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Good afternoon. Kind of a newbie here. Just got an Avin 8.8" Andriod v7.1 Multimedia Navigation System for the wife's 2010 BMW 528i E60. Thought I would post a review. Hopefully, this is in the correct spot.

Here is what I got from Avin…

8.8" Andriod v7.1 Multimedia Navigation System with anti-glare screen protectors:
https://avinusa.com/8-8-bmw-5-series-6-series-e60-e61-e63-e64-android-multimedia-navigation-system.html
https://avinusa.com/8-8-anti-glare-touch-screen-protector-3-pack-for-bmw-e90-e60-e65-f25-f26-e91-e92-e93-e61-e62-e63-e64-e66-e67-e68.html
Right after I purchased this, the v8.1 came out. I could not get a solid answer from Avin as to what are the advantages (start up time, etc.) of the v8.1 versus the v7.1 besides the obvious of running on a 6 core CPU vs. a 4 core. I stayed with the v7.1 figuring it had been out for a while and would be more stable/bug free. I wish that were the case. Please read on...

Dashcam Front Recording DVR Camera:
https://avinusa.com/bmw-dashcam-front-recording-dvr-camera-for-e70-e71-e60-e61-e83-e65-f10-f11-f07-model-dvr6035.html

Trunk Release Backup Camera with 2.4GHz wireless transmitter/receiver:
https://avinusa.com/bmw-trunk-release-backup-reverse-camera-for-x5-x6-x3-x1-e82-e84-e88-e90-e91-e92-e93-e60-e70-e71-model-bmw-thcam1.html
https://avinusa.com/24ghz-wireless-backup-reverse-camera-video-transmitter.html
Figured it was worth getting the wireless instead of running a video cable from the trunk to the screen.

Apple CarPlay USB adapter:
https://avinusa.com/apple-carplay-android-auto-usb-adapter.html
The wife has everything on her iPhone. Apple CarPlay was one of the main reasons on got this unit. So far, its been a disappointment. Please read on...

OBDII Wifi module:
https://avinusa.com/torque-compatible-wifi-obd2.html

TPMS Monitoring System with internal sensors:
https://avinusa.com/tpms-tire-pressure-monitoring-system-usb.html

iDrive Controller Upgrade Cover (arrows):
https://avinusa.com/bmw-idrive-controller-upgrade-cover.html


And now for the review...

8.8" Andriod v7.1 Multimedia Navigation System with anti-glare screen protectors:
- Bug... bluetooth would not recognize the internal microphone in the screen. I can hear the caller, but they can not hear me. I had to get an external microphone.
- Bluetooth does automatically connect to her phone and download contacts. Also, the button on the steering wheel can be used to answer calls and Siri can be used to make calls.
- When her phone is a hotspot, the unit does connect to it and can be used to surf the web, get software updates, and mirror her phone screen.
- Bug... when I set the clock to 12 hour time, it seems to revert to 24 hour time after a few seconds.
- The exiting iDrive integrates pretty well with the new screen. There is also a way to get back to the old menu.
- It is hard to tell if my screen has the latest software since Avin support has been non-existent for the last few weeks. More on that later.

Dashcam Front Recording DVR Camera:
- The dashcam records video and audio to the microSD card inserted into the side of the unit.
- Bug... the camera does not communicate with the ADAS software on the screen which would be used to set the recording loops, etc.
- I have verified that I have the latest ADAS software

Trunk Release Backup Camera with 2.4GHz wireless transmitter/receiver:
- Pretty much works as advertised. Put the car in reverse and the video comes up along with a picture of the car on the side with the front and rear sensors
- After the car is put into drive from reverse, takes a few seconds for the main screen to come back up, but not a big issue. That delay can be over ridden by pressing the menu button on the iDrive

