2018 Toyota Camry
Jeff Teague's picture

You Won't Believe How Easy it is to Upgrade your 2018 Camry and Sienna for Apple CarPlay

I have a service appointment at my local Toyota dealership this week to add Apple CarPlay to my 2018 Toyota Camry XLE. This is really exciting news for me! Thousands of Camry and Sienna owners will be notified in the coming with the same great news.
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In a move to strengthen its image and branding with its multimedia entertainment features and benefits, Toyota is offering a software update to retrofit 2018 Camry and 2018 Sienna vehicles with the popular program Apple CarPlay. They will also be updating systems with Amazon Alexa compatibility as well. On a side note, Android Auto will not be included in this update, for all the Google users reading this.

Eligible Camry and Sienna owners will be notified by email starting May 15th and running through the Summer. They will be instructed to contact their local Toyota service departments to schedule their software update appointments.

Based on initial testing, installation time will run anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. Average installation time has averaged 30 minutes so far. The length of time you will actually be waiting at your dealership for full installation depends on each individual dealership’s traditional wait times.

Toyota is recommending that dealerships perform this installation at no charge to customers, in order to improve its image as a leader in multimedia technology. However, they do caution this is determined by each dealership, and that there may be a small installation service fee charged.

I bought my 2018 Toyota Camry XLE a year ago, and I was disappointed to learn Toyota was adding Apple CarPlay for the 2019 models the following year (See 2019 Toyota RAV4 Trim Levels Explained). I even briefly considered trading mine in for the 2019 to take advantage of CarPlay. I couldn’t be more thrilled with this news that I will be rewarded for my loyalty instead of punished. I hope many others can take advantage of this exciting upgrade!

What do you think of this news? Will you be scheduling your Apple CarPlay upgrade this Summer too?

In addition to writing for Torque News, I also run a popular Toyota review and how-to YouTube channel called “Toyotajeff in Raleigh.” I encourage everyone to check it out and subscribe.

Also see: The Man Behind the One Million Mile Tacoma.

You can reach Jeff Teague on Twitter at @toyotajeff1 and tweet him tips for new stories.


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Comments

I wish Toyota Highlander would also have this infotainment system. But Camry and Sienna is different than the Highlander. Jeff, do you think Toyota Highlander will also have Apple CarPlay?
Hi Uri! I think it will be available for sure on the 2020 redesign. I don't think it will be on the 2019 model. Just a hunch for now. Thanks for reading and I hope you follow my articles from now on. Jeff
I have contacted my dealership in Saint Louis and they can’t confirm when they will have the download available. I read it would be available to the dealerships as early as May 6th, and I want to set-up my appointment as I have been waiting since purchasing my vehicle about a year ago. I would like to get it before the email notification on the 15th. Any suggestions. Matt
Hi Matt! I think each dealership is having different experiences with this update. My dealership is having a difficult time getting the update to upload properly. I've contacted Toyota to let them know. I want to make sure no customer has difficulty with this process. I don't have any suggestions though as of yet...stay tuned! Jeff
I just took my Camry to the dealer yesterday 5-11-2019 to have Appleplay install it took them five hours to install my car was the first car they had to install it on. It works just great I’m glad I had it install
Hey, Thanks for the update. How much did they charge you to update?
You were the guinea pig at your local dealership just like I was at mine. However, I love my CarPlay!!
Anyone else successfully had if installed. I called Toyota and they said it should be available Mid-May, and that I should receive an email regarding the update. As of last week, my dealership in STL did not have it. Any updates would be greatly appreciated.
Hey Matthew! Tell your dealership it should be available for all radio systems now. I had an assurance from the manager of the program at Toyota. It's a software direct update through Toyota service. They should have it...jeff
I just recieved a call from Toyota and now I have an appointment tomorrow for the retrofit upgrade. They told me it was going to be for $85, which is a little pricey, however, it is CarPlay.
Update: I just got back from Toyota Dealership, and it took roughly 2.5 hours for them to complete the upgrade.
That's great!! At least you have it now :) jeff
Any idea if and when this will be available for 2018 Rav4?
Hi Emz! Sorry I don't see that happening. It's for the Entune 3.0 multimedia environment so it's probably not gonna be available. Jeff
Has there been any explanation as to why it's just those 2 models and not others? So frustrating. The Entune system is such a piece of crap.
It should be available for the models with Entune 3.0, the most current system. I don't see it being available for previous systems. I'll give updates as I hear them. Jeff
It should be available for the models with Entune 3.0, the most current system. I don't see it being available for previous systems. I'll give updates as I hear them. Jeff
I have a 2018 4runner. Does the 2018 Camery have something different installed that makes it possible to just upgrade those? So lame.
I stopped by the dealership and after speaking with the service manager he indicated they had the update, but were training the staff on it. Leaving a little discouraged, I got a call within an hour setting up a 2 hour appointment for Wednesday at 8am to have it installed... fingers crossed all goes well. Excited to at least have an appointment! Thanks for all the posts...
No problem Matt! Nice to see you here too in addition to my YouTube Channel. I'm sure there was a learning curve and it caught a lot of service departments off-guard at first. I know it did mine. I was their first "victim"...oops I mean customer. I love my CarPlay now on my Camry. Let me know how it goes man. Jeff
Have appointment to get the CarPlay upgrade on 4/28. What I have not been able to find out is: will my iPhone have to be connected to system using lightning cord when using CarPlay?
Yes. Carplay will only work with the lightning cable connected. Toyota does not have wireless Carplay. Most auto companies require the cable. FYI, I , along with others have done the installation ourselves. The files are on a well known Toyota website ( not hosted by Toyota). It requires a usb update to the head unit with the files . Took 45 min for mine. Works great.
Thanks, very much, for the info, though it wasn't the answer I was hoping for. But then I guess I ought to be grateful that Toyota has at least provided the upgrade... My dealer is not charging me anything, so I'll let them do the upgrade next Tuesday.