It’s difficult to avoid using your smartphone in a car because everyone wants to use media streaming, have access to popular navigation apps or get the most out of their other favorite iOS/Android applications. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to do in a BMW, but there are ways and BimmerTech will help you implement them.
You can start by considering screen mirroring devices. There is SmartView Apple TV3/4 which allow screen mirroring for iPhone. If you’re looking for Android screen mirroring solutions, there is SmartView HD Flex which is also compatible with Apple devices. In general these upgrades provide screen mirroring over WiFi. They let you screen share anything displayed on your smartphone while the sound is played through the BMW stereo (the signal comes through an AUX port).
If you’re interested purely in audio streaming, then you should enable Enhanced Bluetooth (software activation) or add Combox Media PnP Retrofit (hardware upgrade). Both of these products ensure that you have the BMW Bluetooth audio streaming option as well as the possibility to pair two devices over Bluetooth and play music from the phone through a USB cord. Please note that what comes in the Enhanced Bluetooth package depends entirely on the BMW model and the type of smartphone you have. So before making a purchase, go to BMW’s official website and check what you get with Enhanced Bluetooth update.
If audio streaming is not the end of your BMW smartphone integration ambitions, there are more options to choose from. If you have the latest iDrive system (NBT Evo ID5/ID6), you can count BMW CarPlay activation which lets you use your favorite iPhone apps on your BMW’s screen. But BMW Apple CarPlay compatibility is rather limited. That’s why it’s also a good idea to look into CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit. It provides you with the same functionality and the same BMW CarPlay apps, though there are also additional features that the original software can’t boast about.
Android users can rejoice as well — among available upgrades there is also Android Auto MMI Prime. This is a unique retrofit that supports using Spotify, Google Maps, Messenger and other apps from your Android device on the iDrive screen. BMW Android Auto is completely integrated with the system so you can use all the traditional BMW controls to operate the software.
If you’re interested in screen sharing products, the BMW CarPlay retrofit or Android Auto for BMW, identify your vehicle to learn whether it’s compatible with these upgrades.