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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We have 4 options that I know of to perform coding on our F10s:
Dealership (Single time, No idea on price)
Remote Programming (Single time, $100-$200)
PC Software (Unlimited use, Laptop + price of cables and software)
Coding Apps (Unlimited use, Price of Apps and OBD WiFi adapters)

1 and 2 were never really an option for me simply because they cost a lot and if you want to change something back, you get to pay again.

3 is great for people with laptops and who want to take the time to learn the software. Not really the easiest to learn but it offers the most in depth coding, ability to program modules, and has a large community base. Just not for me.

So that leaves me with 4. The two apps I could find and ultimately am reviewing today are Bimmercode and Carly BMW. Let's break down the price first:

Bimmercode
Vgate iCar 2 Mini WiFi OBD - $26.99
BimmerCode App - $29.99
BimmerLink App - $29.99
Total for setup = $86.97 (plus local taxes)

Carly BMW
Carly BMW Gen 2 WiFi OBD (iPhone) - $88.55 (not the best price, but I had eBay bucks)
Carly BMW Pro App - $44.99
iDrive Coding Add On - $14.99
Service Reset Add On - $4.99
Battery Registration Add On - $9.99
Total for setup = $163.51 (plus local taxes)



Ok so let's clear up a couple things on how this review is going to go. First I will go over some general thoughts on each app. Then I will compare things that the apps do in common (features available in both apps). Then I will compare what the apps do not share in common (features only available in one app). Finally I will give my final thoughts on each app and final verdict.

A key note is that buying BimmerCode and BimmerLink will land you at the same price as Carly BMW Pro + iDrive Coding Add on. $60 and the apps try to be identical. Both will code/diag. The Lite or Free versions of both apps are for testing compatibility only. They don't do sh!t.

*Stop here - If you are using an Android phone, your only choice is Carly BMW. The reviews today are based off the iPhone apps. Bimmercode is iPhone ONLY*

General: Bimmercode
Bimmercode is unique in the sense that it splits its features into two individual apps. Both apps use the same OBD connector so no need to worry about purchasing another device. The interface is clean and easy to use. Cost savings can be had if you ONLY want to code. The BimmerLink app does the Sensor Values, Dashboard Values, ASD, and Exhaust Flap. Its the services app. The BimmerCode app, codes, and thats about it. Unlike Carly BMW it does offer an advanced setting which looks to closely match the ability of 3 from above. The modules turn to German text and the list grows very very long. Unfortunately, I am no expert, and really can***8217;t comment on how well Expert mode works or its ability to compete with a full PC/Software based setup. More on Expert mode later.

BimmerLink has no official website and BimmerCode***8217;s website is pretty much just a landing page for the app. The website offers no insight as to the future direction that the apps will be taking. Additionally, it only covers Fxx Series BMWs and above.

General: Carly BMW
Carly BMW packs all of its features into a single app. Ability to do everything via the Carly branded OBD connector. The interface is also clean and easy to use. The punch to the face comes when you purchase the Pro version only to find out that you must dole out more cash for Add-On packs. While you do get lifetime updates to both the connectors firmware and any features/packs you already purchased, it's fair to assume that any NEW Add-Ons will cost you. Carly BMW offers several additional features that Bimmercode does not(Service reset, Battery Programming, Used Car Check, Etc). I will cover these later in the review.

Unlike BimmerCode***8217;s website, Carly BMW***8217;s is full featured. Providing manuals, feature lists, and a spot that shows current projects/status. Carly promises to continue to update the app and the project list supports this claim. It covers both Exx and Fxx Series BMW***8217;s and above.

Menu Screenshots for both apps:


What the Apps do the same:
Diagnostics: Both apps appear to do the same. However BimmerLink fails to sort or translate into English. Carly BMW takes quite awhile longer to scan for errors, but offers the benefits of being able to scan all or select a specific module/s for scanning. Here are some screenshots:


Coding: I can't do a full side by side comparison of every single possible feature. Both company websites have the full coding lists separated out by BMW Model. They match what many of the ***8220;Remote Services***8221; offer. They backup the current reading and then allow you to code what you like. This is done on a module by module basis. Each module controlling certain features. BimmerCode was a major let down, while claiming to offer full coding on my model, I was only able to access 4 modules. Carly BMW had no issues accessing and coding them. Here are some screenshots: (Using one Module on each app as a display)

Exhaust Flap: For models that have an exhaust flap that opens or closes based on how heavy your foot is, both apps provide the ability to manually open or close it. Device needs to remain plugged in and connected to your iPhone. BimmerLink reported this was not available for my car and Carly BMW did give me the option. No screenshots as it's really a ON/OFF toggle.

