Only 2 BMW models do not have Android Auto

When shopping for a new car, most buyers want certain technology features, such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Unfortunately, not all new vehicles offer these benefits. Many BMW models include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, but surprisingly for the German luxury brand, two crossover SUVs don’t have Android Auto.

Here’s how Android Auto and Apple CarPlay work

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Android Auto and Apple CarPlay essentially do the same thing but for different brands. Almost everyone has a smartphone, and it can be tempting to use your mobile device when you’re on the road. It’s not safe, and that’s why these two smart features exist. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow users to connect their smartphone to their car.

So instead of looking at your phone while driving, all of your phone’s apps and features appear on the vehicle’s infotainment screen. It allows drivers to access the music apps they have on their phone, but also navigation apps, which means you can have GPS navigation without spending extra money on in-vehicle navigation.

But as the name suggests, the differences between the two features are based on brand compatibility. Apple CarPlay works exclusively with Apple iPhones, while Android Auto works with Android phones. For this reason, there are also slight differences between apps on each feature. For example, both can use Google Maps, but Android Auto users will have it easier than Apple CarPlay users. This is because Google developed the Android operating system, so the company’s apps are more compatible with Android devices.

BMW X1 and X2 have Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto

BMW X1 interior | BMW Group

It’s easy to see why many car buyers expect Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity in new cars, and surprisingly BMW didn’t offer those two features until recently. The luxury automaker has offered Apple CarPlay for a few years, but it wasn’t until 2020 that it decided it was time for BMW owners to get Android Auto as well.

And while most BMW models now include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, two still lack Android Auto integration. These are the BMW X1 and X2 subcompact crossover SUVs. The two are related, and that’s part of the reason why they don’t yet offer Android Auto connectivity.

Android Auto usually works by connecting a USB cable to the phone, but BMW uses a wireless version of the feature instead. This requires both the phone and the car to have high-tech hardware, and while most Bimmers have such hardware, the X1 and X2 don’t.

This is unique to the X1 and X2, but BMW has other issues too

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This issue is unique to the X1 and X2, but Bimmers had an issue that affects other models. According to The Verge, the chip shortage has caused a new problem for the German auto giant. Due to some logistical difficulties, many BMW cars have been built with chips that don’t allow Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to work, at least not yet.

These chips need to be updated via an over-the-air update, which will unlock these two features. Instead of letting these cars sit in the factory parking lot all day, BMW decided to deliver them and update them later. The good news is that this issue should not affect any BMW unit in the US or Canada.

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