What is Apple CarPlay for BMW?
Apple CarPlay is a better and safer idea that let you use your iPhone during a ride. You can stay focused on road and enjoy listening to music by using Spotify (or other music apps) and talking or sending messages to your friends with Whats App as well only by using Apple CarPlay. Moreover, it can show you the greatest news, show maps of the terrain you are crossing and your location. Siri included in this wireless system can be navigated by vocal commands. At all, Apple CarPlay can be treated as an extension of your iPhone, but in this way, you haven’t to tap your iPhone screen. All you need is scrolling applications on Apple CarPlay-connected device.
Does BMW support CarPlay?
In 2017 Apple CarPlay was introduced as an extra optional, but available on models only with built-in navigation. Today, CarPlay is standard on all BMW models to have been activated in. Remember, that this technology is available for those BMW owners, that have BMW iDrive 5 or above installed in your car operating system and your iPhone 5 (or on higher version of iPhone). Ask your local BMW dealership, if your BMW model has a compatible head unit (infotainment system) and Wi-Fi antenna required to install CarPlay.
What could be interesting, in the 2019 year BMW company made up a decision about setting a fee for using Apple CarPlay in BMWs vehicles. Owners will be paying once 300 dollars to get life-long access to use it. This decision was controversial, especially in the case that most manufacturers offered the service without any payment. Later, BMW company changed the life-long payment to a subscription model, which cost 80 dollars per month to use Apple CarPlay. At a moment when subscriber didn’t pay, CarPlay would be remotely disabled. Overall, today you haven’t to pay anything for using Apple CarPlay – after irritated consumers pressure Bavarian company given up ideas with payment for CarPlay.
Wireless Apple CarPlay for BMW
Anybody, who has once driven with his smartphone connected to built-in navigation, maybe know that it is really tiring and can easily make the owner disgruntled, because of repeating the same action: connecting and disconnecting phone to car by USB wire. And you may know that wire always knots in the worst possible pieces. Moreover, it can damage your mobile.
According to these common problems, Apple comes with help to users of their technology and creates way, that makes it possible to connect your phone with auto. If you are not convinced of compatibility features with wireless CarPlay, get in touch with a BMW dealer. In most cases, your current CarPlay will just need a simple software update, which can be clearly done with help of an IT specialist for a small fee.
Usually, activation of wireless CarPlay is made straight by using a USB wire connected from the car to iPhone. The process of connecting is really fast and after that, you can comfortably switch on Bluetooth on your iPhone and enjoy the wireless connection of your devices.
How can I add Apple CarPlay if my BMW does not have it?
For 2022 year, BMW is offering Apple CarPlay service for models such as:
2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series, iX, i4, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, Z4.
Anyway, if you are an owner of older model (I mean a car built before 2017) and don’t have fabric installed in CarPlay, stay tuned. Today we have great aftermarket specialists and manufacturers, that can solve this issue and retrofit your car. There is one clear way to make your BMW compatible with Apple CarPlay service. All you may need is to buy a car radio that supports CarPlay technology or special, dedicated devices that are well-fitted with entertainment modules default installed in your car. This is found as the best cost-effective way to bring your old BMW model to the highest level of in-car technology, and price would be said as, literally, the most important aspect deciding about buying a new car or continuing with your older vehicle.
Is it all worth?
To be honest, there isn’t a clear answer to this question. You could ask yourself, how much money can you spend on new BMW model or how much time can you invest in searching for specialists and equipment needed to activate Apple CarPlay or to buy a module, that will be compatible with it.
Most BMW owners said, that Siri voice commands, improved navigation view and their favorite IOS quality and appearance were really “game changers” for them – they were tired of switching between their car entertainment system and phone applications.
You will also find Apple CarPlay a lot safer than using your mobile while driving. Of course, there can be situations, when you may be forced to, for example, call someone or reply to message, but with CarPlay it can be done without letting off the steering wheel. And, summing up, you can use all Apple features on your dashboard on the iDrive screen (like Apple Maps (You’ll probably choose google maps anyway), Call, speak SIRI, etc.), thanks to the Apple CarPlay service installed in your BMW. Installing a special Apple CarPlay module will allow iPhone users to attach their car to the Apple’s ecosystem
How to install Apple CarPlay in BMW
The entire installation takes approximately 30 minutes. To install the Apple CarPlay module in BMW, you will need tools that will make easier to remove the plastics from the air conditioning panel and the entire strip with air vents. We have to take them off because under there is access to the central unit of the radio and the wires to the screen. After disassembling, remove the main radio unit, disconnect the cables and optical fiber from it.
The fiber optic cable will need to be moved to the Apple CarPlay module in BMW. Plug the rest of the cables into the radio unit and pull the cable to the screen. Before putting everything together, check that the module is working. Turn on the ignition, wait for a while, press and hold the main menu (MENU key). If the module interface appears – you can put it all together and enjoy Apple CarPlay. Just don’t forget to switch the audio source on the radio to AUX – otherwise you won’t hear the sound.
Also check out the Android Auto modules for BMW.