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If you are looking to add Apple CarPlay to your bmw this CarPlay MMI Prime from BimmerTech is the way to go. I have a 2016 BMW 535i X Drive and CarPlay was not put in this car until 2017 so I researched how to add it to my car. The BimmerTech CarPlay MMI Prime kept coming up so I thought I'd give it a try. I am so glad I did! It was a really easy installation with minimal tools and about 20 minutes of work but I am comfortable with taking out the stereo and screen before so it may take a little longer for you. The installation of the CarPlay MMI Prime is more or less a plug and play. You just need to take off the plastic covering, then take out 6 screws and the rest is plugging in certain wires to add the CarPlay to the original stereo. The CarPlay also adds a usb to add plug in CarPlay but it can also use CarPlay through Bluetooth which is a plus because I hate having to plug in my phone every time I get in my car. Once you get everything plugged in and hide the extra wires, you screw the 6 screws back in and put the plastic covering back on and you are all done. My wife has CarPlay in her 2017 X3 and I feel like I enjoy my CarPlay MMI Prime better than the factory BMW CarPlay as it's more customizable and you can use the whole screen for CarPlay. I am very happy with my purchase and I would not hesitate to purchase this again if put in the same situation. The price of $649 is not bad at all because instead of paying for the updated maps every year from BMW, I can use google maps, Apple Maps, or Waze through my iPhone for free.
The link to this product is: CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit for BMW | BimmerTech
 

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I am looking to do this as they have recently released the version for older CIC idrive
 

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I am thinking of getting the MMI Prime for my '16 535ix also. Does the input in the console continue to work after it is installed? Do the stock cameras work normally after install? How is navigating the interface with only the iDrive controller? Klunky or ok?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am thinking of getting the MMI Prime for my '16 535ix also. Does the input in the console continue to work after it is installed? Do the stock cameras work normally after install? How is navigating the interface with only the iDrive controller? Klunky or ok?
Yes you can run the original console or the MMI Car Play. Also, I kept my stock cameras and they work as usual. The iDrive controller works okay with the Car Play once you get used to it, wish it was touch screen but it does the job and you can control most of the stuff with your phone anyway.
 

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If you are looking to add Apple CarPlay to your bmw this CarPlay MMI Prime from BimmerTech is the way to go. I have a 2016 BMW 535i X Drive and CarPlay was not put in this car until 2017 so I researched how to add it to my car. The BimmerTech CarPlay MMI Prime kept coming up so I thought I'd give it a try. I am so glad I did! It was a really easy installation with minimal tools and about 20 minutes of work but I am comfortable with taking out the stereo and screen before so it may take a little longer for you. The installation of the CarPlay MMI Prime is more or less a plug and play. You just need to take off the plastic covering, then take out 6 screws and the rest is plugging in certain wires to add the CarPlay to the original stereo. The CarPlay also adds a usb to add plug in CarPlay but it can also use CarPlay through Bluetooth which is a plus because I hate having to plug in my phone every time I get in my car. Once you get everything plugged in and hide the extra wires, you screw the 6 screws back in and put the plastic covering back on and you are all done. My wife has CarPlay in her 2017 X3 and I feel like I enjoy my CarPlay MMI Prime better than the factory BMW CarPlay as it's more customizable and you can use the whole screen for CarPlay. I am very happy with my purchase and I would not hesitate to purchase this again if put in the same situation. The price of $649 is not bad at all because instead of paying for the updated maps every year from BMW, I can use google maps, Apple Maps, or Waze through my iPhone for free.
The link to this product is: CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit for BMW | BimmerTech
Do you happen to have their latest firmware update?
 

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Just as an FYI, these boxes (identical hardware) are available from other vendors for a fraction of the price. It's the same box with different names: Bimmertech, Andream, Carlinkit, etc. I got the Carlinkit-branded one. Works fine.

See this thread for a very thorough discussion:
 

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Just as an FYI, these boxes (identical hardware) are available from other vendors for a fraction of the price. It's the same box with different names: Bimmertech, Andream, Carlinkit, etc. I got the Carlinkit-branded one. Works fine.

See this thread for a very thorough discussion:
That's true, they all appear to be the same hardware and the experience with CarPlay seems to be pretty much the same with all of them.

But Bimmertech seems to have done the best job with Android Auto. Their software is the only one that auto-launches AA when you unlock your car and sets maps to night mode with the headlights. There is a custom software in that thread that is based on the Bimmertech software and includes the above AA features. The Carlinkit unit is the only unit currently being sold that is still compatible with that custom software.
 

