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MirrorLink™ — smartphone connectivity

An overview of one form of smartphone integration

If you’re like most people these days, you’ve made your smartphone your source for… well, pretty much everything. You store music on it, do things like get directions with it, and sometimes even make phone calls with it. So it’s only natural that you’d want to tap into it when you’re on the road.

MirrorLink diagram

With your phone connected and its MirrorLink friendly app launced, you’ll see its interface replicated on your receiver's screen. That’s your gateway to functions like your music, app-based GPS, and Bluetooth functionality.

It's easy for car electronics manufacturers to develop hardware and software that'll help their stereos connect to and control your iPhone® — there's only one platform they need to worry about.

Working with Android™ and other non-Apple phones presents a much greater challenge. With so many hardware and software platforms to contend with, it's been impossible to develop one simple solution for in-dash control.

To help solve this problem, nearly 100 electronics, phone, and vehicle manufacturers joined together to form the Car Connectivity Constortium. The goal: to create an industry-standardized system to provide in-car control over a wide range of smartphones using a wide range of stereo systems. The result: MirrorLink.

Your smartphone, your receiver, and MirrorLink — working in perfect 3-part harmony

MirrorLink is designed to provide easy-to-use in-dash control over compatible smartphones. The system needs three elements to do its thing: a compatible in-dash receiver, a compatible smartphone, and an app that works with MirrorLink. The system works like this:

  • Download the app (prices vary) to your compatible phone. Launching the app provides a simplified graphical interface that’s ideal for use in the car, because it's easy to see at a glance, and much easier to use.
  • Connect your phone to the receiver. This can sometimes require a special cable or interface.
  • Launch the app on your phone, and tap the MirrorLink icon in the receiver’s source menu. The optimized carmode menu will appear on your receiver’s screen.

And that’s it. You’re ready to rock. You’ll be able to use your in-dash receiver to access the music stored on your phone, engage select navigation apps, and more. You’ll also be able to use your receiver's hands-free calling, if it has Bluetooth® connectivity built in. MirrorLink even offers up the “menu,” “home,” and “back” buttons you’re used to using.

Android Auto — another form of Android integration

Android Auto is a newer, more popular form of car stereo integration for Android users. It's similar to MirrorLink, but it's more widely available on new car stereos. Learn more in our article about Android Auto. Then you can check out our selection of car stereos that work with Android Auto

What about Apple devices?

Apple devices (iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch) do not work with MirrorLink. That's because most stereos already work with Apple devices via the USB cable. More advanced receivers (those with touchscreens) offer Apple CarPlay™ as a way of interfacing with your iOS device. Read our article about Apple CarPlay to learn more, then look for car stereos with Apple CarPlay.

So, will my phone and receiver work with MirrorLink?

The Car Connectivity Consortium is currently working with its members to certify phones and receivers for use with MirrorLink. While the MirrorLink system has been in use in certain factory stereos in Europe, it hasn't quite become the standard in our country. The list of compatible U.S.-based receivers and smartphones keeps growing — you can search for MirrorLink compatible products on MirrorLink's website.

  • Zack from Glenview

    Posted on 5/31/2018

    Can I upload pics on radio to use as backrpund displays?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/28/2017

    Danny, I've passed your question along to an Advisor to help you find the best solution. Generally, you'll find Android Auto to provide the best options for current smartphones and continued support for the interface.

  • danny flynn from Gresham

    Posted on 12/26/2017

    which is better, mirror link or android auto??? And will mirror link allow me to navigate any app on my phone?

  • Alex Rodriguez from San Antonio

    Posted on 11/13/2017

    the problem that you guys have, is that you are trying to keep the car stereo alive. I just want a continuation of my phone. I want a one device that does everything. I use to use and HTC One M8 and a pioneer radio, with mirror link I managed to have my whole phone screen on the car monitor. Thats what i love about it. It was an unstable connection but it was better than Android auto. Plus with that phone I didn't need remote controls for the Tv, vcr I could even controls my friends apple tv, the tv at the doctors office. That was the life. Forcing people to use android auto, a funky navigation app. is like putting people inside a box. I hate it. it seems that the only option i got is to duck-tape my tablet to the dashboard. I only use my car speakers, because many functions of the car stereo are blocked while you drive. Theres not even a passenger override, I think is more unsafe to be fighting with your car estereo, other than give the user what he wants right the way. How long I have to wait to get a decent device. Now of days I use a Samsung S8 plus. love the phone now I just need a radio that meets my expectations.

  • K.subash from Erode

    Posted on 8/19/2017

    I have vivo v5 it will support

  • Phil from Birmingham

    Posted on 9/24/2016

    I purchased an LG G4 phone thinking that it would work with Mirrorlink in my 2016 Subaru Outback. Looking at the Mirrorlink page showing phones supported I did realize that only certain models of the LG G4 were supported not the LG G4 H811 (T-Mobile). Silly me.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/25/2016

    Scott, your receiver will remain active when you have the MirrorLink function engaged. Functionality may vary depending on your brand-specific MirrorLink app, but think of the receiver as boss when your phone is connected. If you're considering purchasing a new receiver with Android integration, be sure to take a look at those with Android Auto as well.

