This Simple App Lets You Change the CarPlay Wallpaper to Any Photo You Want

AirWall at work 6 photos
Photo: @linux_n1 on X
CarPlay home screenCarPlay home screenAirWall at workAirWall at workAirWall at work
Android Auto and CarPlay come with wallpaper support, but Google and Apple have so far ignored one of the top feature requests, blocking users from enabling a custom image as a background in their cars.
Both apps force users to choose from a pre-loaded wallpaper collection. The feature works alright, but sticking with the pre-defined set of backgrounds is a limitation that doesn't make sense. Users eventually feel that Android Auto and CarPlay are getting boring, especially because changing the wallpaper shouldn't be such a big deal.

CarPlay users have been able to change the background in their cars with a custom image for quite some time, though the method involved jailbreaking the iPhone.

Many believed the days when jailbreaking an iPhone made sense were gone, but these utilities demonstrate that sometimes, unlocking the smartphone is the only way to get access to functionality that should have been there from the beginning.

If you're not a big fan of jailbreaking your iPhone but still want custom wallpaper support, a new application called AirWall lets you do this with a simpler approach. You'll still need TrollStore, but the application works with iOS 15 and iOS 16. The developer says not all iOS 16 versions are supported, but someone confirmed on X (formerly known as Twitter) that changing the wallpaper works correctly on iOS 17, too.

AirWall doesn't add new backgrounds to the existing CarPlay collection but replaces one of the pre-loaded images with a photo stored on the smartphone. A video demonstration (which you can watch in the tweet embedded below) shows that the CarPlay background is replaced instantly, and you can choose any image from the photo gallery. AirWall works well, and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to change the wallpaper. The app's interface is straightforward, and you should be able to pick a new background with the press of a button.

Meanwhile, Apple doesn't seem interested in bringing this feature to users worldwide. Google is working on improving the wallpaper support on Android Auto using a different approach, as the company could eventually allow users to set the same wallpaper on their smartphones and the infotainment screen. Evidence of a wallpaper sync option between Android and Android Auto was discovered in recent app builds, but the search giant has remained tight-lipped on its existence and a potential release date.

Once the feature goes live, users will probably see a new option on Android Auto that will allow the app to import the background on the mobile device and crop it to fit the infotainment system. The most recent Android Auto build (beta version 11) doesn't include the feature, so the Mountain View-based company probably needs more time to finalize the development and release it to users worldwide.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

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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