BMW i4 Showcases Fully Integrated Apple CarPlay in Instrument Cluster
BMW's upcoming flagship electric vehicle the "i4" features one of the most integrated Apple CarPlay experiences yet, recent promotional material has shown.
BMW describes the Apple CarPlay experience in the i4 as "even more seamless." The i4 features two curved displays and a heads-up display. All three displays can display information from Apple CarPlay simultaneously.
The BMW i4 features iDrive 8, which supports wireless Apple CarPlay, turn-by-turn Apple Maps prompts in the heads-up display, and Apple Maps and directions in the instrument cluster.
The new-generation BMW iDrive 8's higher degree of flexibility makes in-car use of third-party apps even simpler and more convenient in the future. BMW iDrive 8 features full integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The control display's large screen clearly presents all available apps in the system's menu. The user's favorite apps can be launched quickly and easily either via the main menu or the toolbar. The increased integration of app functions into the information display and even the BMW Head-Up Display also results in seamless transition throughout the screen grouping. And music streaming and communications apps are now integrated within BMW iDrive 8. They are displayed as original sources in the main menu, enabling customers to make full use of their apps' functions.
Many recent vehicles with Apple CarPlay already feature limited turn-by-turn directional information fed from Apple Maps on the driver's display, but BMW's full integration of Apple Maps into the instrument cluster is among the first implementations of its kind.
Apple Maps and navigation information is displayed in the middle of the instrument cluster, unifying with BMW iDrive's interface that is laid on top of it.
Turn-by-turn prompts and Apple Maps in the second display have been supported in CarPlay as of iOS 13, but BMW is among the first to have implemented the full view of Apple Maps in the second display instrument cluster. BMW appears to be using a large number of Apple developer features such as independent night mode per H.246 stream to accomplish this close integration.
BMW has been an early adopter of Apple vehicle-related software features, such as Digital Key and Ultra Wideband Digital Key Plus, in recent years, although it only started offering CarPlay in 2016 and came under fire for charging a $80 per year fee for access to it, before reneging on the subscription following negative feedback.
The BMW i4 launches in Europe later this year and in the United States in summer 2022.