Delivery in 2-7 days: We are shipping as usual, worldwide and for free!

How to watch YouTube & Netflix on Apple CarPlay

Paul Smith

Apr 26, 2022

How to watch YouTube & Netflix on Apple CarPlay

Having Apple CarPlay for BMW can make a huge difference when you're out on the road — as anybody who has used Apple's infotainment system will confirm. But that doesn't mean you won't ever come up against the odd thing that makes you wish there were some BMW CarPlay hacks to help you get even more out of your CarPlay-equipped BMW iDrive. If you’ve ever tried to use NetFlix on CarPlay, you’ll know what we’re talking about. 

Well, as the BMW technology experts, we know exactly how to step up your CarPlay game. But these little tips and tricks aren't just for people who already have CarPlay in their BMW, because (spoiler alert) it's possible to activate Apple CarPlay for BMW, too. Read on to find out how. 

What apps work with Apple CarPlay? 

'WhatIf CarPlay has a downside, it's that not all iOS apps are supported on the platform. Your iPhone's games and video apps, for example, won't show up on your CarPlay menu, which means no Netflix on CarPlay. (Then again, there might be a few workarounds that we'll get to in a moment…) 

On the other hand, you shouldn't have any problems finding your favorite navigation, messaging or music apps. Whether you use Google Maps or Waze, SMS or WhatsApp, Spotify or YouTube Music, CarPlay will let you use it on your dashboard display. 

Check out the best BMW CarPlay apps 

And those apps you can't get through CarPlay? Can you play Netflix on Apple CarPlay, or do you have to make do with only music and podcasts to keep you entertained on a long road trip? 

Watch Netflix on Apple CarPlay with Apple TV

Watch Netflix on Apple CarPlay with Apple TVIf you've ever tried to play Netflix on Apple CarPlay, you've probably noticed the app doesn't show up on your BMW's CarPlay menu. BMW wants your eyes planted squarely on the road, and while that's something we'd obviously also recommend, there are some situations when knowing how to watch Netflix on Apple CarPlay can come in handy. 

Say you're parked up at a rest area on a long drive, and want to put on an episode of your favorite series to help pass the time. Or maybe you're travelling with children, and want something to keep them entertained. 

In that case, there is a way to watch YouTube in your BMW… but it's not on CarPlay. 

Netflix works fine on Apple TV, and while you're probably more used to seeing that in people's living rooms, you can take it along for the drive, too! 

BimmerTech's SmartView HD with Apple TV4 includes an original Apple TV4 box with remote, plus all the required hardware to integrate it with your BMW iDrive. Switch from iDrive to Apple TV using the dashboard controls, then watch content from any Apple TV streaming app you want. 

Watch YouTube on Apple CarPlay with AirPlay 

Watch YouTube on Apple CarPlay with AirPlay

Apple TV also includes built-in support for AirPlay, so you can mirror any AirPlay-compatible content from your iPhone to the iDrive screen with SmartView HD Apple TV4. 

But if you aren't interested in watching Netflix in your BMW (the app uses DRM technology to prevent screen mirroring, which means Apple TV is the only way), it's absolutely possible to use CarPlay instead, and mirror other content — including YouTube — to your iDrive screen. 

There isn't any native AirPlay to CarPlay feature, but BimmerTech's CarPlay MMI Prime retrofit for BMW comes with both CarPlay and AirPlay support, so as well as all the standard apps from Apple CarPlay, YouTube can be cast via screen mirroring from your iPhone. 

Play video on CarPlay from USB or DVD

Play video on CarPlay from USB or DVDWhereas the native BMW CarPlay system is wireless only, CarPlay MMI Prime supports both wireless connection, and wired connection through a USB port. That USB port doubles up as a way to play saved video files straight from a USB. 

That can be a much more stable option on a long road trip, when streaming video on Apple CarPlay isn't always possible. Just download your content before you set off, and have constant access to it, without worrying about patchy mobile signal. 

For BMWs that include a DVD player, that adds another way to get video going in your vehicle. And while from the factory, video playback is likely to be blocked when your vehicle starts to move, with BimmerTech's easy video in motion coding for BMW, you won't have to be parked up to play your content. 

How to get CarPlay on BMW? 

So that's covered a few extra options that offer things CarPlay doesn't. To get the full package, though, you'd need CarPlay, too, so what if you don't already have it from the factory? Do you have to go without, or is there a way to activate Apple CarPlay in your BMW

As long as you've got a suitable iDrive system, there is. The latest BMWs often have all the hardware required to run wireless Apple CarPlay, and only need a software activation to start using it. The same goes for MINIs, with many of the latest models coming ready for CarPlay, making it easy to retrofit Apple CarPlay in a MINI Cooper.

BMW Apple CarPlay Activation

In that case, you won't even need to leave home to activate BMW-original Apple CarPlay; BimmerTech's skilled technician can unlock CarPlay for you in a 30-minute remote coding session. Depending on your vehicle, you may not even need that — our innovative USB activation procedure requires no more than copying an activation file to a USB drive and plugging it into your BMW's USB port. 

However you get CarPlay for BMW, you'll be able to do it at a time that suits you, without having to leave your car at the shop overnight. Before you know it, you'll be using all your favorite iPhone apps in your BMW. 

BMW Apple CarPlay Retrofit 

BMW Apple CarPlay Retrofit

If you own an older vehicle, you can still enjoy a BMW Apple CarPlay retrofit that offers all the same apps you'd get with CarPlay baked in. It only needs a hardware installation. 

BimmerTech's CarPlay MMI Prime retrofit for BMW is a hardware device that connects to your BMW's iDrive system and factory dashboard screen. It offers both Apple CarPlay and iOS screen mirroring in a single package — great not just for checking up-to-the-minute directions, but also mirroring other content from your iOS device. Yes, you can even play video on CarPlay MMI Prime! 

If your friends and family use Android, it includes Android Auto support, too, so everybody will be able to cast content from their phones. 

CarPlay MMI Prime is available for almost all BMWs from the previous few generations that don't have native support for Apple CarPlay. So if you were waiting to enjoy CarPlay (and an Apple CarPlay video hack or two, too), there's no reason not to. 

FAQ

Customer Reviews

Comments

This email is already registered.

Please Log In to continue.


[[reviewImageErr]]

[[comment.name]]

 [[comment.date]]

[[comment.text|raw]]


BimmerTech


Newsletter

To be up to date with promotions and news
from the world of BMW join our newsletter.

[[ emailError ]]

FAQ

Customer Reviews

Comments

This email is already registered.

Please Log In to continue.


[[reviewImageErr]]

[[comment.name]]

 [[comment.date]]

[[comment.text|raw]]


BimmerTech

Newsletter

To be up to date with promotions and news
from the world of BMW join our newsletter.

[[ errors.first('EMAIL') ]]