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      08-05-2020, 06:56 AM   #1
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Drives: i8
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: London

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Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto retrofit - installed

I have just completed the install of a carplay / android auto retrofit for my pre-refresh i8.

I am really impressed and thought its worth a post!

how it works - I get in the car start the engine CarPlay automatically connects over wireless whilst in my pocket and I press and hold the menu button on idrive when the original NBT system is on screen for 2 seconds and use the idrive controller and steering wheel controls to interact with it. if I hold the backup button the original NBT system is still there.

the box I used was the Andream MMI box which cost 211 but there are cheaper alternatives have a look at the community thread there are many different brands of the same box

There is a massive community on the thread above who have created modified software (the original software shipped with the unit was buggy and had many dodgy Chinese to English conversions). they have just updated the screen resolution to fix an android auto issue and have routed the iPhone call handling through the BMW bluetooth module which gets rid of a lag issue. They have ultimately taken the best bits from the Bimmertech, Andream and other systems with a bit of their own magic in making it integrate.

the box was a bit of a pain to install - take your time and remove the centre console carefully from the cup holders to the heating controller, and remove the gear selector and then the NBT head unit, air vents and screen, then locate the box just under the NBT head unit, stick the wifi antenna near by and away you go. it took about an hour all in and and 10 mins to update the software.

I also wanted this to look stock and to be reversible so I ordered a dual usb and aux thingie from Aliexpress which allowed me to connect the USB cable and aux from the original BMW socket (which is now hidden under the dash and wrapped in audio tape) as well as connect the USB port of the MMI box which is used for USB updates or to USB connect your phone (which charges quickly).

I replaced the phone cradle with BMW's wireless charging cradle so I love the lack of wires between my iPhone and i8 for charging and wireless CarPlay.

anyway hope this is useful for someone!
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Last edited by cjattard; 08-05-2020 at 09:45 AM..