Apple CarPlay USB adapter:
- To use Apple CarPlay, you need to connect the box USB dongle.
- Bug... Apple CarPlay does not recognize the external mic. I can hear the callers, but they can not hear me. Need to use Bluetooth.
- Bug... Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth seem to step on each other. When I go to play music playing CarPlay, you hear one second of music then it stops. Turning Bluetooth on and off seems to resolve this issue. I did notice in my other car that has factory Apple CarPlay, when you connect your iPhone, the system automatically disconnects it from Bluetooth, probably to avoid the two systems stepping on each other.
- Siri seem to work
- Bug... while the iDrive integrates with the screen, it seems to work only until the last click, then you have to use the touchscreen
- I have verified that I am using the latest CarPlay and box software

OBDII Wifi module:
- Pretty much works as advertised... attach the unit to the ODBII port, connect the wifi to it, and bring the software up on the screen
- When you insert the module, it is difficult to get out. I attached one of those cell phone rings to the back of the unit.

TPMS Monitoring System with internal sensors:
- Pretty much works as advertised... insert the new sensors into the tires, connect the USB dongle, bring up the software, and it displays pressure and temperature information
- Bug... the factory BMW TPMS system does not recognize the new sensors and displays a warning message on the dash
- I verified that I am running the latest TPMS software

iDrive Controller Upgrade Cover (arrows):
- works as advertised and easy to install

Summary and Avin Support:
- Aside from the 12 hour clock issue, it is hard to believe that Avin would release a unit with the obvious issues mentioned above. These problems should have been could with initial testing... completely unacceptable.
- Avin phone support does not exist. Their phone number always goes to voice mail. Not sure why they even bother having a number.
- Prior to the holidays, Avin was available for chat support on their website and have been quick to respond to e-mails. For the past few weeks, chat support has not been available and Avin has not answered my e-mails... completely unacceptable.


If you have any questions for me to help you or have any ideas to help me with the issues above, please do not hesitate to ask or respond.

Thank you for your time!!!
 

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AVIN has not released the 7.1. It's on their website in bold letters. They skipped 7.1 and went straight to 8.1.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Olidegoodie,

Sorry, but that is not correct. Please take a closer look at their website...

https://avinusa.com/8-8-bmw-5-series-6-series-e60-e61-e63-e64-android-multimedia-navigation-system.html

Please see the 1st section... You can purchase that Android v4.4 (CIC interface only), Android v7.1, and Android v8.1.

Attached is the system information on my system showing the v7.1 O/S.
Sorry, I mixed up companies. This is the company I'm referring to: https://4x4shop.ca/product/oem-fit-...ifibta2dpusb-multi-media-original-cic-system/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Avin 8.8" Andriod v7.1 Multimedia Navigation System Reivew - Update

Olidegoodie,

No problem.


Quick update. Avin e-mailed me a firmware update for the front dash camera. The screen now sees the front dash cam.


Still working on all the other issues...
 

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I was just looking at these the other day for my e61 so thanks for posting up the review. I'm not an iPhone user, but it still sounds like some of the other non-iPhone specific stuff needs a bit of work. I'll probably hold off for now even though their current sale price is very tempting...
 

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Installing one in my E70 dissuaded me from installing one in my E60. Connected the roskinc BT adapter to my MULF and can now BT music stream and NAV from my phone. Good enough for me.

Sent from my XT1635-01 using Bimmerfest mobile app
 

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Olidegoodie,

No problem.


Quick update. Avin e-mailed me a firmware update for the front dash camera. The screen now sees the front dash cam.


Still working on all the other issues...


Hey Mark!

I have the exact same car as you with the exact same setup from AVIN. I am most upset about the microphone issue in the CarPlay App. Please update the forum when you get some sort of resolution. I can't find anything online and nobody from AVIN responds to my emails!

Thanks
 

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Interested to hear your feedback on the install procedure. I looked at these a few months ago and pretty much everyone dissuaded me from going this route. I mainly want this to add the backup camera and make Nav more accessible(better than from the phone). My car does not have nav but does this unit do a screen mirroring where it will work with your phone? Or does the unit have GPS built in?

I have an older car but, knock on wood, it's hanging in there nicely(still under 100k mi). Teenage daughter is about to start driving and I am thinking this will be her car. Not excited about her driving it w/o a backup camera and it would be nice if nav is more accessible.
 

