BMW: We won't be changing the architecture of our cars for Apple (Update: OK, maybe)

BMW: We won't be changing the architecture of our cars for Apple (Update: OK, maybe)

Summary: A BMW spokesperson dissed Apple's iOS in the Car technology, implying that its own in-dash entertainment offering is superior. Then corporate threw it into reverse and went into damage-control mode.

TOPICS: Apple, Apps, iOS
BMW: We won't be changing the architecture of our cars for Apple - Jason O'Grady

When Eddy Cue announced iOS in the Car at WWDC this week he displayed a slide that showed the logos of 12 car manufacturers that were launching the technology first in their 2014 models. But one brand was noticeably absent: BMW.

iOS in the Car is an iPhone integration with automobiles that will be a feature of iOS 7 coming out in 2014. It will allow your vehicle's in-dash screen (typically used for navigation, entertainment, etc) to act as a secondary display for the iPhone, giving you access to Apple's iOS Maps app (and navigation) via an "eyes-free" integration with Siri. Cue mentioned that it will also work with Messages and third-party apps like Twitter and Wikipedia.

Cue's slide of participating car manufacturers (above) included the following logos:

  • Honda

  • Mercedes-Benz

  • Nissan

  • Ferrari

  • Chevrolet

  • Infinity

  • Kia

  • Hyundai

  • Volvo

  • Acura

  • Opel

  • Jaguar

BMW explained its absence from the iOS in the Car program to, saying, "we have such an advanced multimedia offering that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straightforward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]."

The BMW spokesperson also told that iOS integration with a car's dashboard is "not as simple as it sounds", so they believe iOS integration with BMW is unlikely to happen in the short or mid-term.

The statements are a curious about-face, considering that BMW issued a press release just five days earlier touting Siri integration with BMW's voice command controls and BMW iDrive.

BMW later back-pedalled from its remarks, telling AutoBlog that it is "currently investigating the technical challenges required to integrate iOS in the Car" and that a "final decision has not been made".

Is BMW's in-dash experience (below) so much superior to what iOS in the Car will offer? Clearly, it's too early to tell, but I think that BMW would be foolish to totally rule it out this early in the game.

Are you interested in better iOS integration with your vehicle? Would it influence your vehicle purchase decision?

Topics: Apple, Apps, iOS

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  • Excuses

    "iOS integration with a car's dashboard is "not as simple as it sounds"
    Yet Opel and Kia had no problem doing it..

    Actually, Im more surprised the VAG is not on that list.
    • Dashboard

      VAG and BMW have invested heavily over the last few years on getting fully integrated systems in their cars. The latest system in the new Golf has a "tablet like interface" with wipe gestures, according to the reviews I've read.

      Likewise, BMW has a highly integrated system and has spent a lot of time getting iPhones (up to 4S), Android and BlackBerry tightly integrated into it. The change to Lightning meant going back to the drawing board for much of the integration, which is why the iPhone 5 integration is taking so long.
    • It depends on what you've already got...

      What's the point in integration of maps, mail, phone if there's nothing left without it? I guess BMW will be looking at the overall packages of them and Apple. There's no point in having total integration for me, then find my wife and kids can't get the stuff as they don't use iphones. Only my wife would be affected in this house but the principle remains. PLUS.. what happens when your particular iphone is no longer upgradable, like the 3.

      Maybe Apple need to build a low cost IOS device hardwired into the car to get around this but it's a problem for any device that is likely to be tied to a person rather than a car, as far as I can see.

      As for Opel and Kia...... It's one thing supporting a device but quite another having your systems dependant on it; and being non existant without it. Imagine losing your iphone and having no satnav
      • "... low-cost iOS device..."

        Instantly overpriced as an option for ANY car.

        Personally, I just want to see a tablet-like interface that can be as intrusive or unobtrusive as you want it to be, with basic functions (clock, radio controls, etc) to stuff like Google or Mapquest-based navigation fed from your phone's internet connection.
  • It took them time...

    to support the iPhone 5 in their current system. The iPhone 3 and 4 were nicely integrated with a media snap-in, but the snap-in (docking bay, with video, audio, antenna and data connections) had to be totally redesigned to work with the iPhone 5 and, I beleive, that the new snap-in won't be able to provide boosted reception, because that was removed from the port specification in Lightning.
  • I Suppose Apple Is Over-represented Among The Tailgater Community...

  • I hope...

    I hope it's an open system that will also integrate with Android phones and Google maps. This is something I've wanted for some time. I'd really love Google's mapping and search capabilities on my auto GPS, and I long for the day that all car audio systems feature Bluetooth, A2DP and APTX so I can just play my music (or Pandora) off the phone itself. Not long ago, while on vacation I rented a car. It was the cheapest vehicle they had on the lot (because I'm that way), a Toyota Corolla. But I was rather pleasantly surprised to discover that the very basic radio in the car also featured Bluetooth with A2DP capabilities. Suddenly I was able to listen to music, take calls and use Google maps with voice guidance, and it all worked like a well integrated system. The only two things that were missing were APTX (for better audio music quality) and screen mirroring (which, given that the car stereo in question did not have a screen would have been quite impossible).
    • In-car phone integration

