Originally Posted by Floridasignature
I have the Signature model and trying to decide if I want to mess with adding Apple CarPlay.
Couple of concerns and questions that I would like input on....
I have the white/parchment Napa leather, and concerned about the installation causing dirt marks, scratches or future dash rattles.
Does my phone have to be plugged in by cable to work CarPlay, or will it link via Bluetooth?
What are the major advantages of adding the feature?
What are the biggest drawbacks it creates when added?
I have gotten used to the Mazda navigation maps and have no issues there. I would like being able to use the Waze app on longer trips. And being able to read text on Mazda screen would be convenient.
I am sure this has been discussed prior at length, but would appreciate any feedback.
Marks are always a possible concern when removing trim. That said, I don't think you'd be out of bounds for requesting that kind of thing to be fixed/replaced if it happens. Many of the parts here simply snap together and places where scratches are likely to occur are likely not in visible places. Basically, I wouldn't and didn't worry about this when my upgrade was done. No visible marks left on mine. No rattles either. Hard to say whether or not it might contribute to rattles later on... My 2016 CX-3 had a couple of dash rattles after only a year even before the dealer opened the small compartment on top of the dash to replace the CMU on that car.
This car does not support wireless CarPlay as far as I can tell. If it does, I can't figure out a way to make it work. The CarPlay settings menu on my iPhone says to hold the voice command button to start the wireless setup and it doesn't work on my car. Only works via USB1 connection.
Biggest advantages I can see? Vastly improved device charging speed with the new USB ports. I listen to a lot of podcasts and the podcast app support makes that easier while driving. The versatility to use other navigation apps is nice, too, but I think I still prefer the Mazda factory navigation software, however, Google Maps are generally going to be more up-to-date and it supports live traffic detail where the Mazda system does not. So, there's some give-and-take there... Siri integration is pretty nice. Note that you can still use Siri directly on your phone without CarPlay, but I like it better when integrated into the infotainment system. I might be imagining it, but I feel like I don't have to speak as loudly with CarPlay and I don't have to hold my phone up near my face to ensure it heard me.
Drawbacks? I can't think of any, honestly... You can still use all of the original Mazda system. You're not losing anything with the upgrade. If you don't have the factory navigation system on the trim you got, you gain a visual navigation system. I'm not sure if the Touring trim came with the factory nav, but it sounds like you don't have that trim level anyway. I guess if I had to nitpick anything about it, I have had a couple instances where I wanted to back out of the CarPlay system and go back into the Mazda system and I hit the wrong button and it brought me right back into CarPlay again and I had to go through all the scrolling and clicking to get back out of CarPlay again. Maybe there's some shortcuts I'm not aware of yet... I didn't get any kind of user manual for the system when they upgraded me. Some others here said they did.
You can read your texts on the screen now without CarPlay. When the car is moving, the car will hide the text, but will read your message to you out loud, but it will be visible again when you stop. A lot of people are unaware of how to make the text messaging work in their car because Mazda doesn't do a great job of explaining the process and Apple hides the required option to enable it in their bluetooth setup. In case you haven't found it, go to your Settings menu on your iPhone, then go to Bluetooth. Find "Mazda" under the My Devices section and click the blue i-ball along the right side. There is an option for "Show Notifications" that is disabled by default. You need to turn this on for text message notifications to show up in the Mazda infotainment display under the Communications menu. You can even respond to those texts using your voice only if you've setup "Hey Siri" on your phone. If you haven't setup the "Hey Siri" functionality, you can start Siri instead by holding the home button on your phone for a second. Just say, "Hey Siri. Reply to text message from [insert name]." You could also say "send" instead of "reply to" there. Siri will ask you what you want to say and then confirm what it heard after you're done speaking and will ask if you want to send it. All hands free. Again, no CarPlay required.
On an unrelated note to your post, I just want to say it is pretty annoying that we cannot change the name of the device "Mazda" that gets paired with your phone via Bluetooth. I have two Mazdas, my 2018 Mazda6 and my wife's 2016 CX-5, and they both show up as "Mazda" under our Bluetooth devices on our phones. Periodically, something happens where the pairing gets screwed up and they won't connect. I'm not sure if it's iPhone updates that breaks the pairing or what the deal is, exactly, but it happens every few months it seems. It's impossible to tell which "Mazda" connection goes with which car.
Inevitably we guess wrong when deleting one of the "Mazdas" in our Bluetooth menus, so we end up deleting them both and then have to re-pair both phones to both cars. This could be avoided by simply allowing us to rename the "Mazda" bluetooth devices. First world problems, I know.