When ordering an Android Head Unit or an Apple CarPlay/Android Auto MMI box for a BMW, one of the things we're going to ask you is what menu you currently have inside the vehicle.
This is for one simple reason if you don't select the correct version your MMI Box or Android Head Unit will not go into the car correctly, as each item on our store for the BMW with iDrive Menus is tailored specifically to each version of the car/menu respectively. This guide can also be used independently if you wanted to get a unit elsewhere, but cross reference this blog post with the system you're ordering, to ensure you don't order the wrong version!
In this post we'll include a handy guide to help you figure out which version you've got inside your car, the included table and images will help you visually confirm which version you have, thus allowing you to know which version you've got without having to send us an email with a picture of your car's menu attached for us to do it for you.
The CIC iDrive menu is the oldest variant of the I-Drive Menu and is not added to any newer versions of BMW out there, this menu was in use till around 2009, although this varies between models that were released around this time, and was a great Multi-Media display at the time, with several great options for the user like Hands-Free Calls, Navigation, limited Multi-Media Applications and Climate Control, all accessed through the controls in the car.
The list is as follows:
This is an Image of the CCC I-Drive Menu, this will help you confirm visually which one you have in the car:
The NBT iDrive menu was introduced around 2009 and is the most common menu for cars that we sell Android Head Units and MMI boxes for.
The list goes as:
*2009 - 2013
Here is an image of the CIC iDrive menu so you can confirm visually which one you have in the car:
This is the latest and last version of the iDrive named MMI systems that BMW created, although there are newer versions this is the end of the first generation of this iDrive menu. This was introduced in 2013 and lasted till around 2016/17 when they moved onto the newer EVO MMI menus. This one is incredibly similar to the previous menu but offers a more refined look.
The list goes as follows:
Here is a picture of the iDrive menu so you can confirm visually which one you have:
And this is the BMW EVO Menu, which is the latest version of the Multi-Media Menu that BMW have placed into their cars, from around 2016 onwards this menu is prevalent
The list goes as follows:
Here is a picture of the EVO menu for visual confirmation:
*please note that these are estimations, based upon the manufacturers advice, it doesn't mean that all car's between these years utilize this menu, it simple is the most likely version for that year of car, if you're still unsure give us a call or send us an email and we're ahppy to vonfirm visually for your if you're struggling to identify which iDrive version you have.
Most people have moved on from CDs and Cassettes long ago, they're almost fossils at this point. We prefer to use online libraries of music like Spotify, Waze, and Apple Music. There are a few reasons as to why this is, from the connections between our Phones, PCs, Tablets, Laptops, and our virtual assistants like Alexa.
We're looking for a seamless transition from physical to the virtual, and one of the main concerns people have when getting a multimedia radio for their car is "Can I get Spotify to work on this unit?"
Some aftermarket head units do allow for Spotify, Waze, and Apple Music, and some don't for a plethora of reasons.
So is there a way to get Spotify working on a Stock Head Unit?
Short Answer, Not without getting an Aftermarket Android/Carplay Head unit.
Most Stock car radios usually don't come with the ability to connect to the play store/app store, to download Spotify, Waze, Apple Music.
The main factor that stops a good portion of people from getting an Aftermarket head unit, is that they are unsure of the benefits of having one.
Fortunately, most systems nowadays are brimming with useful, functional, and interesting features, that rival a PC in terms of functionality. These new head units, especially the newly released Android 11.0 in-car entertainment systems on our site, have an immense array of possibilities.
Need an internet connection to use Spotify on the System, fortunately as the systems have internal storage, it is possible to connect the system to the internet once, to download songs to use, assuming you have Spotify Premium, you'll be able to download the songs onto the system, and use them offline as well. If you don't have Spotify Premium, don't fret, most systems now also come with Bluetooth or Screen Mirroring, allowing you to connect your mobile phone to the head unit and play Spotify on your radio.
There are a lot of discrepancies when getting applications like Spotify, Waze, or Apple Music working on some head units, usually, require a lot of Mobile Data, for sustained use over long periods, we recommend, if you're wanting the system for various media purposes, you also look into getting a good mobile contract, maybe with unlimited data, otherwise, you may accidentally eat into your data allowance for the month without realizing it if you're planning on running the applications in an online state.
Alternatively, download the music onto one of our systems, this is the best way to make sure you're utilizing the aftermarket head unit without an immense amount of mobile data being used. Offline Maps, Music, Videos e.c.t. are easily accessible. These systems can have a good deal of storage on them. We're easily able to download hundreds of files onto the system to save ourselves the trouble of using vast amounts of mobile data.
Here at Iceboxauto, we want to make sure that you know exactly what you're getting when you order a system from us, which is why we offer around the clock care, answering any questions you may have about a system you've had installed, or if you're unsure about getting a system, we'll give you advice as to why it will or won't be worth you getting a new car system.