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      08-05-2020, 06:56 AM   #1
cjattard
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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 https://www.android-car-dvd.de/colle...cic-nbt-system but there are cheaper alternatives have a look at the community thread there are many different brands of the same box https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1675929

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..
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      08-05-2020, 07:01 AM   #2
cjattard
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This was the USB adapter I used. it needed a tiny bit of modifying with some wire clippers to remove three small plastic tabs that stopped it installing flush and about 1mm removed from the corner of the BMW oddment tray.
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      08-05-2020, 07:07 AM   #3
MolarBear
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Looks great!

The frustrating thing about CarPlay (certainly with stock installs on the LCI/Roadster) is that you cannot use google maps to display directions on the HUD.

You also cannot use google maps stand alone outside of CarPlay - if you wanted to view a route as a navigator, you can't do this, you only get a list of written instructions. So you have to choose between directions on HUD or superior traffic navigation on google maps but no HUD.

Wonder if it's the same on the third party carplay implementations (I suspect it's an Apple issue, not a BMW issue!). Well done all the same!
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      08-05-2020, 07:12 AM   #4
cjattard
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this is absolutely true - the HUD still functions but it only displays the speed limit.

This works well for my circumstance - as living in London the routing of Waze and Google is just better than the onboard sat nav, with that said if I was doing a cross country drive I would probably enter the destination on the original sat nav on mute to use the HUD - and just ignore the junction turn offs if it didn't match with google.

the upsides of CarPlay - built in music, Waze, google maps, tunein etc for me outweigh the day to day loss of the extra info on the HUD. but its a valid observation.

oh the box also does airplay mirroring which might be useful for watching YouTube videos on the car display /audio for the 1 time every 3 years I am stuck waiting for a ferry.
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      08-05-2020, 09:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjattard View Post
this is absolutely true - the HUD still functions but it only displays the speed limit.

This works well for my circumstance - as living in London the routing of Waze and Google is just better than the onboard sat nav, with that said if I was doing a cross country drive I would probably enter the destination on the original sat nav on mute to use the HUD - and just ignore the junction turn offs if it didn't match with google.

the upsides of CarPlay - built in music, Waze, google maps, tunein etc for me outweigh the day to day loss of the extra info on the HUD. but its a valid observation.

oh the box also does airplay mirroring which might be useful for watching YouTube videos on the car display /audio for the 1 time every 3 years I am stuck waiting for a ferry.
That's a great plan and one advantage over the built in car play from LCI - you can't use the built in nav AND google maps - it cancels the integrated Nav when you add a google destination. So LCIs cannot force Nav on the HUD and follow google at the same time - it's literally one or the other. And you can't even run google on your phone with the built in whilst having car play - nightmare. I ended up disabling carplay because of this.

At least you get the best of both ways this way with the retrofit!
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      08-09-2020, 09:13 PM   #6
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Looks awesome! How difficult was the installation for someone who doesn't usually do much DIY work? What tools would I need to perform this installation?
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      08-12-2020, 06:15 AM   #7
cjattard
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It was a bit tricky but you only really need a screwdriver and a nut spinner. Just follow the TIS guide to remove the head unit which includes taking out the centre console.

Do take the time to disconnect all the cables from the underside of the centre console (the reverse parking switches ... etc) as it will ultimately just get in your way when you try and install the box.

Half way though you will regret what you started when the centre console is basically missing, but its a fun project and to be honest there isnt really much to break so its easily reversible.
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      08-13-2020, 07:00 PM   #8
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Those looks like just what I am after, thanks for sharing. The unit you linked to doesn't list the i8 as being compatible. Is that still the right one?

What happens if the reversing/360 cameras are engaged? Is it quite a stark jump between the two systems?

Is it easy enough to switch between the two, eg for controlling the radio, or changing settings etc?
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      08-14-2020, 12:54 AM   #9
cjattard
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Its not listed but it is compatible, the software that came with it was a bit slow to change but the new software is instant. When you engage reverse the usual 360* camera display comes up and carplay automatically reappears when you disengage the parking cameras.
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      08-14-2020, 12:56 AM   #10
cjattard
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Oh switching is really easy. Just press and hold the menu button on the idrive controller.
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      08-26-2020, 01:05 PM   #11
cbecker33
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This might not be a question you can answer but is it possible to get a connector with USB-C that offers rapid charging instead of the standard USB?
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      08-29-2020, 06:35 PM   #12
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My unit arrived today! Any tips/guide on the installation?

You mention removing the centre console etc, and I'm not sure where to start!
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      08-29-2020, 07:47 PM   #13
MajorJump
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I found this guide...




Looks complex. Did the guy do a lot of unnecessary stuff? Eg disconnecting the main high voltage battery, dismantling most of the inside of the car (including rear elements)?
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      09-01-2020, 11:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorJump View Post
I found this guide...




Looks complex. Did the guy do a lot of unnecessary stuff? Eg disconnecting the main high voltage battery, dismantling most of the inside of the car (including rear elements)?
Looks like its necessary to disassemble all that parts. I did something similar (and many other things) on my former Z3 but with the i8 I decided to let it all strictly untouched and stock. With enough time, space and at least a bit of screwing experience it should be an easy task though.
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      09-03-2020, 12:41 PM   #15
MajorJump
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Cheers. I've got a quote from an installer I trust for £80, so I'll going to use him next week. He's installed a few of these kits previously which is good.

How does the system integrate with the mobile in terms of calls? Does it all work as seamlessly as before? Are calls routed through the car play unit?
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      09-08-2020, 09:22 AM   #16
cjattard
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sorry for the delay this was the guide I used https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/i...cic/1VnXsqBsEC

80 is pretty good. in terms of integration if you get your installer to install the community software via a usb stick (3rd sticky post here https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1675929) where you get the v2.0.B0.mod and v2.0.B0.mod files. the reason to do this is that once you flash the update you have the option to continue using the original BMW bluetooth for calls, or you can route them via the CarPlay box (or both)
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      09-08-2020, 09:24 AM   #17
cjattard
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I personally didn't turn off the high voltage battery, but you really should if you follow the BMW guides. my reasoning for not - the headhunt is 12v so I wasn't too worried and it didn't cause any issues.

the only other thing I would add. I didn't unplug all the cables from the back of the gear stick surround for things like reverse camera button etc and dashboard lights. I should have just spent the extra 1 minute unplugging them all as I spent an extra 30 mins trying to work with the lack of space whilst keeping them in place.
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