Starting in July 2020, every BMW equipped with the Operating System 7.0 software released in 2018 and Live Cockpit will be compatible with wireless Android Auto, so users will not need to plug their phone into a USB port. The Munich-based automaker is late to Google's in-car connectivity party, but it made up for lost time by fully integrating Android Auto into its digital ecosystem.
At its core, Android Auto embeds key functions and apps — like navigation and Spotify — into the car's infotainment screen, where the interface overlays the native infotainment system. In a BMW, Android Auto will show information in the digital, driver-configurable instrument cluster, and even in the head-up display. Tech-hungry motorists will appreciate this feature, but it's also a big win for Alphabet, whose foray into the automotive industry isn't limited to autonomous cars.
BMW will demonstrate how it integrated Android Auto into its digital cockpit at CES 2020. To use it, owners will need a compatible smartphone, and a compatible car. Don't expect to get Android Auto beamed to your car from Silicon Valley if you drive a 2014 3 Series. The Operating System 7.0 required to run the software is packed into a long list of new and recent models, like the current-generation 3 Series (pictured), the seven-seater X7, and the Z4 roadster. Android Auto will be free, like Apple CarPlay.
A Mini spokesman says it won't be getting Android Auto for a while. And Toyota hasn't revealed what — if anything — this means for the Supra. We've reached out to the company, and we'll update this story if we hear back.
The list of automakers still resisting Android Auto shrinks annually. Bentley doesn't offer it, though that's set to change soon. Porsche remains CarPlay-only, but we wouldn't be surprised if it follows BMW's lead in the near future. Connectivity is an increasingly important selling point.