How can I get Apple CarPlay on iPad -Featured Image

CarPlay throws everything you could do with an iPhone while you drive right into your car’s infotainment screen or built-in display.

Yes! It’s safer to access your phone via the screen in front of you than to use it directly when driving.

But the question can you use your iPad to get Carplay and experience this?

The short answer is no; you cannot get CarPlay on an iPad by default. However, you can jailbreak the device or use it as a head unit. But, this is not quite the same and not advisable. So, instead, you should get a CarPlay-compatible head unit for the best experience.

iPad users may want to enjoy such luxury. So you may ask, can you get Apple CarPlay on iPad?

Why can’t you get CarPlay on iPad?

If you try hooking up an iPad to Carplay, you should get a message like this (e.g., “this device is not supported”). Apple made this function, so an iPad does not support Carplay; this feature is only available for iPhones. But why would Apple do that?

wired carplay connection for comparison vs wireless carplay

Some say that when Apple created Carplay, everybody owned an iPhone over an iPad. So, the device is designed with iPhone technology, which is possibly why the iPad is not compatible with Carplay.

Additionally, an iPad is just as big as a car’s inbuilt system, so it is unnecessary to use it via Carplay, or where would you fit it? Instead, you could use the iPad as the central head unit, which is discussed later.

How about CarPlay on iPad mini or Air?

The iPad mini has similar features to an iPad, which means an iPad mini would also not support CarPlay. Also, CarPlay does not work on iPad variations such as the iPad Pro, iPad Mini, or iPad Air.

Apple CarPlay on iPad: Alternatives

The following are three options that you can use to get CarPlay.

  1. Use a Compatible iPhone Instead (Best)
  2. Use the iPad as a Head Unit
  3. Use CarPlay on iPad via the Ignition or in-car App (Jailbreak Required)


View these solutions in more detail below:

1. Use a Compatible iPhone Instead (Best Solution)

Apple CarPlay Home Screen With iPhone

Apple practically designed CarPlay for iPhones. However, over the years, Apple has built many versions of the iPhone, and not all work with CarPlay; it will only work on iPhone 5 upwards, running on iOS 7.1 and later.

But ensure that CarPlay is enabled on your iPhone, or it won’t work. To connect carplay to your iPhone, go to settings, tap screen time, click on content and privacy restrictions, click on allowed apps, and enable carplay. 

After enabling carplay on your iPhone, link the phone via a CarPlay Charger Cable, Wireless Carplay Adapter, or built-in wireless integration. And there you go.

Whatever you would want to do on your iPhone, you can do on your infotainment screen. These include streaming music, navigation, calls, and messages; there are hundreds of apps to pick from.

Note: This article’s information is also relevant for wireless CarPlay.

2. Use the iPad as a Head Unit

Aside from distraction, people use carplay on iPhones to access their phone’s content on a larger screen. So, practically, you could use your iPad instead of your infotainment screen. 

iPad allows you to do almost everything you normally could do with carplay. This includes streaming music, using GPS, receiving calls and messages, etc. But you would need to buy a car mount and other accessories to install an iPad as the head unit. 

Or if you think the mount wouldn’t look right, you hard install an iPad, but the cost to do this ranges between $100 to $800, depending on how you go about it. See our complete guide on how to install an iPad as a head unit for more information n how to do this.

ipad being used as a head unit

3. Use CarPlay on iPad via the Ignition or in-car App (Jailbreak Required)

You can access CarPlay on your iPad using the ignition app, formerly called CarPlay activator. But you must jailbreak the iPad and ensure it’s running on iOS. To use the ignition app, you must: 

  • Jailbreak your iPad using compatible jailbreak tools 
  • Install the Cydia app
  • On the app, search for ignition 
  • Install the ignition app
  • On the ignition app, click the ignition logo.
  • Open CarPlay on your iPad screen


After which, you can enjoy music, and use maps, and other apps as you drive, just like the case of an iPhone.

Those using iPad running on OS or unable to jailbreak their iPad running on iOS cannot use the ignition app. So If your Ipad does not run on iOS and you can’t jailbreak your iPad, the in-car app is an alternative. 

Just install the in-car app on your iPad, then open the app when you’re in your car. It projects the Apple Carplay background on your iPad.

However, I wouldn’t advise this as jailbreaking can cause all kinds of issues, and you will void warranties that could be in place.

Picture of Alex
I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder
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