All new line up Mercedes Benz GLC Class - Missing out CarPlay for certain countries.

Recently we've had some updates done to our website - involved with some description fix, getting rid of dump pages / misleading infos.

And also, we've updated MirrorLink and AirPlay system, as we've been receivng enquiry regarding it quite often these days.

MirrorLink and AirPlay system isn't actually directly aimed for Automotive industry.

It's more of a system that for mobile devices,- smartphone / tablet etc to be projected on bigger displays, like TV, Laptop, PC and even a panorama display from cinema.

Initially designed under Google and Microsoft's co-op, introduced to market as 'Chromecast'.

Using HDMI and AUX / RCA connection between mobile device and other bigger display, usually TV - It's to utilize those Ultra HD.

And then, automotive industries, Apple and Google found a market that can grant mutual benefit.

Which is to implement the exact system to a vehicle, allowing core apps to be displayed on audio display.

Apple was in header in this opportunity, and thats how Apple's 'CarPlay' came out, with support of Pioneer / Alpine and Honda in their first entrance.

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Apple's CarPlay x Pioneer introduction

As outlined, basically It involves with connecting the iOS device to compatible audio system (mainly a Pioneer aftermarket audio system back then)

and display some key apps like AppleMap, Music, Text, Phone call, Facebook for later versions and also some other popular apps like Spotify in current models.

Pioneer's GPS AVIC GPS Audio system with AirPlay feature.

And after then, major manufacturer like Volkswagen, Honda adopted the system with their own name, and these days, almost every manufactuerer, even Mercedes Benz is now joining the market, targetting by 2017 whole range of vehicles will now come with such system.

Just bit more about the Mercedes Benz part, of course the system will come out as a typical

'Premium package' option, as It's always been for not just Benz, but most of manufacturers.

So far, outlined as CLA and GLA as a start, E Class, CLS and GLE are going to receive this tech system, either as an optional feature or standard. We aren't too sure with whether current new models running on roads of Australia has this system already or not, yet It's certainly coming before Santa does.

Meanwhile, new generation movement from GLK class, GLC class has hit the world back in end of 2015, landed Austraila back in Dec 2015 - with price tag of started from $64,500 from base model to $69,990 for 250d trim, currently probably the hightest trim for Australian market untill GLC 300 comes in.

This 5 seater compact SUV is surely an ideal vehicle for Australian families, with right size, (about)right price and this could bring dome debate but, right 'badge' for a family.

- from Motoring review

Whilst the GLC Class is receiving some more shines over Audi Q5 and BMW X3 (F25 of course) in Australia, - those GLC vehicles in United States are receiving far less than what people normally expects.

The USDM GLC model still receives a 7" pop up display and some other luxury stanard features. Yet according to locals in US, Is missing some key features.

Whilst Australian GLC model comes with COMAND system as a standard, granting Becker GPS Navigation system along with Rear Camera, front and rear senros and CarPlay system,

US's GLC model comes with COMAND system 'without Navigation (What)' , comes with Halogen lights and missing out CarPlay system, at least untill 2017.

We've heard this from an Australian member of global Benz forum and was quite surprized as we've always thought that USDM vehicles, especially Benz / Audi / BMW are receiving tons of accessories for standard.

And this is why we've decided to write a post about what Naviplus can offer for those vehicles. Surely USDM models won't be the only ones with less equipment.

Some of you may know that us Naviplus are currently selling an

OEM grade Mercedes Benz 8" Replacement monitor display in our online store.

Ever since first sale was made back in early 2014, It's been on of our best selling accessories.

Granting 8" Audio display, whilst not changing nor removing anything from the car.

Not to mention that no tons of built-in features to reduce It's life expectancy.

But the perk of our monitor will be that It grants inputs for external accessories to be connected, and displayed on It's screen,

whilst keep everything same.

Naviplus's 8" Monitor Display, installed on CLA 45 AMG, with MirrorLink / AirPlay system on.

