German carmaker BMW has confirmed it will be offering Android Auto connectivity in its vehicles from July 2020.
As it stands, BMW only offers Apple CarPlay connectivity for its vehicles and worse, it charges customers for the privilege. In a country such as South Africa where Apple sits behind Samsung and Huawei in terms of ownership reach, the lack of Android Auto connectivity is a dour point. At the launch of the new BMW 1 Series in Munich, we had a chance to chat to some of the tech engineers who mentioned that Android Auto would come at some point.
Now, it's official and BMW confirms that not only will Android Auto be made available for its products, but Apple Carplay will be free. Impressively, Android Auto connectivity will be wireless and there'll be no need to plug the phone in.
“Many of our customers have pointed out the importance to them of having Android Auto inside a BMW for using a number of familiar Android smartphone features safely without being distracted from the road, in addition to BMW’s own functions and services,” says Peter Henrich, Senior Vice President Product Management BMW. “We will offer this service to our customers starting in July 2020.”
From what BMW is saying, the Android Auto integration is impressive. Not only will you get the typical menu functionality you can see in the image above, but there'll also be an interface in the gauge cluster as well as the head-up display. We're assuming this compatibility is only for the latest iteration of BMW's operating system, dubbed OS 7. We'll see the first demo of Android Auto in a BMW at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 and will be available for customers in 20 countries from July 2020.