What is MirrorLink?

Operate phone apps safely through your car's screen: find out which cars and phones work with MirrorLink

BuyaCar team
Oct 13, 2021

Entertainment systems have always been something of a weak-link in modern cars. While they would be modern and up-to-date from new, the technology moves so rapidly that they would very quickly become outdated - which could be quite frustrating for the owner.

Mirrorlink is one of the logical solutions to this problem. Much like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it connects and reflects your smartphone’s screen onto a car’s entertainment system. There are limitations to the apps you can use, but core features such as music, navigation and messaging are all taken care of.

How does Mirrorlink work?

You’ll need a MirrorLink-compatible smartphone and a MirrorLink-enabled entertainment system. Assuming you have both, you connect your phone to the car, either by a USB lead or via Bluetooth, and your music, navigation and phone apps will be displayed as large and clear icons on the screen.

Compatible apps include the navigation app Coyote and parking data from Parkopedia. Download an app called RockScout and you'll also be able to control Spotify, Stitcher and Deezer in the car.

It is possible to run apps such as Twitter, Waze and Facebook using software such as Floating Apps, but this isn’t a sure fire way to get the results you want. Essentially, Floating Apps exploit glitches in the system to overcome safety features built into MirrorLink. While not being able to reliably use social media in the car is ultimately a good thing, Waze is one of the most popular navigation apps in the world.

You can control the apps by using your car’s entertainment screen, as well as with any steering wheel buttons or voice control system in the car. They continue to run on your smartphone, but the display in your car mirrors that of your phone.

MirrorLink knows whether you’re stationary or moving, too, so can restrict features that might be a distraction.

MirrorLink vs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

Put simply, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are better than MirrorLink, so depending on your phone’s operating system, it’s worth searching for a car which comes with the one you need irrespective of whether it also has MirrorLink.

That said, if you are looking at buying a car that is over 5 years old, (roughly when Android Auto and Apple CarPlay came on the scene) MirrorLink is still a useful feature to have.

Are iPhones compatible with MirrorLink?

Most Android phones are compatible. However, iPhones aren’t. You’ll need to use Apple CarPlay if you want a similar experience.

MirrorLink-compatible cars

Most Citroens and Peugeots, VW Group cars (Skodas, Seats and Volkswagens), Hondas, Toyotas and some Mercedes are compatible. MirrorLink may only come as standard on some higher-specification cars, so it's always worth checking whether a particular model that you're interested in has it installed.

MirrorLink-compatible phones 

Even though iPhones are off the table, many of the big names in the Android world are present and correct. Samsung, Sony, LG and Huawei are just some of the brands which offer compatible devices. If in doubt, check with the phone manufacturer.

What else can MirrorLink do?

Depending on the ingenuity of app developers, there’s no limit. For example, Skoda has a compatible app called MFA Pro that can tell you how efficiently you’re driving.

How else can I get MirrorLink?

Some aftermarket car stereo systems, most notably those by Pioneer, have MirrorLink.

 

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