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BMW recently unveiled it’s new BMW Connected app which in turn likely signals where MINI Connected is heading. What’s interesting about the functionality of the app is that it’s now less about connecting your apps and their functionality to your car. Instead it’s more about simplifying navigation and connecting with your daily schedule. In other words its much less ambitious but theoretically much better at doing what it needs to do.

With this update BMW is getting out of the way for a seismic shift in automotive infotainment. They’re making room for CarPlay which will be optional on almost every BMW sold this fall (with Android Auto coming later). This chain of events is also happening at MINI with MINI Connected going from a sprawling patchwork of features to a much more streamlined connection point. We expect MINI to then follow BMW’s lead and offer CarPlay integration sometime in 2017. Whether this is a rolling update for March production or part of the larger model refresh scheduled for September of 2017 we’re not yet sure. But there’s no question that BMW’s corporate strategy is integrate these technologies into all of their brands and models.

As explained by Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Services and Business Models at the BMW Group, “Over the coming years, digitalisation is set to have a substantial impact on how we use our cars: digital services will emerge that connect us fully with our personal world, no matter whether we’re out on the road or at home. The car will be transformed into a smart device – intelligently connected, seamlessly integrated and perfectly tuned to the individual needs of each and every user. This is precisely what this new version of BMW Connected aspires to achieve.”

read the rest here

http://www.motoringfile.com/2016/08/19/future-mini-connected-carplay-android-auto/
 

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I completely agree that CarPlay and Android Auto are the future for car infotainment. It brings a uniform UX across car brands and takes the burden of keeping up to date with the latest features and apps off the manufacturers and puts it with the phone manufacturers in a system that is easily upgradable with new features instead of waiting years for companies like MINI to release them.

With most of the BMW lineup getting CarPlay and iDrive 5.0 now, we should (hopefully) see it available with the LCI refresh for the 2018 model year next summer. It's worth noting it is a $300 option with BMW so I would expect a similar charge from MINI. Unfortunately, MINI/BMW has no plans to implement Android Auto, though the Android BMW Connected app does support 3rd party apps and hopefully we'll see that make it's way to the Android MINI Connected app.
 
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Wonder if it will be available to any F series model with vis boost? Got to assume the software is there
I would not count on it being backwards compatible either way and on the BMW side navigation is required for CarPlay - I would expect MINIs will be the same and XL will be required for CarPlay. On the BMW side, only the new headunits with iDrive 5.0 are getting CarPlay so there is definitely a hardware difference, but we don't know if buying that $300 feature actually changes the hardware on top of that or if it's just coding. Until cars start arriving with it, we won't know for sure.
 
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