All Bimmers with the latest iDrive will get a big OTA upgrade.
Ubiquitous Wi-Fi and connected cars are a double-edged sword. On one hand, automakers will now be able to nickel and dime us to death with new or optional features. Many automakers are already doing this and more are jumping in every day. On the other hand, almost all automakers are also sending free updates along, to help with features or function.
BMW's latest iDrive update is rolling out as we speak. If you own a car with the seventh-generation of its infotainment system you can look forward to an updated app, more Sirius Pandora Artist stations, lane departure improvements, better sound from the BMW M3 and M4 and finally Android users will be able to use their phone as a key.
The new update will smooth out the lane departure system when on a narrow road without a centerline, suppressing the steering intervention towards the middle where oncoming traffic is. It will also use Real Time Traffic Info from BMW Maps to predict better arrival times.
On the M3 and M4, the pumped-in sound will be refined when starting the engine and when shifting with the eight-speed automatic transmission. The sounds will be configurable with the engine settings and drive modes. It'll also get a quieter mode through the Sound Control Button.
For music, Spotify podcast playlists will now be available though BMW Connected Music. Additionally, BMW's with satellite radio and 360L will get their Pandora stations, which can be suited to your taste though the app or through BMW's screen. The Pandora upgrade comes automatically on all 2022 models.
Finally, BMW will upgrade its news app, which can read the news over your speakers. The company says it will have a higher audio quality and smarter filtering choices. If you "like" a news story, you'll hear more like them, and they'll bubble to the top of your feed. If you have a BMW check for updates, they could be waiting already.