BMW adds Android Auto at last

Android Auto is now available on new and nearly-new BMWs, belatedly following the firm’s controversial paid-for integration of Apple CarPlay

BMW Android Auto

BMW has belatedly introduced Android Auto into its newest cars, five years after the technology first went live.

All new models from this summer will feature the Google smartphone-pairing tech, alongside the existing Apple CarPlay system.

What’s more, it is a wireless Android Auto system, which doesn’t need to be plugged in: owners simply place their device on the wireless smartphone charging pad.

Despite being slow with Android Auto, BMW was one of the first automotive brands to offer wireless Apple CarPlay.

Android Auto features include Google Assistant, Google Maps, WhatsApp, Spotify and Amazing Music. And not only is information displayed in the central screen, navigation directions are also shown in the instrument cluster and optional head-up display.

BMW only announced its decision to support Android Auto in December 2019, years after Hyundai became the first brand to offer it.

The functionality only works on the latest BMW Cockpit Operating System 7.0, which means factory-fresh cars and some earlier 2019 models.

Over-the-air updates should bring the technology to nearly-new models, while all BMWs leaving showrooms from this summer will be fitted with Android Auto tech.

BMW earlier caused controversy with Apple CarPlay by not fitting it for free and offering it as a subscription service instead.

Later, owners were given a free year before having to pay for it.

In late 2019, the car firm admitted defeat and started offering Apple CarPlay for free.

BMW is offering Android Auto for free.


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Richard Aucock
I'm director at Motoring Research. I run a bit, cycle a bit, have a huge love for the automotive industry.


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