Following the news of BMW making Apple CarPlay free once again last week, it has just been announced that Android Auto will come integrated with BMW models starting partway through next year. The development is long awaited, as both in the U.S. and around the world, mobile devices running a form of Android OS greatly outnumber iPhones. Like CarPlay, Android Auto will work wirelessly with properly-equipped handsets, putting important information and useful apps at the fingertips of drivers.
The latest developments of BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional and Operating System 7.0 make it one of the most capable digital infotainment systems on the market, and the addition of Android Auto is seen by many as the final missing piece. It’s also a welcome development in the continued efforts on the part of automakers to mitigate distracted driving, thanks to the innovative synthesis of information to the driver via the the gauge cluster display, the main iDrive display, and an optional head-up display, which is of course, directly in the driver’s line of sight.
According to senior executives at BMW, the decision to add Android Auto to the ConnectDrive system came after, “many” customers made the importance of having the capability available to them very clear. The news has been well received by the engaged driving public, perhaps causing some to reconsider their decision to buy a vehicle from another brand, with Android Auto as a motivating factor.
Android auto is scheduled to be introduced to the BMW model lineup starting July 2020. According to Google, the following smartphones will work with Android Auto Wireless.—Alex Tock
- Pixel, Nexus, or Samsung phones with Android versions shown below:
Phone Make and Model Android Version Pixel or Pixel XL Android 8.0 or higher Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL Android 8.0 or higher Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL Android 8.0 or higher Nexus 5X or 6P Android 8.0 or higher Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ Android 9.0 or higher Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+ Android 9.0 or higher Samsung Galaxy S10 or S10+ Android 9.0 or higher Samsung Note 8, Note 9 and Note 10 Android 9.0 or higher
- The Android Auto app version 4.7 and up.
- A high-quality USB cable for initial setup.
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]