Parameters / Sensors & Dashboard: Both apps allow you to add and then track certain sensor values. However, (again) BimmerLink fails to translate in English. Carly BMW while limiting you to 6 parameters, does translate for you. Here are some screenshots:


What the Apps don't do the same:

This section is going to lean heavily in Carly BMW***8217;s favor. For a price, Carly BMW can do alot more. Let's start with Bimmercodes app's unique features:

BimmerLink
ASD or Active Sound Design is essentially using the speakers to create noise that sounds like your engine. I could not find this option in Carly BMW. However, the option was not available for my car using BimmerLink. I would assume it's just an on off toggle. No screenshots.

BimmerCode
Offers Expert mode which could be golden for the more technical coders. Unfortunately I don't know enough to give an in-depth analysis of this feature. But it looks to be a way to adjust the core values on each setting. However, this list is limited to the modules you can access, which was only a few on my car. Here is a screenshot: (Using coding module from above)



Carly BMW

Used Car Check: Essentially scans your car for parts that track miles. It will then analyze the miles vs your odometer. While no tampering was found on my car, it is a curious and potentially useful feature when it comes time to buy another car. Here is a screenshot:


Service Reset: Does exactly what it says. Offers a quick way to reset the iDrive service settings. Here is a screenshot:


Battery Reset / Programming: Does exactly what it says. Allows you to program in a new battery. At $10 this is extremely useful, even if you only replace the battery once while owning your car. That savings alone pays for the entire app. Here is a screenshot:


DPF ($9.99):
I did not purchase this option as I don't have a Diesel car. Here is a screenshot:


OBD Functions: I did not run this function during testing, but I do hope it comes in handy when I replace those o2 sensors. Here is a screenshot:


Final Thoughts:
For my 2011 F10 535i, Carly BMW is the clear winner. Its easier to use and offers alot more functions than Bimmercode does at this time(For a price). While I assumed that Bimmercode will continue to get better, Carly BMW has a full company backing it. I don't see Bimmercode surpassing Carly BMW at anytime in the future. Overall I was disappointed with Bimmercodes apps. While the interface is cleaner and a cheaper setup, the non English translation and lack of available codings really hurts. Granted newer Fxx series may offer greater compatibility with BimmerCode, I cannot personally recommend it at this time. I still wanted to write the review since Bimmercode is cheaper and may do enough for some people at a much lower costs, it's just not as polished.

*As the apps grow, I may come back and revise my review* *I can also post specific screenshots on request*
 

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I bought the Carly for BMW app when I had my E90 and it worked great. At the time, I was able to buy a much cheaper OBDII wireless interface compared to their version. Unfortunately, it does NOT work with my F10 so I haven't been able to use the app on my new car. Buying their OBDII interface is on my things to buy list, but since I put tires, rear brakes and plugs in the car since I bought it....I figured I better let some time go by before I spend $75 on that. I would definitely recommend the Carly app to anyone who wants an easy way to code their car and doesn't worry about the fact that there are some things you probably can't do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was curious because the Carly adapter appears to be just to be a rebranded WiFi OBD. I assume they code in something that lets the app know. I'm out of funds on this adventure, but I may at some point buy the unbranded Carly BMW device and see what happens.
 

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First of all thanks for the great write up
second; its true that option 2 (Laptop and ISTA- E-sys) is more in depth option; but i use e-sys rarely now since ive coded everything as i please, and its not easy to carry your laptop with you whenever you need to do anything.
So i highly recommend getting the mobile software since you leave the OBD reader in the car and you have your mobile with you always
 

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excellent write up.. i'm debating between the two BimmerCode and Carly too.

I mainly wants to code few basic things on my F10 (X5 2014) so do you still think Bimmercode is a better way to go? Dealer and Laptop doesn't work well for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
excellent write up.. i'm debating between the two BimmerCode and Carly too.

I mainly wants to code few basic things on my F10 (X5 2014) so do you still think Bimmercode is a better way to go? Dealer and Laptop doesn't work well for me.
It really depends on what your budget is. The biggest issue I have with BimmerCode is that it lacked support for two of the 6 modules in my car. Carly BMW can code all 8. If you have the money, I would go with Carly BMW at this time.

Now in defence of BimmerCode. I emailed its creator and he did ask that I email him support logs as he is always looking to increase compatibility. Your 2014 might be more compatible than my 2011. If you are looking for the cheapest possible route than BimmerCode is the way to go.
 

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I was curious because the Carly adapter appears to be just to be a rebranded WiFi OBD. I assume they code in something that lets the app know. I'm out of funds on this adventure, but I may at some point buy the unbranded Carly BMW device and see what happens.
Don't waste your money on the cheaper OBDII adaptor. They have programmed their software for the F10 to work only with their specific adaptor. My generic adaptor worked on about 90% of the coding for my E90, but it wouldn't work for doing service resets and other add-ons. On my F10, it will let me look at diagnostic codes but it will do absolutely zero coding. If you are going to spend the money on the Carly app.......bite the bullet and get their adaptor. You are still saving a tremendous amount of money in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't waste your money on the cheaper OBDII adaptor. They have programmed their software for the F10 to work only with their specific adaptor. My generic adaptor worked on about 90% of the coding for my E90, but it wouldn't work for doing service resets and other add-ons. On my F10, it will let me look at diagnostic codes but it will do absolutely zero coding. If you are going to spend the money on the Carly app.......bite the bullet and get their adaptor. You are still saving a tremendous amount of money in the long run.
Fair enough, thats what I assumed. Curiosity might get the better of me but so far I am $200+ into this adventure.