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My experiences with the Avin (or AvinUSA) 8.1 Android head unit (2013 x3 F25)

Support and installation:
  • Avin support is non-existing. They do not reply at all...
  • No documentation available, neither shipped or online
  • Installation videos on YouTube skip the difficult wiring parts (what gives?). I figured it out myself but took me hours and I'm still not all the way there.
  • There's no room for the extra USB additions (carplay, DAB+, etc.) so you'll have to drill holes or take out the entire interior along the way
  • Extra harness behind the Harmann Kardon box is almost impossible to fit without squeezing cables
  • Main connector and back metal plate on the head unit itself does not allow for the angle on the cable - so you have to cut the metal or twist the cable so that it might brake.


iDrive integration
  • The resolution on the unit doesn't fit the factory iDrive menus so the edges get cut
  • There's now a new graphics overlay on the right side of the iDrive menu - covers approx. 40% of the display. It covers parts of the nav, rear cam, right split screen content. See pic.

Android
  • Normal Android functionality works like a normal tablet.
  • The faux BMW menu in Android mode does not have any dynamic content, e.g. radio station, weather, gas level, etc. You have to enter apps for that.
  • the iDrive knob only works to enter and exit apps. It does not work inside apps to select next song or station, or to zoom on a map.
  • The built-in mic doesn't work. The factory mic still works for calls but not for e.g. Siri or Google Assistant


Recommendation
Stay away from this device until you hear worst of the above things are fixed.

Replacement under Warranty
Since support is not replying to anything I do not believe they will give you back or trade in the device if it does not work. If you go ahead and send it back you just risk never seeing the device or any money again.
 

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Did you get power for the camera/transmitter from the reverse light? I read some forums where people said that the reverse light did not provide enough power, and that a different 12v source + relay was needed.
 

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Updates?

Oldiegoodie,

Any updates on how the system is working? I have a 2011 E93 and am thinking of getting the same thing. My only other option is to use a mirroring setup. I really want it for the CarPlay option and to use the Waze app from my iPhone. What's the sound quality? How does it look in the car? Would you do it again? Any other advice.

Thanks,

Charlie
 

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I just installed the Avin 8.8" unit with Android 9.0 in my E61 this week. So far I'm pretty happy with it. I got their Avant 4 for my E46 a few months ago to have Wireless CarPlay and it works well-enough so I picked this one up. The screen looks really nice and CarPlay works great. I think it connects faster than the one on my E46. It feels less like an Android system in that it is more locked down. On my E46 I have to leave Carplay to open the radio app and sometimes that is problematic, plus it has a lot of buttons I don't use. Since the E61 version doesn't have buttons it integrates fairly well. I'm happy to report that I can use the iDrive controller for everything inside CarPlay. The radio still comes from my MASK unit and fortunately it's really easy to switch back and forth between them. The only thing I have left to hook up is the rear camera (I also got the wireless one and I've tested that it works but haven't mounted it yet). If anyone has questions or wants to see video of anything, let me know. One thing that was a bit weird is it came with this small speaker and a long wire going to it. I'm not sure what it's for as I had to remove it anyway in order to plug the headphone jack into my car's aux input port in the center console. The Avin website said dynamic parking lines would not work on CCC cars with manual transmission. They work for me but perhaps that's because I have MASK instead of CCC.
 

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I just installed the Avin 8.8" unit with Android 9.0 in my E61 this week. So far I'm pretty happy with it. I got their Avant 4 for my E46 a few months ago to have Wireless CarPlay and it works well-enough so I picked this one up. The screen looks really nice and CarPlay works great. I think it connects faster than the one on my E46. It feels less like an Android system in that it is more locked down. On my E46 I have to leave Carplay to open the radio app and sometimes that is problematic, plus it has a lot of buttons I don't use. Since the E61 version doesn't have buttons it integrates fairly well. I'm happy to report that I can use the iDrive controller for everything inside CarPlay. The radio still comes from my MASK unit and fortunately it's really easy to switch back and forth between them. The only thing I have left to hook up is the rear camera (I also got the wireless one and I've tested that it works but haven't mounted it yet). If anyone has questions or wants to see video of anything, let me know. One thing that was a bit weird is it came with this small speaker and a long wire going to it. I'm not sure what it's for as I had to remove it anyway in order to plug the headphone jack into my car's aux input port in the center console. The Avin website said dynamic parking lines would not work on CCC cars with manual transmission. They work for me but perhaps that's because I have MASK instead of CCC.
kd7iwp, I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on this, if you're still having a good experience. Any progress on the rear camera? Any problems so far? What was the tiny speaker on a wire for?

