The operation is very straight forward, right? Just plug in the phone, wait few seconds for the Bluetooth to establish pairing and voila! The AppRadio 3 is now "your phone"!
I encountered error in establishing the Bluetooth peering occasionally if the Bluetooth is turned on persistently on the phone. SecondScreen app comes handy with that Bluetooth on/off trigger function.
Check out the snapshots of apps settings at the end of this post.
The other observation is on Waze and Google Maps. I recommend the following sequence to open Waze when you're coming out from indoor i.e. basement car park:
- Do not connect (HDMI) the phone to AppRadio.
- Launch Waze (or Google Maps) on phone.
- Allow Waze to lock and fix your position.
- Connect the phone to AppRadio.
You will be disappointed if you expect AppRadio to be capable playing mp3 songs from USB. Nay, the USB port from the head unit is only good for firmware upgrade. Period. Although I do felt a tad disappointed as I believe this is not a big engineering. But come to think of it, AppRadio is meant to provide basic functions i.e. radio etc of an ordinary head unit, other advanced functions shall come through the connected phone. Users likely have personal music stored in the phone or music subscription like Spotify or KKBox. It does make sense, IMHO.
You definitely can use it to charge USB device, it outputs 1A. Don't hope for it to charge your connected phone, the battery drains faster than it can charge. Read the next section for workaround.
Lastly and sadly, there is one residual limitation. AppRadio 3 is for US market and hence the radio frequency is tuned to US frequency, hence a step increment of 0.2MHz instead of 0.1MHz or 0.05MHz. This prohibits tuning to radio channels on even number frequency, for instance, 98.8MHz, 101.8MHz etc. See video below...
No workaround thus far. Do consider seriously if this limitation is a big concern to you before you decide. Not a big deal to me at the moment as my favorite radio channel is OneFM 88.1MHz. Do share ya if you found one.
Overall, I am extremely happy with AppRadio 3. All shortcoming of stock head unit is now history; I get phone mirrored on the bigger screen, run any available apps on the head unit, Waze, KKBox, Spotify, YouTube etc, decent sound quality with Bose drivers and most importantly, the CX-5 does not look dated anymore. :)