BMW's Android Auto Rollout Plan Comes To Light

Technology / Comments

Yes, it's finally happening.

Last December, BMW finally announced it will begin offering Android Auto in its vehicles in July 2020. Apple CarPlay has been available on BMWs for some time now but Android users rightly questioned why a prestigious luxury brand did not allow them to connect their phone to their cars while Kia owners could. It just didn't make sense. Fortunately, that issue is being solved but it appears the Android Auto rollout itself will be done differently than many assumed.

Speaking to Australia's CarsGuide, the July rollout is still on schedule and will be available as an over-the-air update on BMW's latest 7.0 iDrive operating system. New models such as the BMW 7 Series and BMW 8 Series are two examples.

While owners can update their vehicles without having to go to a dealership, the upgrade itself won't happen automatically even for all compatible BMWs.

2019-2020 BMW 8 Series Front View Driving BMW
2019-2020 BMW 8 Series In Motion BMW
2019-2020 BMW 8 Series Dashboard Layout BMW

A BMW official told CarsGuide that the upgrade is "not instantaneous for everyone. It's actually VIN by VIN that we initially select the vehicles to send it to." BMW says it will conduct this rollout at a global and local level following comprehensive testing and, as far as we know, older models with outdated iDrive systems will not be included.

Another important piece of information BMW owners need to know is that upgrades to the infotainment system and other related features could take more than 20 minutes to complete over the air.

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2020 BMW 7 Series Front View Driving BMW
2020 BMW 7 Series Side View Driving BMW
2020 BMW 7 Series Dashboard BMW

It's not a big deal but BMW says the cars won't be driveable during that time and must remain stationary. When we first reported on the existence of the Android Auto compatibility upgrade a few months ago, we noted that BMW did not reveal how much this option could cost. Unfortunately, there's still no answer to that but we doubt it'll be expensive.

Previously, BMW charged owners a subscription fee for Apple CarPlay but it changed its position on the matter following customer anger.

2020 BMW 7 Series Infotainment System BMW
Source Credits: CarsGuide

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