      I recently upgraded from a 22 year old Toyota Corolla (still in running condition) to an 18 month old Toyota Auris Hybrid. I plugged my iPod touch into the USB socket in the upper glove box and I immediately had next/previous track and volume up/down control on the steering wheel, plus various other controls on the audio console. A month later I bought a Samsung Galaxy S3, plugged it into the USB socket and "USB error" appeared on the audio console display. I was not happy - until I discovered that Bluetooth gave me the same facilities I'd discovered with the iPod. So now I can have both iPod and S3 operational, selectable and controllable. I don't need anything else. I forgot to mention that there is also a 3.5mm stereo jack socket into which I can connect my minidisc player, or other music source. Unfortunately there's no interface for my wind-up gramophone. I shall have to write to Toyota about this omission!
  • So,

    Your asking if your phone should influence your decision on what car to buy?


    Jason, there is more to life than Apple! Please find a proper religion!
    • Jealous, perhaps?

      Because your Android religion has not already set up a system to win car companies as converts?

      Then again I would not want my car to be run by an android operating system. Some fool would root it and prevent me from seeing the speedometer because he thought that it would be better to see the weather there.
      • I would not concidere anybody Jealous

        and personally, I would like that major manufacturers woul be system agnostic rather than lock them self in a single tech offering.

        it gets me all the time when I am out shopping for things I need for my latest gadget(phone as an example) that there is millions of things out there for iDevice and pittance for everything else. it's like all the F@#$% world revolves around Apple.

        I have nothing against Apple per see, and I can agree that iDevices and many Apple products are good and useful for their users. also if esthetics is more important for you over function and you do not mind paying a premium for that , go right ahead and pay. no skin off my nose.

        BUT I hate people who try to convince me that their device is better than what I use or/and like just because its made by Apple and looks good.

        I am an IT person. I am inquisitive enough to read specs and white papers, I know what inside of those devices
        And I even take my time to go into stores and play around with display models to get the feel of the devices just to keep myself in the know.

        I know that many components of your iPhone are made by the same mfg that make components for my phone. Android or windows does not matter.
        So why you claim that your IPhone is better quality than my Samsung? (they are after have the same components in them.)

        And quite frankly functionality wise I think my note 2 is much more future proof than your IP5.
        • re: vl1969

          I agree. I don't own an iAnything. I don't expect that to change anytime soon. A vehicle being dependent on an "external" device from a particular manufacturer for some of its functionality is NOT a selling point for me. Rather the opposite, in fact.
          rocket ride
          • 3rd party device

            Ideally, the car's in-dash system would have a default os (map, radio, a/c, etc), but would have a smooth transition to allow whatever third party device a customer prefers to drive the in-dash touch screen. Then its a simple matter of app development for commodity devices and a custom cable & mount point as opposed to custom software written for custom hardware with all the buy-in attachment that goes with it.

            Personally, I keep cars a very long time, and the idea of being stuck with a 10 yr old UI in a non-swappable, built in, user facing, dash board computer is just horrible. Cracks me up that the UI in my 1994 pickup is more sophisticated and capable than the in-dash system in most cars on the road, simply because the pickup just has a hard mount for whatever tablet'ish device I prefer today. (Note II or Galaxy Note 10.1).

            So, iPhone integration is a great step, but the journey needs to continue till the dash systems are platform independent. Then *I* might buy a new car.
        • And you'll be singing a different tune

          when the iPhone 4S gets iOS 9 and your Note 2 is stuck at Android 4.3 because Samsung wants you to buy a Note 4 instead.
          • err...

            For the folks that would buy a Note II; it won't matter a hill of beans what OS updates an iPhone gets, because for them, the screens of all apple phone products is too dang small. That said, to be fair, my Note II's been getting OS updates on a reasonable schedule, so props to Samsung and Verizon so far. I know I"ll never go back to a sub 5" screen, ever.
        • Apple devices look good?

          I don't know why people say apple devices look good. To me they look bland and featureless. They are not cutting edge in design, they are a step back into the past of dull featureless devices that all look identical.
          Apple only offer black or white, while a lot of other companies offer more colours.
          I have seen very few people who buy an apple device leaving it as is, but installing it in various coloured covers as soon as posible. If people really liked its so called esthetics, why is there such a big market for covers to change it's looks?
          Even theye horrible laptops are given makeovers by people buying snap on coloured covers for those, or plastering them with stickers.
      • Well, I'm jealous!

        Chance would be a fine thing to be able to afford to use a smart phone of any make never mind own a new car. :-0
        Laraine Anne Barker
      • Personally I think everyone would be better off if there was

        a standardized way to fully integrate you phone. That way no matter who makes it and what OS is on it it will work.
        Sam Wagner
    • iSheep don't have the money to buy a BMW after the markup apple levies

      I think the only people that might actually let a phone influence which car they buy are those that buy Toyotas (people that don't care one bit about cars). I find it funny that Toyauto isn't up there.
      • Toyota owners don't care one bit about cars?

        Not true. My last car was a BMW, hence presumably I care about cars. The BMW dealership was so poor, and the cost of maintaining the 3 Series so high, I bought a 4 Runner. It's an incredible vehicle. Point being I care very much about how great it is, and I absolutely agree with you.....where is Toyota on this list?