BMW is now going to add support for Android Auto. The company has announced that it will be integrated into its cars from July 2020. Apple CarPlay is already supported by the carmaker.
Android Auto basically connects Android handsets to the display of the car for easier access. It is already offered my numerous other car manufacturers such as Hyundai, Audi, Bentley, Fiat, Ford, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki, and Toyota. Thus, it was about time that BMW jumped the bandwagon too.
Android Auto will be available on all BMW cars running version 7.0 or later of its proprietary software iDrive. The hardware side requirement is Live Cockpit Professional, the company's new digital instrument cluster.
These are available on all 2019 / 2020 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, and 8 Series cars and the latest X3, X5, and X7 SUVs, as noted by The Verge. Other than being integrated into the digital cockpit, Android Auto will also be available on the central touchscreen and the heads-up display.
BMW is offering support for the wireless version of the smartphone interface. This means users will have to use a Samsung, Pixel, or Nexus handset. Thanks to the wireless connection, owners will be saved the trouble of plugging in the devices.
The German company is going to demo the Android Auto in one of its vehicles during the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 which will be held in Las Vegas. The app will be available in 20 countries. It will probably be rolled out to more regions later on.
BMW Was Initially Reluctant To Relinquish Control Of Its Infotainment System
A couple of years back, Android Auto wasn't a priority for BMW. The company wanted to prioritize its own apps to maintain complete control of its cars' interface. And when it did add support for third-party software, it was Apple CarPlay. The reason behind that is that most of the company's users had iOS devices.
Previous, BMW used to charge a subscription fee for Apple CarPlay, which was later canceled. Android Auto will be bundled in with the Connected Plus and Professional package for free. The current owners of compatible cars will get it through a Remote Software Upgrade, likely in the second half of 2020.
Senior Vice President of Product Management at BMW Peter Henrich said that Google Assistant on Android Auto will make it easy for customers to get directions and stay in touch.
Vice President of Engineering at Google, Patrick Brady also expressed his company's excitement about working with BMW. Both executives talked about how Android Auto will enable drivers to use Android smartphones safely without being distracted.
Android Auto has come a long way. BMW says that its own customers have asked it for the integration. While using smartphones while driving is frowned upon, it cannot be completely avoided.
That's why a growing number of automakers now support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Android Auto integration will enable faster access to media, messages, and frequently used apps. A familiar interface on the dashboard would mean that users will not have to spend time looking for something.