  • Scott from Topeka

    Posted on 7/22/2016

    Will the mirror link still show up on the headunit even if the phone screen has been turned off or if its went black from not being used.. Or will the phone screen have to be on at all times foe it to be displayed?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/13/2016

    Raf, no. The purpose of MirrorLink is to mirror compatible apps from your Android device onto the screen of your touchscreen receiver. Not vice versa. The idea being that you'd be able to use something like your phone's navigation app in your dash.

  • Raf from Altus/OK

    Posted on 6/12/2016

    Hi if I install an in-dash DVD player with a mirror link capability in my car, will I be able to use it to project a DVD on a Samsung tablet at the back seat for my little kid (wireless) ? Thanks

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/27/2016

    Matthew, your best bet is to contact the dealership about any trouble with your factory radio features. Alternatively, you might find the fix on a forum devoted to Subaru. Good luck!

  • Matthew Heaney from North Smithfield

    Posted on 5/27/2016

    I have a 2016 subacute legacy, and a Samsung Galaxy S6, it says mirror link is connected but I can not get into the mirror link app in my head unit

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/13/2016

    Todd, yes, but you'll want to check MirrorLink compatibility on your phone first. Use the link above to access MirrorLink's site or download the appropriate app on your phone ahead of time to test it out.

  • Todd A from Oak Park

    Posted on 5/11/2016

    Can Google Maps be used for navigation over MirrorLink?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/22/2016

    Toni, check out this video to see a MirrorLink demonstration.

  • Toni from Las Vegas

    Posted on 2/22/2016

    Can I see YouTube videos using MirrorLink?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/11/2016

    Zac, if you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details. It may be that you need an updated version of MirrorLink for compatibility with the S6, but you can contact Pioneer product support to confirm.

  • Zac Fannin from Mount Laurel

    Posted on 1/10/2016

    I have a mirrorlink enabled phone, Galaxy S6, and a Pioneer AV3700BHS. Why will they not talk to each other? Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere? The only thing I could get working, temporarily I might add, was sygit navigation. It crashed my phone and my radio as soon as my phone rang. Any help would be great.

  • Albert A from Godells

    Posted on 12/26/2015

    I don't see MirrorLink going anywhere. Android Auto is now starting to show up. MirrorLink only has a handful of apps. I wasted my money on an Appradio 4 which was suppose to support Android's all new Samsung Galaxy 6. They did away with MHL connectivity. Their tech support said they moving on to wireless screencast.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/23/2015

    Mike, MirrorLink is designed for use with Android phones. We have a number of receivers that allow video playback from your iPhone. Keep in mind that the parking brake will need to be engaged to watch video in most cases. If you're interested in video in your vehicle, give us a call and an advisor will be able to help find the gear that's right for you.

  • Mike guy from Sacramento

    Posted on 12/22/2015

    Can videos/movies be played from my iPhone 6 onto the decks screen?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/7/2015

    Robert, I've passed your question along to our sales team. An advisor will contact your soon with the best recommendation for you.

  • Robert Padillo from San Diego

    Posted on 12/4/2015

    Is it or will it ever be possible, to have a car receiver that can download and store music and podcasts? I want to download music and podcasts while I'm in my garage connected to my Wi-Fi and have it stored on the car receiver rather than my phone . That way I don't have to go back and forth between my phone in my car receiver, all stored in my car receiver and I control playback from there

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/27/2015

    Rey, MirrorLink is designed for use with Android phones. If you're interested in next-level iPhone integration, check out Apple CarPlay.

  • Rey

    Posted on 11/27/2015

    Does iPhone IOS9 and above works with MirrorLink? if not what upgrade do we need to do to make iPHONE IOS9 to work with MirrorLink.

  • Robert Ferency-Viars from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/20/2015

    Andra, I don't see that phone on MirrorLink's list either. Your best bet is to ask the MirrorLink people directly if they have any plans to include your phone. You can contact them here.

  • Andra from Tallinn

    Posted on 11/17/2015

    Does Sony Xperia M4 Aqua (Android 5.0) work with MirrorLink? I can't see it on the list - also other newer Sony phones are missing from the list. Doesn't it support newer phones?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/10/2015

    Murali, for more information on MirrorLink, you can visit their website.

  • Murali Vasanthi from Erode

    Posted on 11/10/2015

    will here maps work in mirrorlink?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/16/2015

    AJ, no, you'll always need a wired connection.