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I really regret buying the bimmertech one for my f16 there customer service never answer they just send you a confirmation of receiving and informing you that it might take longer than usual due to high traffic volume but they never get back to you and if you contact them through the Facebook page they just have a sales guy who can’t do anything to you just telling you that everything is going to be OK and he’s going to forward it to the right department. So why would you pay triple the price for Bimmertech I just did it for the customer support that I didn’t had while my friend who bought it from china paid less and have an identical unit and ironically the place that he bought from are responding much faster than bimmertech.:(
I have contacted Bimmertech support maybe 2 - 3 times and they have responded within 1 - 3 days each time. So I am surprised to hear about your experience. Make sure that you use the [email protected] mail box. But I do agree that at this point it's hard to justify the price of the Bimmertech MMI Prime unit.

When these mmi's first became popular in late 2019 Bimmertech had much better software and features than all of the other sellers plus good support, ymmv apparently. But now all of the other sellers have added the missing features and they are still selling their versions at a fraction of Bimmertech's price. Bimmertech's main UI is still better looking imo but that is subjective.
 

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Thanks Muniz for your response but I think that you are a little bias towards bimmertech and by looking into your account it looks like there are only three replies including this one was all replying to bimmertech complaints so if you work for them it’s ok to speak for them as far as you are letting everyone knows
Oy Vey...now I understand why Bimmertech didn't respond to you. lol. Good luck!
 

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I've owned my European (Spain) version 2011 525d F10 from new which now has 80.000km (50k miles) and is in as new condition. I wanted to upgrade it to support CarPlay and bought Bimmetech's MMI Prime in April 2021 as a Covid lockdown project to improve the driving experience and use up some of the idle time.
Ordering and delivering was faultless and the tutorials were key in the success of the installation. I did not require any support to get it working to full satisfaction.
I am a normal owner, not a professional by any means, and had no trouble at all following the very detailed and excellent instructions and video tutorial.
It took me about 6 hours in total, of which over 2 were taken up to figure out how to open the trunk after inadvertently closing, and blocking it, with the battery disconnected and all the tools in the trunk. I could now probably do it less than 2 hours in total. I approached it slowly and extremely carefully, with an iPad at hand, step by step, in order to avoid mistakes or breaking anything.
Total success. When reconnecting the battery and hitting the start button, everything worked 100% first time. It is really great how seamlessly MMI Prime integrates with the car's electrics and infotainment. No loss of any of the car's native functionality and a full implementation of CarPlay, with no error codes or any evidence that the car has been modified.

MMI Prime is an excellent product and recommend it to any owner with an older BMW who wants to enjoy CarPlay, which elevates the experience and modernizes the car. The quality of all the components is excellent as are the video tutorials.

 

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I bought Bimmertech's CarPlay MMI for my wife's 2015 550 GT (F07) but have some major regrets. She already had a navigation system with heads-up display but was supplementing that with Google maps on her iPhone to constantly monitor for traffic delays and update her route.

1. If you have Heads-Up display, this CarPlay MMI will never be your primary navigation tool. These after market MMIs don't support HUD until 2020 models i believe

2. Wireless connectivity has been an issue. It's getting better with every new firmware update but it's still not good enough last time i checked. We're expecting reliable bluetooth connections in our BMWs but I didn't get that with my iPhone8. CarPlay didn't start up properly > 20% of the time. And, since you've unpaired your phone from the car's iDrive, you are reliant on CarPlay. If it doesn't come up, then you don't have a working phone....

3. We could not match volume between MMI apps and Satellite Radio. Phone volume (now thru Carplay MMI) and all MMI apps could be reasonably matched.

4. If you are used to using maps on your phone then you're giving up some basic touch-screen features that are not so easily replicated in the Carplay MMI at this time since it lacks touch-screen. You can zoom and move the map around but it's not as intuitive or convenient as doing it on your phone.

Ultimately, my wife found mounting her iPhone on the dash to be more user-friendly. She's somewhat resistant to change anyway but there were too many challenges to overcome here and not enough benefit...I will be selling it soon....
 

