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BMW Brings App Integration to Android, Leaves out Android Auto

March 23, 2016 - Written By Alexander Maxham

BMW, has announced at the New York International Auto Show or NYIAS, today that they are bringing their app integration platform on over to Android, finally. This is something that had been exclusive to iOS since about 2011. BMW has three music apps that allow you to stream your favorite music from your phone. This includes iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify. Now this isn’t Android Auto, not in the least bit. But it is a feature that many users have been wanting for quite a while. As they’ll be able to stream their own music from the display in their car without needing to touch their phone. It’ll be part of the 2016 BMW 7 Series which is already available in their showrooms, and has been for quite some time. This is part of their fifth-generation iDrive platform, which controls all of the infotainment in the car.

While this isn’t an Android Auto announcement, it is still a feature that many are going to love having, at least for now. BMW also made the app integration wireless. So instead of needing to plug in your smartphone to utilize it, you can simply stream over Bluetooth. Which is a good idea. As not everyone wants to plug in their phone each time they jump in their car.

BMW is part of the Open Automotive Alliance, so they should be announcing some Android Auto plans in the near future. But as of now, they are being pretty quiet on that front. We should hear  something from BMW soon though, about Android Auto. They are likely working on integrating it into iDrive, and making sure that it doesn’t outperform their own options. As many car makers don’t want Google to be the dominant OS in their car, and the same goes for Apple with their CarPlay interface.

The 2016 BMW 7 Series starts at $81,300 and goes up from there. There are all sorts of upgrades available with the 7 Series, including a number of tablets throughout the cabin. Including tablets mounted to the back of the seats in front. It’s a great looking car, and the technology is getting better and better all of the time.