While we know that we will all get to see the new system premier throughout the world in the new 2009 7 series within the next few days we still thought it would be interesting to discuss what we have been hearing about the new iDrive ‘s menu system
Sources indicate that the menus look more like the Audi MMI interface in the design of the lists and manner in which selections are highlighted. With the increase in screen resolution the fonts and maps are much cleaner looking and are also more visually appealing. The submenus will function more like bookmarks within the interface and include links to other menus.
The controller will still require to be moved to access the other side of the split screen (when active). Unlike the current system in which both windows in the split screen have flat sides and are highlighted when selected the new system will add an oval like curve to the selected window. We have heard that the navigation map can now take up the entire display if so desired, something that was lacking in the past.
Radio and CD are now two separate menus and can be quickly accessed via the new shortcut buttons. Within the CD menu the current track will be displayed in a top “frame ” while in the bottom will be the list of songs which you can then scroll through with the controller or steering wheel controls.
A welcome change to the phonebook is multiple numbers listed for one named contact. The current system would require additional entries in the phonebook for each number.
The date, time and radio station bar at bottom of the current screen has been removed. It will now find its home within the gauge cluster.
Thenew system will require some transition to those familiar with the current system because of variations in the menu structure and the location of certain features may not be the same as in the past.
The system in general is faster and appears to be stable. The new shortcut buttons (cd, radio, navigation, telephone, menu, back, option) around the controller work well and are placed in very accessible locations making the system easier to use.
We have not had first hand access to the system yet so this information is based on the experience of others and may or may not accurate or be based on the final product. However we believe this information to be reliable and at the very least a peek at some of the possibilities.