Android Auto coming to BMWs, at last



BMW is finally introducing Android Auto into its cars, via an over-the-air software upgrade that will be rolled out to customers at the end of this year


SINGAPORE

BMW will be rolling out an update to its Operating System 7 in-car software in the fourth quarter of this year, and the biggest addition will be the inclusion of Android Auto support.

It’s a major shift for BMW, as up until now, the BMW OS has only been available with Apple CarPlay compatibility. The introduction of Android Auto means that owners with Google Android-powered smartphones will be able to use their devices natively in their BMWs at last.

A BMW Asia spokesperson confirmed that the update will be rolled out globally via an over-the-air remote software upgrade starting from Q4 2020, but added that there’s no fixed timeframe for it to be offered to existing BMW customers in Singapore as of yet.

However, expect to see the upgraded system feature on new models that BMW will launch from that point onwards, and the first possible model we could see with the update could be the facelifted 5 Series (or LCI in BMW-speak), which is expected to land here later this year.



While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are now commonplace, BMW’s announcement is significant because it offers the availability of wireless connectivity.

BMW was the first brand to offer wireless Apple CarPlay, allowing Apple devices to sync up with BMW’s OS without the need for physical cables. And the new update means that BMW will be one of the very few car brands to have wireless Android Auto connectivity, with users able to access features like Google Maps simply by placing their smartphone on the in-car wireless charging pad.


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Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world.