  • AJ A. from Gainesville

    Posted on 10/15/2015

    Is there A way to connect without a wire?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/11/2015

    Lawrence, your first thought is the right one. MirrorLink does not support all the apps on your phone, but rather a shortlist of compatible apps that fit into the categories of music, maps, and phone. App compatibility will depend on your receiver and your phone. For an idea of what you may be able to use, do a "mirrorlink" search in your phone's app store.

  • Lawrence Cohen from Mont Vernon

    Posted on 9/11/2015

    Hi Alexander, Do applications installed on the phone (assuming it has a compliant version of mirrorlink) need to be "mirrorlink certified" to run on the cars receiver (again assuming a compliant mirrorlink client) ? Or can we expect that any app to run ... but perhaps in a less car friendly mode? Thanks ! -Larry

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/8/2015

    Maceo, first make sure that your phone is compatible with MirrorLink. If your Pioneer receiver is compatible as well you may need to download a Pioneer-specific MirrorLink app (check your manual) which you'll find in your phone's app store. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/8/2015

    Cynthia, if you don't have a MirrorLink-compatible stereo with a touchscreen monitor, you will not be able to use MirrorLink. If you'd like to upgrade your stereo, just give us a call.

  • maceo from st.Paul mn

    Posted on 9/7/2015

    How do I download the mirror link app to my Microsoft smart phone so I can use the services on my pioneer car stereo

  • Cynthia Harrison from Greenville

    Posted on 9/6/2015

    I have a 2014 honda odyessy, is this compatible if you dont have the option to watch a movie?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/20/2015

    Kelpesh, your best bet is to contact Fujitsu tech support. Good luck!

  • Kalpesh Mewada from Ahmadabad - India

    Posted on 8/19/2015

    Sony Xperia Z 2 is not connecting with Fujitsu Ten Head Unit. Only one msg 'connecting to headunit '

  • Ken Nail from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/4/2015

    If you purchase a new car stereo you'll need an adapter to allow your steering wheel controls to work with it. The adapter will let you continue to use existing functions (volume, track selection, etc.). Since MirrorLink operates to "mirror" what's on the display of your phone, your existing steering wheel controls won't have any control over that. You can use our vehicle selector to confirm which stereos fit your car and get some info on what adapter is required to keep your steering wheel controls.

  • Aaron from Newburgh

    Posted on 8/3/2015

    Will your car stereo's with mirror link still work with the radio controls built into the car steering wheel? Specifically, I have a Toyota Prius and I like just hitting the plus button to go to the next song in the list or the steering wheel mounted volume controls.

  • Derek from Toronto

    Posted on 8/3/2015

    Will mirrorlink work with the galaxy S2 ?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/3/2015

    Nick, the only information we have is what is provided on MirrorLink's official website. That's where you'll find any news about compatible phones and updates to MirrorLink.

  • Nick Bradford from Atlanta

    Posted on 8/2/2015

    I'm not seeing any indication of Windows Phone being a possibility for usage with MirrorLink in the near future. Is there any detail you can provide to show there is a chance for the Windows Phone OS, and if not, what all is involved with getting the app certified and ready to be used with MirrorLink?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/17/2015

    Tristan, MirrorLink uses a wired connection between your Android smartphone and your receiver. The cable required may vary, so if you're interested, be sure to check the Details tab for your receiver of choice. The end result is that your phone screen is mirrored on your receiver screen. MirrorLink gives you a simplified menu for touchscreen access on your receiver to the most essential apps on your phone.

  • Tristan Garrett from Houston

    Posted on 7/17/2015

    How does it work

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/15/2015

    Brandon, in some cases, there may be no difference. In other cases, you may need a specialized cable. If you're looking at a receiver with MirrorLink, be sure to check our "Details" tab to find out what is required for MirrorLink connectivity in that specific case. If it does end up being a type-A USB to type-B microUSB cable like many Android phones use for charging, etc., keep in mind you may want a spare cord to keep in your car for quick and easy access. Often, MirrorLink is only accessible through a rear input on your receiver.

  • Brandon

    Posted on 7/14/2015

    How does a mirror link cable differ from the cable I plug my phone into to charge?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/8/2015

    Julian, our research is limited to vehicles sold within the United States. However, you may be able to find more information on the MirrorLink site, which does include information on European vehicles.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/8/2015

    Daniel, MirrorLink is designed for use with Android phones. If you're interested in next-level iPhone integration, check out Apple CarPlay.

  • Daniel from United States

    Posted on 7/8/2015

    Will this work with my Iphone 6 and my 2016 Mazda CX5?

  • Julian from Rotterdam NL

    Posted on 6/26/2015

    Dear Sir, I have a small question, regarding Honda Civic Tourer 2014- European Car model. Do you know if the SD navigation which I have is compatible with MirrorLink system? or if is any way to connect? Thank you very much in advance, Julian

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/12/2015

    Mr. Burns, the Vodafone 785 does not appear on MirrorLink's list of compatible phones.

  • mr burns from united kingdom

    Posted on 6/11/2015

    does vodafone 785 work with MirrorLink