For the last week we've been testing our iPhone 5 with the Bimmerfest project 328i F30 3 series. We're pleased to report that everything is working as it should. Before jumping into our iPhone 5 testing we spent time with our iPhone 4 and the newly released iOS 6 (read article). With the faster speed of the A6 processor in the new phone pairing it to the F30 with Bluetooth or the USB cable for BMW ConnectedDrive seems a bit faster.
The big disappointment with the iPhone 5 in the F30 is the incompatible snap in adapter. The iPhone 5 is about half an inch longer then the 4/4S and uses the new Apple "lighting" connector. As you can see there is no way the old snap in adapter would work, even with an Lighting connection adapter. BMW has been quite about when we will see an iPhone 5 compatible snap in adapter. Tear downs of the Lighting cable show that Apple has embedded an authentication chip in the connector so BMW is probably in the process of licensing the technology from Apple.
Overall the new features of the iPhone 5, which come from iOS6, are a great addition. Having the car read you text messages or emails is a neat feature. The integration is still a little clunky but it is much safer then using your phone while driving. I have a feeling there will be an upgrade for the car software from BMW in the next few months that will make the integration better as they continue to test with the iPhone 5.
Stay tuned for more iPhone 5 testing and updates for the BMW F30 3 series.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is BMW's statement on iPhone 5 and iOS 6 Compatibility?
BMW says "It is expected that all app compatibility will continue as will the ability to access one's song library using the BMW and MINI controls and screen. The specific feature, Plug-in, which works through BMW Apps and MINI Connected to replicate the look of the iPhone interface will not be available at launch. The full scope of compatibility between the iPhone 5 and BMW Group vehicles will be known once the validation process is completed."
When will BMW release the iPhone 5 Snap In Adapter?
BMW has not committed to a specific date yet but has been busy testing iOS 6. BMW tends to move slowly on this type of thing so do not expect it anytime soon. I'm thinking spring of 2014
If you're running iOS 6 on the iPhone 4 or 4S add to our iOS6 topic.
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