Next year, when it switches to Android Automotive, BMW won’t use Google apps

After years of exclusively supporting Apple’s CarPlay, BMW finally integrated Android Auto support in 2020. BMW is one of the few automakers that provide wireless connectivity, allowing drivers to access the Google Dashboard without a cable. The manufacturer went one step further last year when it said it will embrace Android Automotive, a version of Android built specifically for use in automobiles. BMW announced further information regarding its intention to include the technology into its infotainment system at CES 2023.

BMW’s OS 9 upgrade in 2024 will be the first to include Android Automotive. The company’s long-standing dependence on Linux, which has served as the core of its iDrive experience, will be abandoned with this platform, marking a substantial divergence from the company’s current infotainment system. BMW plans to adopt a more open-source strategy with the introduction of OS 9 in 2020.

This indicates that the firm has no plans to integrate Google Automotive Services (GAS) into its Android-based infotainment system (think Google applications for automobiles). Alternately, it will open up to apps not developed by the company. As a result of using Automotive, we will be able to take software development in-house and design a more fluid interface without being limited by Google.

Users will be unable to access the Google Play Store from within their vehicle’s display. BMW will not rely on Google to assist in the system’s implementation but rather will employ Aptoid and other third-party app shops for its platform. If you’re set on sticking with Google’s app store, you might choose Ford, GM, or Volvo, all of which use Google Automotive Services.

BMW is among the first wave of manufacturers to support Automotive, while being the last vehicle manufacturer to support Android Auto. However, the iDrive 8 system that comes standard on the company’s current lineup of vehicles will continue to be supported by Linux. Updates to iDrive 8.5, which will be made available for these vehicles in the near future, will provide Android functionality similar to that seen on Automotive without its additional features.