In the vast sea of iPhone cables available, finding the perfect one for CarPlay can seem like an overwhelming task.
With this article, my goal is to share my findings and help you find the right cable for you.
Factors such as cost, compatibility, and durability are critical when selecting the right cable. It’s not about getting just any cable; it’s about securing one that offers the best value for your money, seamlessly connects your iPhone to your car’s system, and can withstand the test of time and use.
Join me as we delve into the realm of iPhone cables for CarPlay, pinpointing the one that stands out among the rest.
Best Apple CarPlay Chargers for your iPhone
Here is a summary table of the top pick I would use:
- Double-braided exterior is 30X more durable*
- Tested to survive 30,000+ bends
- Ultra-flexible silicone technology
- Includes a cable strap with magnetic clip to keep tidy
- MFi-certified for iPhone
- Flexible & Convenient Short length (8 inches)
- Durable Nylon Braided & Reliable Connector
- MFi Certified Lightning Cable
- Incredible Charge & Sync Data Speed
- 3-Pack of Cables
- 6FT/1.8M Cable Length
- 2.4A Fast Charge
- Nylon-braided Cord with Aluminum Casing has an ultra-high 5000+ bend lifespan
- Free replacement within 12 months
The rest of this article will provide more information on various charging options to use with Apple CarPlay.
Whether you use wireless CarPlay or you prefer a USB connection, you’ll find a suitable charger for you here.
View my video view of the best CarPlay charging cable below:
Best Overall USB-Connected Cable
Believe me when I say that the Belkin BoostCharge Pro Flex Braided Lightning Cable (available on Amazon.com), sets the gold standard for charging cables. With its MFi-certified status, you can be assured of its compatibility with your Apple devices and its adherence to strict performance standards.
This high-quality charger boasts of a one-meter (3.3 feet) length, expertly crafted from top-grade silicone.
Unlike other cables that quickly wear and tear, this sturdy cable is built to last, standing up against the toughest conditions of your vehicle.
Plus, its unique silicone composition ensures it stays tangle-free, eliminating the pesky problem of untangling knots just to charge your device.
The length some might find it a tad too long. But, let me assure you, Belkin has that figured out, too. The cable comes with a handy clip that allows you to neatly fold and secure it, whether it’s on your car’s dashboard or just for storage.
Despite its size, I find it to be incredibly convenient and practical.
If a shorter cable is more your style, you’ll find other excellent alternatives I’ve covered in this article.
Best USB-Connected Cable for Length (Short)
If you’ve been on the hunt for a shorter, more convenient USB cable for charging, you’re going to love the Esbee Cables Apple MFi Certified USB to Lightning Charger Cord.
It’s the ideal choice for those snug spaces where a standard-length charging cord just won’t do. Plus, it’s plug-and-play, so you can forget about wrestling with a lengthy cable.
These Esbee cables are incredibly flexible, yet durable enough to secure your phone. The strength and versatility of these cables are unparalleled.
Each package includes three cables, each measuring approximately 8 inches (20.3 cm) long. To cater to different aesthetic preferences, they come in a variety of colors.
One specific scenario where these cables shine is with Carplay carports, especially ones with compact spaces, like the Corsa illustrated below. The short cable length fits perfectly into the small cubby hole, ensuring a neat and organized look.
However, there’s a minor downside to this compact size. Passengers may find it difficult to handle the phone without unplugging it due to the limited cable length. Also, in some instances, I’ve noticed the cable can nudge the charging port, causing a disconnection with Carplay.
Despite this, I find that the convenience and efficiency of the Esbee Cables far outweigh these minor issues.
Best Coiled Cable (Compact & Lengthy)
The Mcdodo Coiled Anti-Winding Braided Cable strikes an optimal balance for users seeking a compact yet versatile cable. It’s not so short that you’re forced to be tethered closely to your charging port, nor so long that it becomes a tangling nuisance.
One aspect that sets the Mcdodo cable apart from other coiled lighting cables is its intuitive LED light function.
This feature illuminates when the cable is securely connected, serving as an invaluable aid, particularly for CarPlay users who are all too familiar with unexpected disconnections. With this LED indicator, you can ensure your connection is solid and stable at a glance.
Reflecting on my personal experience, I can say that this cable has proven to be an excellent addition to my car setup.
Despite its compact form, the Mcdodo cable has demonstrated impressive durability, perfectly suited for those whose cables tend to break easily. It’s constructed from a material that resists bending and breaking, withstanding the test of time and use.
Some users might notice that the cable’s LED light continues to consume power from your car even after your device is fully charged. This may lead to some unexpected power depletion if you often forget to unplug your cable post-charging.
That said, the overall power consumption is quite minimal and wouldn’t significantly affect your device’s battery life.