As mentioned in very first of this post, we've outlined that we've done some updated regarding this MirrorLink / AirPlay / CarPlay system of our own.

It's literally a Smartphone Integration system without any wires nor external app to be installed, and It can be applied to our monitor as well.

Since everyone is naming the product to something else like : ToyotaLink, HondaLink , NissanConnect, UConnect etc, we took a liberty of naming our own system -

MiRaPlus.

Click the image above to proceed to Product / compatibility window of our MiRaPlus System.

This is, at this stage probably one of the ideal solutions for GLC Class which is missing out Navigation system nor CarPlay system.

Because, just like Apple's CarPlay, our system displays and apps of the mobile phone that is connected.

Utilizing mobile network data to show Google / Apple Maps, or whichever 3rd party GPS Map you use.

In case you've been fortunate enough to drive cars with built-in GPS only, here are some differences between built-in Navigation and Mobile Navigation.

Built-in Navigation (no brand specific)

  • Prices are fairly high - expect $2K AUD for European ones.

  • Update fees are about 'understandable', but certainly can be better.

  • Built-in GPS : Usually more reliable in rural area.

  • Displayed on Audio display, not through external display.

  • Most genuine systems likely 'blocks' control while driving. which makes you to stop the car and adjust address when necessary (total bulls**t)

Whilst Mobile Navigation has:

  • Price are dirt cheap compare to built-in GPS : all you need phone craddle and mad driving skills to one eye on phone and the other on road.

  • No update fee: Google and Apple Maps operates free, as long as your phone plan isn't capped.

  • REAL TIME TRAFFIC : Something most of built-in GPS Navigation systems are missing, due to It's connected to the mobile network It grants real time traffic to show you what's going on the route and advise you to go on fastest route.

  • Allow you to adjust route / setting while driving : that is, if you have that 'mad driving skills' mentioned above.

So both GPS system have pros and cons, one is expensive yet more reliable, the other is almost free but not that safe to use while driving.

But still, the fact that granting Real time traffic and no update fee required are major pros of the Mobile Navigation.

And What would you say, that whilst using those strength of the mobile navigation has, make it displayed on audio screen, at least make it more 'viewable without drama'?, involved with screen's size upgrade to 8" from 7".

If you ever searched for a MirrrorLink / CarPlay, or at least searched for car audio accessories, you might have seen this sort of image / product description.

This module is basically a module that allows smartphone to 'Integrate' into the car's Audio system, which is somewhat similar to our MiRAPlus system.

The one major downside is that, It's almost impossible for it to be connceted to the factory audio system of Benz straight away, due to Benz's Audio20 / COMAND system doesn't grant compatible port, hence It's been considered as an 'add-on' feature for an aftermarket audio system.

Thanks to technology that improves day by day (shout out to our developers), It's possible for Mercedes Benz to have this feature whilst not changing audio system.

Well, there are still some changes involved, but the fact that audio system remains same, only the monitor gets changed.

Click the image above to go to the previous post regarding Naviplus's monitor display for Benz

In case you haven't seen our previous post, we advise you to do read through.

As mentioned above, the MiRAPlus system can't be directly integrated into the car, It requires 'trigger' and 'Programmed command' for the system to be integrated and granted permission to share the display with Audio 20 / COMAND system.

Having said that, the Mercedes Benz 8" Monitor Naviplus supplies, not only grants bigger screen but also grants an input and self coding system to provide that compatibility, while no such feature alteration / loss will occur.

Once the monitor is installed along with MiRAPlus module, It will display the CarPlay mode upon pressing 'Return' button located next to the dial, from then, all you need to do is turn either Screen Mirroring (android) or AirPlay (iOS) on, and connect to the MiRAPlus using WiFi - that runs separately to mobile data network.

Left : 5.8" Audio 20 Display of W205 C-Class / Right : 8" Naviplus's Audio display monitor, compatible with both C-Class and new GLC class.

