BMWs are finally getting a facelift with the move to Android and BMW OS 9.0

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Android finally comes to BMW cars with the new version of the operating system BMW OS 9.0. On the program: a new interface for the BMW iDrive system, but above all the arrival of an app store, such as the Apple iPhone App Store. Enough to improve life on board the cars of the German brand.

The iDrive 8 multimedia system arrives for the first time in the new BMW iX

Article updated on March 9, 2023: In a press release, BMW announces the imminent arrival of BMW OS 8.5 and BMW OS 9.0, as we indicated last January. The German mark specifies that a ” The new start screen with clearly organized functions offers greater ease of use on the large curved BMW Curved Display. The system’s QuickSelect concept also brings an improved menu structure that is inspired by mobile devices.« .

The embedded system will become more and more interesting, as these two new versions of BMW OS will make it possible to offer ” a broader offer of digital information and entertainment content, shorter feature update cycles, better information on charging stations for electric vehicles and better access to a multitude of specific online services”.

During CES, the brand specified that an app store would be available with BMW OS 9.0 but not with the BMW OS 8.5 version. The reason was technical: the former now runs on Android (AOSP) while the latter remains on Linux. We contacted the German manufacturer for more information, as the press release does not mention it.

Finally, regarding the availability of these two new systems, we will have to be patient. BMW OS 8.5 will be integrated into the BMW 7 Series (including the electric BMW i7); BMW iX, BMW i4, BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW X7 and BMW XM, from models produced in July 2023. BMW OS 9.0 will be integrated into the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and BMW X1 (and BMW iX1 Electric) from November 2023.

If you already have one of these models, it seems that the update is impossible. These two new versions of BMW OS will be factory-installed directly in cars produced in the future.

Original article from January 6, 2023

: On the occasion of CES in Las Vegas, BMW announced some important new features for its models, starting with the iDrive 9 infotainment system that will run on Android.

In March 2021, BMW presented its iDrive 8 multimedia system. This is something of a revolution for the manufacturer, since this new operating system has revolutionized the interiors of the most modern BMWs.

This system is based in particular on a double slab that we find in particular on the BMW iX, but also on the redesigned 3 Series or the new BMW iX1. This system makes it possible to practically dispense with physical controls and go practically to touch.

For a better customer experience

A little over a year and a half after its introduction, BMW will soon be making major changes to its system with the arrival of the iDrive 9 system. And the first vehicle to benefit from this will not be one of the manufacturer’s flagship models like the new BMW i7, but the “small” X1 SUV.

In two months, the BMW iDrive 9 system will arrive in the BMW X1 and iX1 with a completely new user interface, new features and even an app store. It must be said that the ergonomics of the BMW iDrive 8 sometimes left a lot to be desired, with numerous menus and submenus that made navigation difficult at times. On the other hand, for customers who already received their X1, they will not be able to have an upgrade with iDrive 9.

In fact, according to the words of BMW reported by BMW Blog, “This only applies to vehicles new to the production line, as the iDrive 9 technology is based on a new central infotainment unit. BMWs with iDrive 8 already in the field will not be able to update to OS9. Of course, however, they will continue to be updated via Remote Software Updates. »

Old-fashioned BMW Android Automotive

For high-end models such as the new BMW i7 or the future BMW i5, it will be an iDrive 8.5 multimedia system, but the mark indicates that it will be practically identical to the iDrive 9. What is the reason for this difference? According to BMW, it is for technical reasons and coding platforms that each car uses.

Les BMW Série 5 ou Série 7, et la plupart des autres modèles BMW plus globalement, on des systèmes bases sur Linux, tandis que le nouveau X1, et les futurs X2 et futures Mini on des sistèmes bases sur Android Automotive comme il était prévu depuis many months. Therefore, upgraded iDrive systems must be slightly different to work with each system.

However, iDrive 8.5 and iDrive 9 will be identical and will have the same user interface. There will simply be some differences in terms of functionality. For example, iDrive 8.5 will not take advantage of the app store of the iDrive 9 system. For those allergic to touch screens, BMW has also indicated that it is working on a more efficient voice command..

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