In a hurry?
We’d recommend the CarLinKit 3.0 Wireless Carplay Adapter (Selected models)
If you’re not sure, you can go into the car setting and check if it will allow you to connect to CarPlay wirelessly via a WIFI connection.
(Updated as of June 2021)
Almost all modern BMW models are supported. However, from our research, BMW Alpina models are not supported by wireless CarPlay and android auto, installed from the factory due to their age.
The CarLinkit 2.0 is for vehicles with CarPlay or Andriod Auto as a factory install. The CarLinkit 1.0 is for aftermarket Andriod head units that are compatible with CarPlay and Andriod Auto use.
For Aftermarket Andriod Head Units
List of Compatible Stereo Models:
Compatible with aftermarket Android car stereos installed into your vehicle.
These include the likes of:
For Manufacture installed CarPlay / Android Auto
Unfortunately, CarLinkit does not provide specific details regarding models of BMW’s they are compatible with. However, you should check on their website to see if it’s complete with your exact model and year.
If it’s not compatible, you’ll have to find an adapter that is or move on to option 3.
PLEASE NOTE: It’s essential to understand that the adapters are not a perfect solution and are what I would call “temperamental”. The product works most of the time; however, it sometimes doesn’t connect and requires pulling the cable out and back in or restarting the engine.
It also takes around 10 seconds to fully connect to car play. Suppose you’re not happy enough with this. In that case, you should look at our option 3 recommendation as this method is Apple and manufacture approved.
The adapter is just a patch fix to trick the car into thinking it’s connected like usual, so there are occasional bugs. However, in my experience, when testing the product in a 2017 Vaxuall / Opal Corsa, it worked 90% of the time. This was good enough for the factional price of a new head you’d have to buy, as seen in option 3.
This option is the most expensive route to take to get wireless carplay but will be one of the only options if you couldn’t follow the previous two steps.
Depending on your model, you’ll be able to install a small Multi-Media Interface (MMI) box, meaning you won’t have to replace the screen and can just plug and play in the unit. The unit is simply an extension of the iDrive system already installed in your BMW. See the Amazon listing for an example of an MMI system. Of course, each MMI system might not work with every car, so make sure you check if it’s compatible with your model.
Some models can be more tricky than others to install, with the NBT type taking up to 2 hours of your time to do so. Suppose you are not confident with vehicle electronics. In that case, you may want to opt for a professional to install the unit in your BMW to save you time, hassle and so you know it’ll be installed properly.
Because of the way BMW head unit stereos are positioned, they do not conform to traditional stereo standards that most manufacturers stick to.
As you can see in the picture, the iDrive BMW display protrudes from the dashboard, which needs to be replaced.
Depending on the model will depend on which head unit is best to achieve wireless Carplay.
Check the button below for the various options of head units available to fully upgrade your stereo system and get wireless CarPlay and Android Auto.