In a nutshell, the Mcdodo Coiled Cable is a reliable, thoughtfully designed accessory for CarPlay which can help be the best of both worlds when comparing cables.
Honourable Mentions for the Best iPhone Cable for Apple CarPlay
Best for Andriod & Apple Phone Users
The Anker Powerline II 3-in-1 Cable allows you to charge essentially any phone using lightning, Type C, and Micro USB ports, meaning you no longer need to switch cables in and out.
This fast charger has an Apple MFi certification, as well as a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty which backs up its robust quality.
Lastly, while this guide is exclusively for Apple carplay, this cable will let you use Android Auto if it’s compatible with your car and phone.
Best Overall Wireless Car Charger Compatible With Wireless CarPlay
Suppose you’re looking for a wireless car charger that will allow you to use CarPlay Wirelessly. In that case, your best bet is the iOttie Velox Magnetic Wireless Charging Car Mount and Phone Holder (available from Amazon.com).
Probably the most popular of wireless car chargers, iOttie is super elegant and doesn’t take up much room in the car. All you need to do is attach it to your dashboard and place your phone on the magnetic display board.
You can also easily use this charger while using CarPlay, as long as you have a Bluetooth connection and your data is switched on.
You can get two types of iOttie charger:
The main difference between the two is that the former clips onto your dashboard, and the latter sits directly on top of your dashboard. Depending on your preferences, you can choose either since both types will work with Apple CarPlay.
Bear in mind that if your phone doesn’t support Magsafe, you won’t be able to use this wireless charger in your car. (Note: Magsafe does not connect to carplay in the same way a USB cable does)
Instead, you would have to use a non-mag safe charging mount or a MagSafe case sticker.
Apple CarPlay Charger Buyers FAQs
Do I Need a Charger for Apple CarPlay?
You do not need a charger for Apple CarPlay if using wireless CarPlay, but since it uses the data from your phone, it will eventually deplete your battery — something that may not be ideal if you are driving for a few hours at a time. It is always more efficient to use a charger for Apple CarPlay.
If you don’t like the idea of using a traditional USB connection while driving, you can always use a wireless charger.
Can I Use Any Charger for Apple CarPlay?
You can use any charger for Apple CarPlay, as long as the charger has been MFi Certified by Apple. This means you should not use a decoy or imitation Apple charger since you could end up damaging your iPhone and preventing it from charging.
Remember that there are some very basic models of chargers that aren’t meant for transferring data between your iPhone and Apple CarPlay. This means it won’t be compatible with the technology. Always double-check the compatibility of your charging cable before attempting to use it in your car.
Tips for Charging Your iPhone While Using Apple CarPlay
Here are a few tips to ensure you charge your phone correctly while using Apple CarPlay:
- Always use an Apple-Certified charger.
- Don’t use frayed or broken cables.
- Make sure you clean out your phone’s charging port.
- Keep liquids away from the cable.
- Pin the cable to your dashboard if it’s too long and gets in the way while driving.
Does CarPlay Drain iPhone Battery?
CarPlay does drain the iPhone battery, but if you have it plugged in (or wirelessly connected), this should not be too much of a problem. However, if you are using a non-certified cable, it may prevent your phone from charging.
Why Won’t Apple CarPlay Charge My Phone?
Apple CarPlay will likely not charge your phone due to the cable you are using. If the cord is certified and brand new, you can try cleaning out your iPhone’s charging port to fix the problem. Dirt can sometimes get stuck in the charging port, or there may not be enough voltage in your car.
So, make sure you clean your cable regularly. Otherwise, ensure your car provides your phone with enough voltage to charge the battery.
Is It Bad To Charge Your Phone in the Car?
It is not usually bad to charge your phone in the car, but the battery in an older car might be affected by consistent charging. Additionally, the voltage in your vehicle may not be enough to provide your phone with sufficient charge, which could ultimately damage your iPhone.
Some have said that you shouldn’t charge your phone in the car, but if you’re driving for long periods, this is sometimes the only option. As long as you use the correct cable, you should be fine.
Is Wireless or USB Better for CarPlay?
Wireless is usually better for CarPlay, especially if you often exit your vehicle. You also do not need to remove your phone from your bag to use CarPlay wirelessly. However, both a wireless connection and a traditional USB cable will allow you to use the essential functions of CarPlay.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you should use a wireless or wired connection for CarPlay. See my article on wired vs wireless CarPlay for more information.
If you’re looking for the best iPhone cable for CarPlay that will last, go with the Belkin BoostCharge Pro.
However, if you’re looking for wireless connectivity, iOttie is the most convenient and elegant option. Whichever you choose, make sure you replace your charger if you notice any fraying or damage.