We don’t want Apple or Google to take over

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(Pocket-lint) – BMW has been at the forefront of a number of automotive developments from Apple in recent years, often the first brand to offer more advanced features than the iPhone.

It was the first to offer wireless Apple CarPlay – and actually wasn’t interested in Android Auto until it was possible to do it wireless – but it was also the first brand to add support for Apple CarKey, having joined the to establish the standard behind.

But there’s only so much BMW can leave to Apple or Google when it comes to controlling its vehicles. While BMW is happy for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to offer a range of phone functions in a car, there is a limit when it comes to controlling the car’s functions.


In an interview with Frank Weber, BMW board member and chief technology officer of the German car brand, we asked what BMW thinks about Apple’s desire to take over all the screens in a car and control a giant CarPlay experience.

This experience was showcased at WWDC 2022 and is expected to be supported in a number of launch vehicles in 2023. But how would BMW feel about relinquishing control to a third party?

“We don’t like that,” Weber said, “because it’s a BMW and not an Apple car.”

Weber made it clear that the phone features were welcome: “We want a pleasant experience [pour] the way you incorporate the typical phone features and the interactions that you’re used to on the phone,” Weber pointed out, “but then there’s a space that’s automotive-oriented, and that’s certainly our space.”

Apple CarPlay has undoubtedly been popular. Many now get into their cars, have their phones plugged in, and bypass any provision the automaker may have made for major entertainment services.

Using a service like Apple CarPlay has always had one downside, and that’s integration. Although the head-up display is supported and music identification is possible in the cluster or heads-up display, you’ll find that if you choose to use something like Apple Maps or Waze, you only get the benefit and not the same level of integration as with the car’s own systems.

“When it comes to checking out a vehicle, looking for a charging station, rating the charging station, here’s your selection of charging stations, what’s happening nearby – we want to have that customer interaction in like BMW and not leave it to Apple.”

“There are more and more functions, especially for electric vehicles – how is the battery condition? Is it hot? Is it cold? When will you arrive at a destination – It has nothing to do with a phone taking over your vehicle”, adds Weber .

Apple’s goal for the next generation of CarPlay is to provide an interface for much more than just entertainment, delivering the Apple experience across all screens in the car – including the dashboard and things like the fuel gauge, speedometer or climate control.


On the same topic, Christophe Grote, SVP of electronics and software at BMW, said during a session at CES 2023 that Apple would support phone mirroring features, but that a complete system spanning anything but phone mirroring would not be supported.

Apple is not highlighted by BMW: Google is actually in the same position, BMW does not want to offer all the Google car services (like you find in Polestar or Volvo, for example), mainly because what licenses are involved and what happens with customer data. BMW does not wish to provide this data to Google.

However, BMW will switch to an Android platform for Operating System 9, its next-generation in-car software experience.

But what BMW is doing is using the open-source Android operating system for cars, fully customized for a BMW experience and offering a range of built-in apps provided by the Faurecia Aptoide app store – BMW retains full control rather than relinquishing anything of it to Google.

Modern cars are moving away from the traditional realms of ride and handling towards connected digital experiences, but it’s clear that BMW wants to maintain control and develop its own experience without sacrificing connectivity and experiences offered by companies like Apple and Google .

Written by Chris Hall.

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