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Do You Have to Pay for Apple CarPlay in BMW? Explained

Apple CarPlay is a popular in-car technology that allows drivers to connect their iPhone to their vehicle’s infotainment system. BMW is one of the many automakers that offer this feature in their vehicles. However, BMW owners have been asking whether they have to pay for Apple CarPlay, and if so, how much.

A person sitting in a BMW car, looking at the center console with the question "do you have to pay for Apple CarPlay?" displayed on the screen

The short answer is that BMW owners do not have to pay for Apple CarPlay anymore. Previously, BMW charged an annual fee of $80 for Apple CarPlay functionality in their vehicles. However, starting in 2021, BMW made Apple CarPlay standard on all cars equipped with navigation, without any additional costs. This decision was made after BMW received negative feedback from customers who felt that the annual fee was unjustified.

Key Takeaways

  • BMW owners no longer have to pay for Apple CarPlay in their vehicles.
  • Previously, BMW charged an annual fee of $80 for Apple CarPlay functionality.
  • Starting in 2021, BMW made Apple CarPlay standard on all cars equipped with navigation, without any additional costs.

Overview of Apple CarPlay in BMW

Apple CarPlay is a feature that allows iPhone users to access their phone’s apps, contacts, and music through their BMW’s infotainment system. It is a convenient way to stay connected while on the road, and many BMW owners appreciate the seamless integration between their phone and vehicle.

Compatibility

Apple CarPlay is available in most BMW models, including the 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, and Z4. However, it is important to note that not all BMW models are compatible with Apple CarPlay, and some may require additional equipment or software updates to enable the feature.

Integration Process

To use Apple CarPlay in a BMW, the user must first connect their iPhone to the vehicle’s infotainment system using a USB cable. Once connected, the Apple CarPlay icon will appear on the BMW’s display screen, and the user can access their phone’s apps, contacts, and music through the vehicle’s touchscreen or voice commands.

It is also worth noting that BMW charges an annual fee for Apple CarPlay in some models. However, as of 2019, BMW owners can enjoy Apple CarPlay for free, making it a more accessible feature for those who want to stay connected while on the road.

In conclusion, Apple CarPlay is a popular feature among BMW owners, providing a convenient way to access their phone’s apps, contacts, and music while on the road. As long as the BMW model is compatible and the user follows the integration process, they can enjoy the benefits of Apple CarPlay without any additional fees.

Cost of Apple CarPlay for BMW Owners

A BMW dashboard with Apple CarPlay displayed, a payment prompt on the screen, and a hand reaching towards the touchscreen

BMW was one of the first automakers to offer Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, but for a while, it charged an annual fee for the service. However, the good news for BMW owners is that the company has now made Apple CarPlay free for its vehicles.

Initial Activation Fee

BMW used to charge an initial activation fee for Apple CarPlay, which was around $300 for a lifetime membership or $80 for a 12-month subscription. However, this fee is no longer applicable, and BMW owners can activate Apple CarPlay for free.

Subscription Model

In the past, BMW charged an annual subscription fee for Apple CarPlay, but it has now discontinued this model. Any BMW owner who has a 2019 or 2020 model year vehicle and is a current BMW-Apple CarPlay subscriber will no longer have to pay for a monthly or annual subscription.

It’s worth noting that some BMW models may still require an additional hardware upgrade to enable Apple CarPlay. In these cases, the upgrade cost will still apply. However, for most BMW owners, Apple CarPlay is now a free and easy-to-use feature that enhances their driving experience.

In conclusion, BMW owners can now enjoy the benefits of Apple CarPlay without having to pay any additional fees. This move by BMW brings it in line with other automakers who offer Apple CarPlay as a standard feature in their vehicles.

Benefits of Using Apple CarPlay in BMW

Apple CarPlay is a feature that has been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. It allows drivers to access their favorite apps and features on their iPhone directly from their BMW’s infotainment system. Here are some of the benefits of using Apple CarPlay in your BMW:

  • Hands-free operation: With Apple CarPlay, drivers can use Siri to make phone calls, send text messages, and access other features without taking their hands off the wheel. This helps to reduce distractions and improve safety on the road.
  • Access to favorite apps: With Apple CarPlay, drivers can access their favorite apps directly from their BMW’s infotainment system. This includes apps like Maps, Music, and Podcasts, as well as third-party apps like Spotify and WhatsApp.
  • Improved navigation: Apple CarPlay integrates with Apple Maps, providing drivers with turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic updates. This can help drivers to navigate more efficiently and avoid traffic congestion.
  • Seamless integration: Apple CarPlay is designed to seamlessly integrate with your BMW’s infotainment system, providing a familiar and intuitive user experience. This makes it easy to use and reduces the learning curve for new users.
  • Regular updates: Apple CarPlay is regularly updated with new features and improvements, ensuring that drivers always have access to the latest and greatest technology. This helps to keep your BMW’s infotainment system up-to-date and relevant.

