Will Using a CarPlay USB Hub or Splitter Work?

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Like most drivers, you probably have a USB charger in your car for charging your phone on long trips.

Additionally, if you have an iPhone, you may also use CarPlay, which allows you to use your phone’s features while driving.

So, can you use a USB hub or USB splitter for CarPlay?

Using a CarPlay USB hub or splitter will not work, as CarPlay requires a direct connection to your iPhone. This is for safety reasons, as CarPlay is designed to minimize distractions on the road. USB hubs and splitters can cause distractions due to potential connection issues.

This article will discuss CarPlay USB hubs and splitters in more detail — including what a USB hub and splitter are, how and if you can use a USB splitter with CarPlay, and what you can do as an alternative to using other USB slots.

Buckle up, and let’s get this show on the road!

usb carplay splitter in front of screen

What Is a CarPlay USB Hub?

A CarPlay USB hub is a device that allows you to connect multiple USB devices to your car’s infotainment system. This can be useful if you want to use CarPlay and charge your phone simultaneously or if you want to use multiple USB devices with CarPlay.

USB hubs provide two to seven ports, each having 0.5 amps of power. This is enough to charge most USB devices, keeping you connected on long trips.

USB hubs are plug-and-play (PnP) devices, meaning they don’t require any special drivers or software to work.

What Is a USB Splitter?

A USB splitter is a device that allows you to connect two USB devices to one port. They increase the number of USB ports on a device without adding extra USB ports. USB splitters help connect multiple USB devices to a computer or device that only has one USB port.

Unlike a USB hub, splitters don’t have their own power supply.

This means they can only be used to connect devices that don’t need to be powered, such as USB flash drives and keyboards.

How and if You Can Use a USB Splitter With CarPlay

trying to use usb splitter with carplay

Unfortunately, you can’t use a USB splitter with CarPlay. Since CarPlay requires a direct connection to your iPhone, using a USB splitter would introduce potential connection issues. This could cause CarPlay to not work properly (if at all).

Also, USB splitters aren’t powered devices.

This means they can only be used to connect devices that don’t need to be powered, such as USB flash drives and keyboards.

If you want to use a USB splitter with CarPlay, you have to get a power socket splitter.

What You Can Do as an Alternative To Using Other USB Slots

If you want to use CarPlay and charge your phone at the same time, there are a few options available to you.

Use Other Ports Around the Car

Your car has other ports that can be used for USB devices.

For example, many newer cars have USB ports in the center console, while some older cars have USB ports in the glove compartment.

If your car has more than one USB port, you can use one for CarPlay and the other for charging your phone.

USB port location in a BMW
USB port located in a BMW

Use a Cigarette Lighter USB Tool

A cigarette lighter USB tool is a USB device that plugs into the cigarette lighter port. These devices usually have multiple USB ports, so you can attach several USB devices and charge them simultaneously.

Compatible devices include tablets, cellular phones, Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, and digital cameras.

You can buy a Cigarette Lighter USB Tool that converts into a USB.

See the Anker Cigarette Lighter USB tool, which is my recommended product:

If you don’t have a cigarette lighter there are other options.

Use a Power Bank

A power bank is a portable battery that can be used to charge USB devices.

These devices are handy for long trips where you may not have access to a power outlet. Many power banks have multiple USB ports, so you can charge more than one device at a time.

I’d recommend this Anker power bank that also supports wireless charging. One of the many ways to get wireless charging in your car.

Install Further USB Ports

One excellent way to have USB ports ready when you need them is to install them in your car.

You can buy a USB port installation kit and DIY or take your car to a professional to have the USB ports installed.

USB ports can be installed in various locations around your car, such as the center console, the dash, or even in the glove compartment.

Final Thoughts

A USB hub or splitter can be a valuable addition to your CarPlay setup. USB hubs increase the number of USB ports on a device, while USB splitters allow you to connect two USB devices to one port. However, USB splitters can’t be used with CarPlay. 

If you want to use CarPlay and charge your phone at the same time, you can use other USB ports in your car, a cigarette lighter USB tool, or a power bank. You can also install USB ports in your car for a more permanent solution.

Alex
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
StereoUpgrade.com

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