Android Auto in your BMW: Our tips for your next trip

9 min reading time
Android Auto brings your favorite smartphone apps to your BMW, making it easier to access your favorite navigation, media, and communication apps on the road while minimizing distractions. You can talk to Google and get things done with your voice, so you can keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Just say, “Hey Google” to get started.

7 December 2020

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Android Auto makes smartphone integration even easier in your BMW. No cable is needed to connect the smartphone to the vehicle. You need Operating System 7 in order to use Android Auto (➜ Read more: Your guide to BMW software updates). Apps and functions appear on the cockpit displays just like they do on your smartphone screen. The head-up display also shows navigation instructions from Google Maps.

Google Assistant makes driving an even more comfortable experience. Now you can control your music or search for your next destination with a simple voice command, or even dictate messages – all the while allowing drivers to fully concentrate on driving (➜ Read more: Overview of the main driver assistance systems). Android Auto complements the world of BMW Connected Drive and seamlessly integrates your Android smartphone with your BMW.

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 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

Five voice commands for hands-free help in the car

1

“Hey Google, what’s on my agenda?”

It’s a normal working day, with one appointment after the next. It’s easy to lose track of things. But one thing is clear – things are getting tight. So you hop in the car and go. Because, thanks to Android Auto, you can ask Google when and where your next meeting is. The system also calculates how long the journey to the destination will take. And if there are any traffic problems, it plans around those too. After another simple voice command, Google Maps will guide you to your meeting – there may even be time for a coffee beforehand.

2

“Hey Google, take me to the nearest gas station”

So, you’re off to your meeting. On the way, the fuel gage is already in the red. What to do? Well in the times of the connected car (➜ Read more: The connected car), this is not even a challenge. With a little help from Google, you can find the fastest way to the next gas station en route to your destination. And you can see it in the head-up display, where all navigation information appears together right in a driver’s field of vision.

3

“Hey Google, play my pop playlist”

Looking for an instant mood lift at the press of a button or with your voice? No problem whether your app of choice is YouTube Music, Spotify or Amazon Music, you can use your voice to play your favorite music. On an endless loop, too, if that’s what you want... And the best bit? It will still work even if your smartphone is in your work bag in the trunk – thanks to the wireless car connectivity.

4

“Hey Google, text Mom ‘I’ll be late’”

Running late for the big family dinner? That never goes down well. So it’s better to let them know and make your apologies. In order to save time, you can send text messages hands-free. Here too, though, Android Auto puts safety first: if you’re turning or in a tricky traffic situation, the text or chat notification is delayed so that you’re not distracted.

5

“Hey Google, remind me to buy milk at 7pm” or “Hey Google, add milk to my shopping list”

…because if you get home and you’ve missed something at the supermarket, your sweetheart may not be pleased. But Android Auto in your BMW also helps you guard against this. And, thanks to the reminder function, it will also remind you of those key ingredients, multiple times if you ask. And what could be more practical than this: as well as reading out the shopping list, you can ask Google to show you the fastest way to the supermarket. And then to the next five stores as you try to track down those ingredients…

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

1

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.

You can always check g.co/androidauto/requirements for the latest information.

2

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

No. BMW 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.

3

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.

Or check out the YouTube tutorial on how to connect Android Auto in a BMW.

4

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. Please reboot your smartphone.
  2. Please make sure that your smartphone has all available software updates installed.
  3. Please retry Bluetooth pairing:

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

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

    c) Please retry Bluetooth.
5

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.

7

In which countries can you use Android Auto and the Google Assistant?

The list of countries is continuously expanding, but as of December 2020, Google Assistant is available in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada (EN)
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • India (EN)
  • Norway
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Google Assistant functionality may vary by language and country. To see the full list of countries with Android Auto support, please check this link.

Please note: Google, Android, Android Auto, Google Maps and other marks are trademarks of Google LLC.