MiRAPlus system activated - showing Google Chrome app from phone.

As you can see, unlike those CarPlay systems from major manufacturers, It literally duplicate and projects on 8" monitor display, allows to display whatever is currently on the phone.

Having said that, there some significant difference between CarPlay and MiRAPlus:

MiRAPlus grants:

  • Unlike CarPlay, MiRAPlus grants unlimited app usage, whatever app / action you launch, It will be displayed on audio display straight away.

  • Although mentioned multiple times: It doesn't require audio system replacement or $$$ upgrade just to add CarPlay system, everything stays as It should be, whilst doesn't cost legs and arms to purchase it.

  • Choice of Wirelss and Wire connection : Wireless connection between phone and CarPlay system is pretty much what most of people would want - MiRAPlus grants both options. The slight difference is that Wired connection usually grants bit better performance. Yet, as the MiRAPlus system's main focus is on Mobile GPS navigation system, probably won't matter at all whichever you choose.

  • Doesn't require additional launcher app that reeches mobile data to be installed. As long as the Mirroring / AirPlay is on - It will be using its own WiFi, nothing more than that.

  • Displays images on audio screen, while playing sound via factory speakers.

The last feature is bit differ to models. When we've developed this monitor for Mercedes Benz, It was back in 2013 and most of vehicels manufactured between 2013 to early 2015 came with either AUX or AMI Audio port, or both.

It allowed our system to use that AUX input to play sound via speakers, and the quality of it was above expectation.

Yet since mid 2015, Mercedes Benz replaced those ports to USB ports, which was certainly a good move for customers as now they can connectn their phone / multimedia device directly to the car.

And It leaves an aftermarket audio accessories to seek out an alternative solution.

First thing came with idea was bluetooth, in common sense Bluetooth will be handy. But consider the origin of the CarPlay - which was for HD TV, It will take long way to achieve it.

So the second option came in mind : Which is FM Transmitter.

FM Transimitter basically allows an empty FM channel not taken by radio to play sound from external devices, as you can see on the image - It's connected to those iPhones and it plays sound through that channel.

Obviously us Naviplus, who seeks for perfect Integration without any visual change on dash will not use those portable ones, but something that can be hidden inside of the car whilst granting connection between MiRAPlus and phone.

That way, instead of plugging Aux port all the time, It can save time by just saving designated FM channel to favourite and turn it on everytime you are using MiRAPlus system, no wires, no additional craddle pasted on windscreen.

Surely a perfect solution for GLC models, especially those models without GPS nor CarPlay as a standard feature at this stage.

The summary of MiRAPlus is:

The summary of Mercedes Benz 8" Monitor for Audio 20 / COMAND is:

  • Still does not change GLC Class, and other models Audio20 / COMAND Audio system.

  • Easy Installation - monitor Itself is plug and play system that takes 15 - 20 mins.

  • 8" HD Audio display - The monitor is set to provide 800 x 480 resolution, 7" COMAND system will be displayed without stress, as the car with it is manufactured to have 800 x 480. Whilst 5.8" Audio 20 will be 'enlarged' to meet 480P resolution.

  • OEM Design - No typical SD Card / AUX / USB port, Naviplus's monitor follows OEM Standard and design.

  • Built-in Touch screen - Although this is limited for GPS system we supply, our monitor hass touch function that is dedicated to be work on our GPS System.

  • Inherits every single features of the car : audio dimming at night / steering wheel control / dial control / Reverse Camera etc will be still available and be displayed.

The Merceded Benz 8" monitor is sold at $850.00 AUD, and MiRAPlus system comes with optional feature with price of $160.00 AUD. Both can be purchased from our online store.

And both systems have been fully tested within Australia by us and via our customers around the world.

Regarding any sort of more information, please do let us know, as Naviplus is always open for your contacts.

Thank you for reading :)

Naviplus

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