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BMW Android Auto: Practical tips for BMW users

BMW Android Auto: Practical tips for BMW users

German automaker, BMW, has integrated the Android Auto app in its cars for a seamless driving experience for their customers.

BMW expects that Android Auto makes it easier for drivers to access their favourite navigation, media, and communication apps on the road to minimize distractions.

Android Auto lets you talk to Google and get things done with your voice, so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, according to BMW.

What do you need to get started? You simply just need to say, “Hey Google”.

Android Auto lets you talk to Google and get things done with your voice, so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, according to BMW.

What’s more? You can get real-time alerts with Google Maps, Waze, and more of your favourite mapping apps. You can even ask Google Assistant to find you the next fuel station along the way, check EV charging availability, or book a parking reservation for when you arrive and so on.

After enabling the Android Auto in its cars late last year, BMW rolled out its benefits and also brought out tips for simple use.

The benefits of Android Auto at a glance

  • Android Auto in your BMW provides secure and convenient access to smartphone apps (such as Spotify, your calendar, and Google Maps) in your BMW.
  • Android Auto was designed with safety in mind. With larger touch targets, a simplified interface, and easy-to-use voice actions, it’s designed to minimize distraction so you can stay focused on the road.
  • Hands-free help from Google: Use your voice to stay focused, connected, and entertained, keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. Just ask Google.
  • “Plug & play out, wireless in”: Seamless and wireless integration, no cables required.
  • Integrated directly into BMW’s fully digital cockpit, with the intelligent adaptation of guiding information in the instrument cluster’s Info Display as well as in the Head-Up Display.
  • Let Google Maps lead the way: It’s easy to get where you’re going with free voice-guided navigation, live traffic information, lane guidance, and more.

Talk to Google on Android Auto

Using Google Assistant is easy: Here’s how to get started

  • Start by saying “Hey Google”
  • or press the relevant button on the steering wheel
  • or tap the app symbols on the display
  • or tap the microphone symbol

Frequently asked questions about Android Auto in a BMW – and those all-important answers

What are the requirements to use Android Auto in a BMW?

Android Auto is supported by every BMW with a Live Cockpit Plus or Professional that runs on Operating System 7.

In addition, you need a compatible smartphone which is:

  • Any smartphone with Android 11.0 and 5GHz Wi-Fi. In the EU, smartphones must comply with additional regulatory requirements in order to use 5GHz Wi-Fi in the car.
  • Or, a Google or Samsung smartphone with Android 10.0.

Does my Android Device require a USB cable in order for it to connect via Android Auto?

No. BMW says it enables the wireless and convenient use of your Android Device with Android Auto. However, you can charge your smartphone via USB cable or via the wireless charging bay.

How do I connect my Android Device to Android Auto?

  1. Please select Android Auto on the BMW iDrive 7 Apps menu.
  2. Please make sure that Bluetooth on your smartphone is activated and visible.
  3. Please follow the steps on the central information display as well as on your smartphone.

What can I do in case Android Auto stopped working or did not connect?

In the event of connectivity issues, it is recommended to execute the following steps:

  1. Reboot your smartphone.
  2. Make sure that your smartphone has all available software updates installed.
  3. Retry Bluetooth pairing:

    a) Delete the smartphone on the mobile device settings in your BMW vehicle.

    b) Delete your BMW vehicle on the Bluetooth settings of your smartphone.

    c) Retry Bluetooth.

Will Android Auto be available as an Over the Air Update (OTA) with BMW Remote Services?

Android Auto is available as an upgrade Over The Air (OTA) with the BMW Remote Software Upgrade functionality to existing customers. The prerequisite to receive the Remote Software Upgrade are an iDrive Operating System 7, which comes with the Live Cockpit Professional (SA6U3) and Connected Package Professional (6C3/4). This counts for the following models: BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW X7, BMW 1, BMW 2, BMW 3, BMW 7, BMW 8, BMW Z4. However, the following models: BMW 5, BMW 6, BMW X3 and BMW X4 can get Android Auto only via a Software Update at the Dealership. Please contact your local dealer to receive more information.6

Is Android Auto a subscription service?

Android Auto has no runtime limitations and comes as part of the Connected Package Professional.

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Writer at Technology Times Media e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng