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Android Auto for BMW

Eyes focused on the road. Hands comfortably placed on the steering wheel. Your mind opens and you feel free. All you need to do is just say „OK, Google”. And it doesn’t matter if you are in Canada, France, Denmark, or even India. It isn’t just another luxury for BMW owners. BMW Android Auto is the innovation that has changed the world of motorization.


What is Android Auto for BMW?

By using Android Auto software, you can connect your Android smartphone with the hardware of the infotainment system device in your car. Strong advantage of this state-of-the-art technology is that the phone is completely wirelessly connected to a vehicle. This brand new way of connection is called Fast Pair. If you want to pair your devices, make sure that Bluetooth is turned on both your smartphone and in your car is (check the settings). Then, tap the connection button which would appear on your Android Auto app screen. If you haven’t installed the app yet, it will be really easy and will only take a moment. Open Google Play store, then type in the searching box the name of the app – in this case, you will be searching for Android Auto.

If your phone doesn’t support Android Auto wireless connection, you have to plug the Android device with a USB cable to a USB port and hold the menu button until the menu screen pops up. What’s important, you need to be sure to charge your phone while driving, because a wireless connection will probably make your device run out of energy pretty quickly. It strongly depends on the apps you use when on the move - listening to music costs less energy than using GPS navigation. In case of wire connection, you don’t need to worry about the battery level in your smartphone, as it charges when you use the app. After you connect your phone to your vehicle - whether via cable or wirelessly - your built-in vehicle display background will change to a well-known Android interface with all the apps you already recognize from the Android system. Interestingly, the Android Auto display will perfectly fit the size of your car device. Once your smartphone is paired, you no longer have to plug it into the vehicle – thanks to wireless Android Auto connection, you gain access to all your favourite apps, such as Spotify or Google Maps. Moreover, you can easily surf the web and look for news or free dates in your calendar. Using voice commands in Android Auto makes calling or texting (also on WhatsApp or Messenger) while driving safer and easier, as you don't need to pick up your phone at all.

Navigating has never been this easy! Either Google Maps or real-time GPS navigation will help you get to your destination. The route to your destination, along with directions, will be displayed on the device screen. This solution is much safer than looking at the sat nav attached to the windscreen.

Does BMW support Android Auto?

Initially, BMW had no plans to install Android Auto in its vehicles. However, in 2015, the automaker changed its mind and announced that the system will be available in the latest generation of BMW vehicles. The first BMW car with built-in Android Auto was released in February 2016.

Unfortunately, BMW does not support Android Auto system in every country and sometimes its functioning can be limited to only some regions. At the moment, there are 46 countries on the list of supported regions. But don’t worry! You don’t need to move to another country. If Android Auto isn’t available on Google Play Store in your region, you can download it from an alternative source that you can find online (remember, file needs to have .apk extension). You can also try to change your location with a VPN and download the app from Google Play Store.

Android Auto app is available for the Samsung smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+, Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+, Samsung Galaxy S10 or S10+, Samsung Note 8, Samsung Note 9 and Samsung Note 10. Those devices need to run on Android 9.0 or above. Google models like Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3XL or Pixel 4, Pixel 4XL will also fit great. Keep in mind, that Android Auto is available to install on other phones, but they are not officially compatible with this technology. Those devices need to run on Android 6.0 or above.

Does BMW have Android Auto as a Native iDrive option?

Well, some of the units YES - but you must have NBT EVO ID.6 to access Android Auto option, in NBT NEXT - NO – Android Auto is supported by over 47 carmakers. iDrive 6.0 has Android Auto as a native option. The possibility of installing Android Auto on your iDrive hardly depends on your current BMW model. To run the software, you need to be equipped with BMW series : 3, 5, 7, 8, X3, X5 or X7. If you want to install Android Auto in an older BMW model, you can install an additional Android Auto module for BMW that you will find in our store.

How do I get Android Auto in my BMW?

As mentioned before, if you are an owner of one of the BMW models listed above, then you are more likely to have Android Auto preinstalled. You can freely use the apps either via Google Assistant, steering wheel buttons, iDrive controller or touch screen (that last option is only available for models with original Android Auto software – BMW has been producing them since 2016). All enthusiasts of older models can take advantage of a wide range of aftermarket retrofits. Instead of buying a new infotainment unit or, one step further – buying a new car, you can invest in multimedia devices that can be integrated with the vehicle that you own. A great solution is Android Auto MMI Prime – original equipment offered by BimmerTech. Luckily, this hardware upgrade is compatible with 95% of BMW vehicles produced since 2008. What's more, if your BMW doesn't have a screen, all you need to do is install a multimedia display that fits your car. Official Android website mentions that the best option for these BMW owners will be to choose one of the multimedia sets offered by Kenwood or Pioneer brands.

Why should I add Android Auto to my BMW?

Android Auto is a great way to access all your favorite Android apps while driving. Thanks to it, you avoid getting frustrated from all the missed clicks on the screen of your phone as you try to be focused on the road and write a message to your friend. It is also a great alternative for Apple CarPlay. It should be also highlighted that Android Auto collects just a pinch of user’s data, so, as far as we know, your calls and web searches are safe. Imagine how boring traveling can be without having access to your favorite music, Spotify podcasts or the hottest world news. Another benefit is that Android Auto is completely free to download and use – nobody will ever ask you to pay for it!

How to Install Android Auto in BMW?

The installation of this module is not very complicated, you need to remove the strip at which there are air vents in the dashboard - remember to do it gently and disconnect the button from the hazard lights! The rail is on the straps, so do it delicately, then you need to pull the radio unit forward (also on latches), behind it there is the main unit attached with 4 screws. You need to take it out and disconnect the wires at the back. Here we connect with the cables from the module - you also need to re-connect the optical fiber cables and connect them to our module. Then you need to disassemble the screen and connect our adapter. You will see the screws for the screen immediately after removing the air vents. After everything is connected, before you put everything together, test if the module works. You will have to connect the wires for the buttons from the strip you removed - otherwise you will not turn on the ignition. To enter the module interface, turn on the ignition, press and hold the HOME button, try to connect with the phone. If everything works, you can put it all together