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If you are looking to add Apple CarPlay to your bmw this CarPlay MMI Prime from BimmerTech is the way to go. I have a 2016 BMW 535i X Drive and CarPlay was not put in this car until 2017 so I researched how to add it to my car. The BimmerTech CarPlay MMI Prime kept coming up so I thought I'd give it a try. I am so glad I did! It was a really easy installation with minimal tools and about 20 minutes of work but I am comfortable with taking out the stereo and screen before so it may take a little longer for you. The installation of the CarPlay MMI Prime is more or less a plug and play. You just need to take off the plastic covering, then take out 6 screws and the rest is plugging in certain wires to add the CarPlay to the original stereo. The CarPlay also adds a usb to add plug in CarPlay but it can also use CarPlay through Bluetooth which is a plus because I hate having to plug in my phone every time I get in my car. Once you get everything plugged in and hide the extra wires, you screw the 6 screws back in and put the plastic covering back on and you are all done. My wife has CarPlay in her 2017 X3 and I feel like I enjoy my CarPlay MMI Prime better than the factory BMW CarPlay as it's more customizable and you can use the whole screen for CarPlay. I am very happy with my purchase and I would not hesitate to purchase this again if put in the same situation. The price of $649 is not bad at all because instead of paying for the updated maps every year from BMW, I can use google maps, Apple Maps, or Waze through my iPhone for free.
The link to this product is: CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit for BMW | BimmerTech
I appreciate your review but I really would rather have the 12.3 inch touchscreen instead of my current BMW screen
 

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I installed the BimmerTech MMI upgrade to my 2017 540i this past weekend and so far, so good. There was absolutely no room behind my existing head unit so I put the MMI inside the glovebox and that worked out better for access if needed in the future. I can finally access my Android phone apps, music, and podcasts on my phone. I've used an iPod for the last 5 years and hated it. I noticed that in the settings screen on the MMI unit, there's an option to update the software. I sent an e-mail to their tech support but while I wait, does anyone know where to check and see if my existing software is obsolete? I attached a screenshot of my current display.
1040294
 

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I installed the BimmerTech MMI upgrade to my 2017 540i this past weekend and so far, so good. There was absolutely no room behind my existing head unit so I put the MMI inside the glovebox and that worked out better for access if needed in the future. I can finally access my Android phone apps, music, and podcasts on my phone. I've used an iPod for the last 5 years and hated it. I noticed that in the settings screen on the MMI unit, there's an option to update the software. I sent an e-mail to their tech support but while I wait, does anyone know where to check and see if my existing software is obsolete? I attached a screenshot of my current display. View attachment 1040294
That's the latest software that I have. Also, they don't publish their software anywhere and they tend to be very stingy about sharing it. Please let us know if they do provide a newer version.

Anyway, these mmi's really transform the driving experience. I love mine.
 

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I heard back from BimmerTech support so I'll share their response here for others that are interested in software updates.

"Thank you for reaching out to us. Yes, we do have updates for the units. We release them from time to time. At this moment, per the photo, I can see that you have the latest software available in the unit. You can reach out to us within the next 2-3 months to inquire about a new software. We do not post the software updates online because loading a wrong update into a MMI unit (there are different MMI units for different head units) results in bricking the MMI and having to perform a forced update which is not as easy.

When you reach out to us in sometime and we have a new software available for your unit we will provide you with a link and PDF instructions. The update needs to be loaded onto a USB drive and then the drive inserted into the USB port on the MMI. There is no way at the moment to update the unit via a phone or any different method than by using a USB drive."


Kind regards,
Jake Zakrzewski
Technical Support
 

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I heard back from BimmerTech support so I'll share their response here for others that are interested in software updates.

"Thank you for reaching out to us. Yes, we do have updates for the units. We release them from time to time. At this moment, per the photo, I can see that you have the latest software available in the unit. You can reach out to us within the next 2-3 months to inquire about a new software. We do not post the software updates online because loading a wrong update into a MMI unit (there are different MMI units for different head units) results in bricking the MMI and having to perform a forced update which is not as easy.

When you reach out to us in sometime and we have a new software available for your unit we will provide you with a link and PDF instructions. The update needs to be loaded onto a USB drive and then the drive inserted into the USB port on the MMI. There is no way at the moment to update the unit via a phone or any different method than by using a USB drive."


Kind regards,
Jake Zakrzewski
Technical Support
Thanks for sharing. Good to know that we already have the latest version.
 

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I've had no probs with the one I installed a few months ago in my 2016 535. I only use the cable to connect though so I'd suggest anyone having problems with wireless just use the cable. I still think it is a viable "stop gap" upgrade to these (now) older cars even though it's not supported in the HUD.
 
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