This Is the Only Way to Use Any Image as a CarPlay Wallpaper

iOS 14 brought several notable improvements for CarPlay, including wallpaper support, which means users are finally allowed to pick a different background when running the app on their head units.
New wallpaper enabled with Canvas 6 photos
Photo: Packix
New wallpaper enabled with CanvasNew wallpaper enabled with CanvasNew wallpaper enabled with CanvasNew wallpaper enabled with CanvasNew wallpaper enabled with Canvas
And while this is without a doubt a welcome update, the major shortcoming is that Apple doesn’t allow users to pick a photo of their own and enable it as a CarPlay wallpaper. Instead, the company forces everybody to stick with a series of pre-loaded backgrounds, and these can be configured from the CarPlay dedicated settings UI.

Since more and more people are looking into ways to unleash the full potential of this feature in CarPlay, let us tell you there’s both good news and bad news on this front. Let’s start with the bad news.

To do it, you need to jailbreak your iPhone, something obviously not everybody is willing to do. The feature is only available if you get rid of Apple’s walled garden, as an app called Canvas makes it possible to select any photo and use it as a CarPlay background.

The app only works on iOS 12 and iOS 13, so if you have already updated your iPhone to iOS 14, you need to wait until the developer comes up with a new version.

The good news is the app is completely free, and it takes just a few seconds to choose a new wallpaper for CarPlay. And as you can see in the screenshots included in the article, CarPlay can end up looking so much better with a custom wallpaper, though this is obviously a rather subjective thing.

For now, there’s no other way to set a custom wallpaper on CarPlay, so you just have to jailbreak the iPhone if you want to get this feature. Apple hasn’t said a single thing about a potential update to unlock such capabilities on CarPlay in the coming years, so for now, you can either stick with the pre-loaded backgrounds or use the app we highlighted today.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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