Many Android users were caught off guard by the latest Spotify update. Prior to rolling out the new update, Spotify users were able to connect their Android-powered smartphones to BMW’s iDrive 6 infotainment system. That’s not the case anymore. Spotify has dropped support for the Apps 4 Automotive (A4A) technology which allowed the Android device to talk to the iDrive 6 system. BMW cars equipped with iDrive 7 are not affected by this update.
According to BMW, the problem is solely on Spotify’s end, but as a workaround, the Android smartphone can still be connected via Bluetooth to the car and stream the audio. But anyone who also wants to make music selection with minimal distraction and, above all, legally via the vehicle’s infotainment system, obviously has a problem – after all, smartphone use is not allowed while driving.
“As of July 2020, Spotify no longer supports Apps for Automotive (A4A) for Android devices,” says BMW in a statement. “iOS devices are excluded from this. Vehicles with infotainment software older than BMW Operating System 7 are affected.
Additional note: The change in function is not based on a functional restriction of the BMW Connected app or on the introduction of the new My BMW app. It is still possible to play audio directly from a mobile device in the vehicle via the Bluetooth interface.”
Some BMW owners decided to take matter in their own hands and launched a petition on the Spotify website to bring support for A4A. There is one more workaround to still have Spotify play nicely with iDrive 6. You can always download the previous June 2020 Spotify app on Android, but that could be missing the current security patches and other features.