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2362 posts

Uber Geek

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#246706 18-Feb-2019 12:43
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Hi, I’m keen to hear anyone’s experiences with Mirror Link systems. Background is that I recently bought a new (used) car, thinking it was Android Auto / Apple CarPlay but the head unit is a slightly older model and has Mirror Link instead. Quite disappointing, because having used Android auto for maps, traffic and Spotify, doing without it is not good.
My current phone doesn’t support Mirror Link and I don’t have access to one that does (there is a list of supported models on the website.
I see my options as:
- get the head unit software-upgraded (no idea if this is possible, but I do know that the later VW ones look indentical hardware and software except for this aspect)
- replace the head unit with a newer model - should be possible but is likely to be $1k or so I guess
- buy a newer phone - eg Galaxy S8 that is meant to be supported. Cheapest option for now, but ongoing compatibility with newer phones is a concern. Also, I’m unsure of any functionality differences between AA and mirror link

I’m interested in any geekzoners’ experiences with using Mirror Link, especially with the VW system and with a Galaxy S8

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493 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #2182049 18-Feb-2019 15:25
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Hi shk292,


Have a read 


I'm wondering if your head unit is an after market Chinese one made to look OEM they are about, looking at this review site


All bar one of the head units shown are either Apple Carplay  or Android Auto; the interesting comment on MirrorLink was '...MirrorLink, the primary Android software for many Sony and Samsung smartphones that allow you to monitor your vehicle’s condition. Indicators like oil, tire pressure, and various engine readouts are available through the MirrorLink system, though you may need to purchase some hardware separate to get the full use out of this feature...' 


So it looks like you can do more with Mirrorlink.


So to answer your question depending on how old the head unit is maybe a newer phone maybe the go.  I'm looking to update my head unit and I will be getting Android Auto, its the best fit for me.


Have fun, deciding which way to jump :)



2225 posts

Uber Geek

  #2182059 18-Feb-2019 15:50
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Investigate if you can use a USB Android Auto/Carplay dongle with your headunit, can pick up the dongles on Aliexpress for 50 bucks or so




2362 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2182149 18-Feb-2019 17:36
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Thanks for the above replies. I’m 100% sure the current unit is the original VW OEM one - it is very closely integrated with vehicle systems and behaves exactly as the manual says it should. It appears that VW changed from Mirrorlink to Android Auto some time in 2015 - I had assumed that all 2015 models had the latter, but this turned out not to be true. So, I don’t think a dongle is an option - these appear to only work with Android-based head units, which this isn’t.
Although buying a new phone is the easiest answer, my worry is that I blow $600 or so on an S8 only to find the Mirror link functionality is much worse than Android Auto, or simply doesn’t do what I want it to.
I think I’ll try to find someone at work with an S8 and see how this works with Mirro Link. In parallel, maybe a trip to the VW dealer to see about upgrading or replacing. I get the feeling that Mirror Link hasn’t been a popular system - there isn’t much on the various forums about it.

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