Earlier this year BMW made the headlines around the world announcing the implementation of BMW Android Auto onboard its cars. Not only did BMW announce the support for Android Auto, but they went all out and included wireless connections to the car’s infotainment system at no extra cost.
At a first glance, you can tell that BMW put a lot of thought into the Android Auto integration. The video below goes through some of the features. First of all, just like in the case of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto will be wireless. Furthermore, the Google Assistant features will be available as well.
The best part is that some of the functions of the phone and some apps are integrated in the car’s instrument cluster and head-up display. That means, whenever you’re using Google Maps or Waze instead of the car’s navigation system, for example, the direction will pop up in those two areas as well. That goes for Spotify and other apps as well. To be honest, this has been a long time coming and it completes the offering of BMW connectivity.
If you recall, BMW introduced the ‘smartphone as a key fob’ technology a while back, only to make the headlines again as now Apple devices will also have that feature. But long before that, Android phones could be used for the same purpose.
Even so, BMW Android Auto still wasn’t supported. Now that’s no longer the case. The best part about all of it is that cars already fitted with iDrive 7 systems can get an over the air update this Fall. Or it can be updated by your local dealer.
From what we’ve seen online, only software versions that start with 07/2020 have the Android Auto option built-in. The following BMWs that have iDrive 7 are eligible for the update:
- 2019+ 3 Series with Live Cockpit Professional
- 2020+ 5 Series
- 2020+ 7 Series
- 2019+ 8 Series
- 2020+ X3 with Live Cockpit Professional
- 2020+ X4 with Live Cockpit Professional
- 2019+ X5
- 2020+ X6
- 2019+ X7
- 2019+ Z4
Side Note: Only smartphones that support wireless Android Auto (Nexus, Pixel, and some Samsung devices) will work, and only in some countries.