Overall, Apple CarPlay is a valuable feature for BMW drivers who want to stay connected and access their favorite apps while on the road. With its hands-free operation, access to favorite apps, improved navigation, seamless integration, and regular updates, it’s easy to see why Apple CarPlay has become such a popular feature in recent years.

Alternatives to Apple CarPlay for BMW Users

While Apple CarPlay is a popular feature among BMW owners, it is not the only option available for integrating smartphones with the car’s infotainment system. Here are a few alternatives that BMW users can consider:

Android Auto

Android Auto is a similar platform to Apple CarPlay, but it is designed for Android smartphones. It allows users to access their phone’s functions, such as Google Maps, messaging, and music, through the car’s display. While BMW does not currently offer Android Auto as a built-in feature, users can still use it through a third-party device, such as an Android Auto head unit.

MirrorLink

MirrorLink is another option for integrating smartphones with the car’s infotainment system. It is a technology that allows users to mirror their phone’s screen on the car’s display. While it is not as widely supported as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, it is still available on some BMW models.

BMW ConnectedDrive

BMW ConnectedDrive is a suite of services that allows users to connect their BMW to the internet and access various features, such as remote control, concierge services, and real-time traffic information. While it is not specifically designed for smartphone integration, it does offer some functions that are similar to those offered by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Overall, while Apple CarPlay is a popular feature among BMW owners, there are alternatives available for those who do not wish to use it or do not want to pay for it. BMW users can consider Android Auto, MirrorLink, or BMW ConnectedDrive as alternatives for integrating their smartphones with their car’s infotainment system.

Wireless CarPlay and Android Solutions For BMW

For BMW owners who want to take their driving experience to the next level, there are several options. One of the most popular options is the BMW AI Box, which provides a fully-fledged Android system to the car and enables wireless connectivity. The BMW AI Box also allows for the use of a dedicated 4G SIM card, which provides access to a wider range of software and services.

For those whose BMWs do not have CarPlay, there are two seamless options to integrate this technology without compromising the integrity of the vehicle’s design. The first option is the BMW exclusive car decoding module, which offers a straightforward solution to add CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. This module requires no modifications to the original car screen and avoids any dismantling of the vehicle.

Alternatively, for those who want an upgrade, they can opt for a higher performance BMW exclusive joint screen or Android screen. This option promises a larger display and additional features, though it does necessitate the removal of the center control dashboard.

Whichever option one chooses, these solutions are designed to help better choose the right product, ensuring that the BMW meets all connectivity needs. With these wireless CarPlay and Android solutions, BMW owners can enjoy a seamless and convenient driving experience with all the latest technology at their fingertips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a subscription fee for Apple CarPlay in BMW vehicles?

Yes, BMW charges an annual subscription fee of $80 to use Apple CarPlay in their vehicles. This fee is charged through the BMW ConnectedDrive suite of app services.

How can I activate Apple CarPlay in my BMW and what are the costs involved?

To activate Apple CarPlay in your BMW, you need to have an iPhone 5 or newer running on iOS 9.3 or higher, with an active data plan, Siri, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capabilities turned on. You also need to have iDrive 5.0 or newer and BMW Navigation system installed in your vehicle.

The cost of activating Apple CarPlay in your BMW is $80 per year, charged through the BMW ConnectedDrive suite of app services.

Are new BMW models equipped with Apple CarPlay as a standard feature?

Yes, most new BMW models come equipped with Apple CarPlay as a standard feature. However, some older models may require an upgrade to iDrive 5.0 or newer and BMW Navigation system to use Apple CarPlay.

Can I get Apple CarPlay installed for free in my BMW?

No, BMW does not offer free installation of Apple CarPlay in their vehicles. You will need to pay the annual subscription fee of $80 to use Apple CarPlay in your BMW.

What is the price of Apple CarPlay for various BMW series like the 5, 3, or 2 series?

The price of Apple CarPlay is the same for all BMW series, which is $80 per year.

How do I check if my BMW is compatible with Apple CarPlay?

To check if your BMW is compatible with Apple CarPlay, you can visit the BMW website and enter your vehicle’s VIN number. Alternatively, you can contact your local BMW dealership for more information.

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