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Tuesday, 15 January 2019 15:40

BMW Original Apple CarPlay vs BimmerTech CarPlay MMI PLUS

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Integrating an iPhone with your BMW is one of the best things that could happen to the owner of 2 of the most popular brands out there, and it’s all possible thanks to a BMW CarPlay upgrade.

What is Apple CarPlay? Read about it in detail in our blog post.

Stats say that Apple CarPlay, together with Android Auto, “were available in 46% of new vehicles sold in Europe in Q1 2018 and 52% of new vehicles sold in the US.” And it’s great news, but what about BMWs with older iDrive systems that are not compatible with BMW CarPlay activation? For those who are not aware of this fact and have already made some ambitious plans, original BMW Apple CarPlay upgrade can be activated in cars only with NBT Evo ID5/ID6 iDrives.*

*Don’t know which iDrive version you have? Find out in this blog post.

But no worries, BimmerTech has your back - in August, 2018, we launched our own CarPlay MMI which works in cars with older iDrive systems. This BMW CarPlay retrofit was revised and improved, and in May, 2018, the new-generation CarPlay MMI PLUS was launched. It is absolutely the same in terms of the look & feel of the BMW CarPlay apps, with the same standard applications available. However, it differs from the original BMW CarPlay in other ways. Check out our brief infographic to understand the difference.

BWM Apple Carplay

Which CarPlay is your BMW compatible with? Check here.


How Do I Set up CarPlay in my BMW?

So, the main difference lies in the way you add Apple CarPlay to BMW, and the logic behind that is very simple. Original software only requires activation via USB (and sometimes Wi-Fi antenna) or cable coding because the functionality is pre-set from the factory. However, BMW CarPlay retrofit from BimmerTech is a full hardware retrofit as you equip a BMW with a feature that is not supposed to be there.

BMW Wireless CarPlay

Original BMW Apple CarPlay supports a wireless connection between the iPhone and car. That’s why your BMW has to be equipped with the Wi-Fi antenna to use BMW CarPlay over WiFi. Check whether your BMW needs Wi-Fi antenna here. In CarPlay MMI mode you actually need to connect an iOS device via an original Apple lightning cable which also lets you simultaneously charge the smartphone, so your vehicle doesn’t need a Wi-Fi antenna.

BMW CarPlay Update: Full-Screen Mode

Now you can ditch the split display and go full-screen to get a BMW CarPlay 2019 look. BMW Apple CarPlay compatibility with this feature is limited to NBT Evo ID5/ID6 iDrives with the software updated in 03/2018 or later. To check your software version, go to Settings -> Software Update -> Show current version.  BMW owners with NBT Evo ID5/ID6 and software version between 07/2016 & 02/2018 can have Apple CarPlay, but are not compatible with full screen.

If you want to update your BMW, contact us at [email protected] with your VIN and we will help you out.

In BimmerTech CarPlay MMI PLUS, the full-screen mode is available for all compatible vehicles as a standard option.

Read 6327 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 July 2019 10:40
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