My biggest question is how the controls are all working for you. When you're controlling the Android system, is the input also going to the iDrive system in the background? I don't want to go play a podcast and accidentally reset my oil life timer, lol.

I'm in a 6MT E61 so my experience should be pretty much exactly the same as yours. I'm CCC LCI though.

Thanks in advance, I've been eyeing this for a year and your post might push me there.
 

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I got the rear wireless camera installed and the wireless part is utter crap. 99% of the time when I'm in reverse it says no signal. I occasionally get a flicker of a picture for a fraction of a second. So if I feel ambitious enough I will hard-wire the camera at some point. The guide lines DO move with the steering wheel on the screen which I wasn't expecting based on what Avin's site said (though they do specifically mention it won't work for 6MT with CCC and I have MASK). If I'm just sitting in the garage with the car off I seem to get a good picture and I'm happy with how it looks. I find that this button is actually opening my trunk more easily than the original button I had. I wonder if I took the wireless receiver and put it closer to the trunk if that would solve the problem. I don't really mind putting a video cable in, just don't want to go through the hinge into the tailgate so maybe if I had the receiver up in the roof over the rear cargo area it might work?...

Overall I'm happy with the unit since I wanted Wireless CarPlay. It's nice to quickly switch back and forth between Android and OEM iDrive by pressing the Menu button for a second. I haven't found a way to get it to boot into Android so that I can have CarPlay come up automatically. I programmed the Aux In as one of my shortcut buttons on the radio unit so that if I'm listening to radio and then boot up CarPlay I can easily switch to the different audio. It's great that the iDrive knob works perfectly for all buttons inside CarPlay. When in Android mode the iDrive knob does not appear to be playing with any of other iDrive screens in the background so that concern is no longer valid. Haven't tried any of other Android apps or anything. Overall I prefer this unit over the one in my E46 as that one seems a bit more buggy, perhaps because it has its own radio built in and the one in the E61 does not. Oh, one thing I've noticed is that my aux in volume doesn't stay consistent and sometimes I think the unit is not playing but I just have to crank up the volume. I've heard others on BMW forums talk about the built-in aux in cord has a resistor or capacitor in line and that it removes some bass, I would agree with this. It would be nice if the oem system let you set different equalizer settings for different inputs, but it does not. So I cranked up the bass and CarPlay sounds good but the radio is really bass-y. Let me know if you want to see or know anything else about it.
 

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That's a shame about the wireless camera. I've had the liftgate hinges apart before to fix some broken wires and it's a real PITA. Not terrible, but I don't know if I want a camera that bad.

I currently use my aux in with a Bluetooth adapter to send audio from my phone, and the quality there is really good.

I would love to know how they interrupt iDrive controls when viewing the Avin device. I have a raspberry pi running Open Auto Pro, and that's what I've been planning on putting in the car using the BimmerTech VividScreen. But that isn't touch and even though I've worked out how to capture iDrive controller inputs to control the Pi, I have no idea how to keep it from also controlling iDrive in the background. My plan has been to stick a tiny trackball next to the iDrive wheel, but I'd prefer to keep it as stock-looking as possible. If this Avin unit is solid I might scrap the Pi and get this.

Biggest hangup is all the complaints I've read about their customer service being nonexistent. I guess I should call em up and see what happens.
 

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I haven't tried customer service but based on what others have said, I doubt I'd even bother trying. I've also had those hinges apart to look at the wires and didn't feel like going in there again if I can avoid it.

Still not sure what that tiny speaker on the wire was for... I took it's wires and plug and used that to plug in the wireless transmitter in the rear liftgate to the reverse light. Then it's easy for me to unplug the handle/camera and replace if needed.
 
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