With the exception of the Android Remote app that will launch before the end of the year there will be no future offerings for the current crop of BMWs. We learned this hard truth about the number one smartphone operating system from one of the BMW Connected Drive engineers during a recent trip to the FIZ (R&D center) in Munich.

The reason for this is that until recently, the Android operating system did not have a standardized protocol for interaction with outside devices. With Android being an “open ” system each phone and carrier could have different protocols making it almost impossible for devices to communicate in a similar manner with an outside device. The ability for App designers to create something to communicate with the car would be so truncated and device carrier specific that it would be a never ending battle. The current BMW radio “head units ” were designed prior to this protocol and do not have the ability to be upgraded.

With Android now specifying how devices will communicate with peripherals as part of the OS underlying structure BMW can now design that into future head unit designs- meaning that products using the next head unit design (expect 2013) will be fully Android compatible.

BMW is aware that Android has a larger user base than iOS, and they have been trying to find a solution for the current vehicles and will continue to although right now
it is not possible- Mind you the engineer had a Samsung phone powered by Android as his personal phone so he obviously wants Android support.