root your smartphone.
Jailbreaking is a term used for hacking an iPhone. Rooting, on the other hand, is a term for hacking an Android smartphone. If you jailbreak or root your smartphone, then you can gain more control over the device.
However, jailbreaking or rooting involves risks, such as:
- Voiding of warranty
- Device firmware corruption
- Malicious software
Because of all of these risks, we do not recommend jailbreaking or rooting your smartphone.
Luckily, some newer mirroring apps like CarBridge do not require any phone hacking to allow videos to play on your Tacoma's infotainment screen. Check out this video below.
Below are the step-by-step instructions on how to download and install CarBridge on your smartphone.
- Open your smartphone's browser (e.g. Safari, Google, etc.)
- Visit the app's website, https://carbridgeapp.com
- Select "Download now"
- Tap "iOS" or "Android", depending on your smartphone
- Select "Start Installation"
- Your smartphone will download and start installing the CarBridge app
- The main Carbridge installer will ask you to install and open some free apps (VPN, games, etc.)
- Download and install the required free apps (two to three apps; this is how CarBridge monetizes on their free app)
- Click and open the free apps from your phone's home screen to finish the CarBridge installation
- Connect your smartphone to your Tacoma's infotainment system
Aftermarket Rear Entertainment System
If you often have kids as backseat passengers, a rear entertainment system would be a good way to keep them busy. However, the Toyota Tacoma does not have this feature, even in its highest trim.
Instead, you can get an aftermarket rear entertainment system to play videos for your rear passengers. Many of these aftermarket systems' screens can be installed at the back of your first-row seats' headrests.
You may connect your phone to this system to watch videos. Unlike the factory infotainment system, these rear entertainment systems do not have mirroring restrictions.
Alternatively, these systems can play saved videos directly from an external thumb or hard drive.
- Plug the Apple TV device into your entertainment system.
- Go to the device's home screen.
- Select the App Store.
- Search for and install Netflix.
- After installation, select the Netflix icon on your system screen.
- Sign in or create your Netflix account.
Amazon Fire Stick
- Plug in your Fire Stick to the rear entertainment system.
- From the Amazon Fire TV's home screen, choose "Search."
- Search, download and install Netflix.
- After installing, open the Netflix app.
- Sign in or create your Netflix account.
- Plug in your Roku device to the rear entertainment system.
- If the Netflix app is already pre-installed, then just open it and sign in to/create your Netflix account.
- If Netflix is not pre-installed, then select "Channel Store."
- Search for and add "Netflix."
- Sign in or create your Netflix account.
Why Is The Toyota Tacoma So Popular?
The Toyota Tacoma has led the U.S. mid-size truck segment's sales since 2002. Although the current Tacoma's design is still largely the same since 2016, the Tacoma still maintains its dominance. Why so?
Since it is a mid-size truck, the Tacoma can maneuver well in the city. It is still compact enough to drive on small roads or parking lots where full-size trucks cannot.
However, the Tacoma's smaller size does not mean it lacks in grunt. This truck can still tackle off-road trails and hauling jobs confidently. If you need to tow a trailer, then a properly-equipped Tacoma can pull 6,400 pounds for you.
Finally, the Toyota Tacoma shines in reliability and good resale value. To illustrate, the 2022 J.D. Power consumer rating gave the Tacoma an amazing score of 98 out of 100 for its resale value.
You may watch videos on your Toyota Tacoma's infotainment screen while you're parked, or you may let your rear passengers watch from a rear entertainment system. To play these videos, you have a few options.
- Aftermarket mirroring kit
- Aftermarket multimedia box
- Unofficial phone bridging software
- Streaming devices plugged into an aftermarket rear-seat entertainment system
Thank you very much for reading. We hope we were able to help you choose how you can watch videos while in your Toyota Tacoma.
For more interesting reads about the Tacoma and other automotive topics, you may also check out these great articles below.