Skip to main content

You asked, BMW listened: Android Auto compatibility is coming in 2020

Image used with permission by copyright holder

BMW just dropped off the shrinking list of automakers that continue to resist Android Auto. The Munich-based automaker announced it will make wireless Android Auto available across most of its range of models in July 2020, and Digital Trends has learned that the feature will be free on every compatible car. The news comes shortly after BMW pledged to stop charging its customers an annual fee to use Apple CarPlay, Android Auto’s archnemesis.

Android Auto will come standard on BMWs equipped with iDrive 7, the company’s latest infotainment system, and Live Cockpit, a digital instrument cluster that replaces analog gauges. The newest evolution of iDrive is either standard or optional on a long list of models, including the 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, and 8 Series, as well as the X3, X5, X6, and X7. Motorists who want to replace the native infotainment system with an Android interface will need a compatible smartphone

The cool thing about BMW’s Android Auto integration is that the Google-developed software won’t simply replace the iDrive infotainment system on the wide, high-resolution screen mounted on top of the dashboard. It’s been adapted to also display information on the digital, driver-configurable instrument cluster, and even in the head-up display.

BMW owns the Mini brand, and models like the Hardtop and the Countryman still aren’t Android Auto compatible. Contacted by Digital Trends, a spokesperson for the British firm affirmed there’s no guarantee it will follow its parent company’s lead: “Mini won’t receive Android Auto functionality at the same time as it was just announced for BMW. At this time, we don’t have a confirmed timeline of when this functionality may become available on Mini models.”

Image used with permission by copyright holder

And, what about the Toyota Supra? It’s closely related to the BMW Z4, and its infotainment system is more German than Japanese, meaning it’s not Android-ready, either. We reached out to Toyota for clarification, and we’ll update this story when we learn more. As of this writing, the born-again coupe remains Apple CarPlay-compatible only, but, hey, at least it’s free.

We’ll get our first demo of BMW’s infotainment system during CES 2020. The decision to offer Android Auto brings the company in line with rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz, and it makes the list of anti-Google companies smaller than ever. Bentley and Porsche notably don’t offer the software, but both are planning to change that sooner rather than later.

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
The Google Pixel 9 Pro is official, and this is your first look at it
Official teaser of the Google Pixel 9 Pro.

If you've kept up with the news cycle over the last few weeks, you'll know that the Google Pixel 9 Pro has leaked ... a lot. After countless leaks spoiling the phone's design, specs, and more, Google has gone ahead and revealed the phone itself -- a month ahead of its official release.

A teaser video, aptly called "Introducing the Google Pixel 9 Pro," starts with a demonstration of Google Gemini, suggesting that Gemini will be a big focus for the Pixel 9 Pro. We then see the back of the Pixel 9 Pro with the text "Oh hi AI," followed by the Pixel 9 Pro name and a reminder about its August 13 launch.

Read more
Does the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 work with the iPhone?
The display turned on on the Galaxy Watch 7.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 7 may not look like much of an upgrade over its predecessor at first glance, but it packs some significant improvements under the hood that could be enough to tip the scales for those who have been thinking about jumping into one of Samsung’s latest wearables.

The latest Galaxy Watch adopts a classy green as its standard finish but otherwise retains the same iconic rounded design with a bright and crisp edge-to-edge display and compatibility with a broad assortment of watch bands. However, on the inside, you’ll find a new five-core Exynos W1000 chip that promises to deliver three times the performance of the Galaxy Watch 6, upgraded health sensors, a more accurate GPS, and the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized Sleep Apnea feature.

Read more
Best Prime Day smartwatch deals still available: Apple, Samsung, Fitbit
Best Prime Day Deals

The Prime Day deals have come and gone, but a few stubborn ones are sticking around. Whether you're on the hunt for Prime Day TV deals, Prime Day tablet deals, or Prime Day headphone deals, there are things on sale in every category -- and smartwatches are no different. We've found the best Prime Day deals on your favorite smartwatches, from Garmin Prime Day deals and Fitbit Prime Day deals to those awesome Apple Prime Day deals on the Apple Watch. Plus, since "Prime Day" is an Amazon thing but there is no barrier to other retailers having their own sales, we're playing the field. The following represents the best Prime Day smartwatch deals across the internet. We'll keep updating them, even after the event has ended.

 

Read more