Skip to main content

When looking for a new car, most shoppers want certain tech features, such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Unfortunately, not all new vehicles provide those perks. 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

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. That’s unsafe, and that’s why these two smart features exist. Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow users to connect their smartphones to their cars.

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

But as their names imply, 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. Due to that, there are also slight differences between apps on each feature. For example, both can use Google Maps, but Android Auto users will have an easier time than Apple CarPlay users. That’s because Google developed the Android operating system, so the company’s apps are more compatible with Android devices.

The BMW X1 and X2 have Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto

BMW Android Auto
BMW X1 cockpit | BMW Group

It’s easy to see why many car buyers have come to expect Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity in new cars, and surprisingly, BMW did not offer both of these features until recently. The luxury automaker has offered Apple CarPlay for a few years, but it only decided in 2020 that it was time for BMW owners to get Android Auto too.

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

Android Auto usually works by connecting a USB cable to the phone, but BMW is instead using a wireless version of the feature. This requires the phone and the car to have some high-tech hardware, and though 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

That 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 issue for the German auto giant. Due to some logistical difficulties, many BMW cars were built with chips that do not allow Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to work, at least not yet.

Those chips need to be updated through an over-the-air update, and that will unlock those two features. Instead of letting those cars sit around at the factory parking lot all day, BMW decided to deliver them and update them later. The good news is this issue shouldn’t affect any BMW units in the U.S. or Canada.


Does the 2023 Mini Cooper Have Android Auto?