One thing I will mention is that I have not been able to get either app to display the Tire pressure PSI and Temp. A little disappointed. The PSI and Temp indicators show up but the values don't. I have been able to program most of what I wanted, but that was one of my items I was hoping to check off.
 

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One thing I will mention is that I have not been able to get either app to display the Tire pressure PSI and Temp. A little disappointed. The PSI and Temp indicators show up but the values don't. I have been able to program most of what I wanted, but that was one of my items I was hoping to check off.
My car does not show the values either, just green or red. I don't remember the exact percentage but a portion of the cars do not show those values. Numerous discussions in the coding section on this but nobody has been able to resolve (last I looked). It just is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My car does not show the values either, just green or red. I don't remember the exact percentage but a portion of the cars do not show those values. Numerous discussions in the coding section on this but nobody has been able to resolve (last I looked). It just is what it is.
Do you get the PSI and F text?
 

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One thing I will mention is that I have not been able to get either app to display the Tire pressure PSI and Temp. A little disappointed. The PSI and Temp indicators show up but the values don't. I have been able to program most of what I wanted, but that was one of my items I was hoping to check off.
Wow that's extremely disappointing....that's like my number one reason why I would code my car for. How dumb was that not to have that as default, if the data is right there?
 

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You read my mind with this post. I have been looking into Carly BMW for about a week. I have found the ObdII pieces all over eBay ranging from $45-$118. The problem I have is that none of them say that they support the F10. No matter if it is the android (mine) or iphone (wife phone), they only state that they are compatible up to e60. Is there a version that I am missing that specifically supports F10. They are all the generation 2 apparently.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Bimmerfest mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Gen 2 in my first photo is the iPhone version and is compatible with the f10. You can also verify on the Carly Website. I dont think you are missing anything, they may just be using an old Specifications list. The Carly app updates the adapter from time to time as well. For example, I had a hard time coding anything until it updated my Carly adapter.
 

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If one has a late 2013+, NBT-- then there is no need to buy the iDrive Add-On. But you will need the Carly Connected Car (Generation II) plug in device-- don't waste money on a generic/universal OBD scan tool-- they are not the same.

There are some items you can code that need to be "checked out & adjusted" to suit your needs. This is not feasible with having someone remote code your F10 . For example you can set the temperature of your seat heaters-- the Back is separate from the Bottom cushion-- I have some back pain so I have one of my three setting setup to have a very high heat on the back and no heat on my butt. Same with adjusting the sensitivity of your rain sensor, DRL brightness, and etc.

The Carly device is very handy and easy to use-- plug it in and get your phone . . . Yes, it is somewhat limited in comparison to coding with a laptop-- but it is so much easier for MOST things. I just wish the Brake Hold function could be coded to come on by default.

And Sam-- thanks for the time and effort to make the review.
 

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I was able to code FEM in my F15 without any issues. I'm very pleased with bimmercode, did everything I want, easier and cleaner interface plus Stephen (developer) was fast in responding and support was excellent. He even told me some things was missing but immediately added me to their beta version and solved my issues.
Give it a try
 

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I was able to code FEM in my F15 without any issues. I'm very pleased with bimmercode, did everything I want, easier and cleaner interface plus Stephen (developer) was fast in responding and support was excellent. He even told me some things was missing but immediately added me to their beta version and solved my issues.
Give it a try
I read about Bimmercode expert mode only in German though basic options show English text. Is this true?
 

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@Op

VERY VERY nice write up! Something I will correct you on, however in your initial analysis.... You said:


=====================

We have 4 options that I know of to perform coding on our F10s:
Dealership (Single time, No idea on price)


=====================

This is not actually an option. A dealer not only will not do pretty much any programming (for any price), they CAN NOT. They update modules "en mass", with software updates, and do not offer any of the convenience features that you can do via any of the other 3 methods you mention. The only thing the dealer can offer is coding a battery (obviously), and programming the auto start stop to remember last setting. Thats it.

So, Even for those with the money to pay for the dealer to program it, option 1 is not an option.

Other than that, excellent write up, and great contribution to the site! its the kind of post that should be stickied imo, since coding is something that comes up ALL the time, and this wonderful post is going to end up buried.
 

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Not sure about expert mode only in German or not. When you go into expert mode, it's just like coding via cable/laptop... you search for the module you want and change the codes as if it's from a laptop
 
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