BMW owners unable to access CarPlay due to apparent subscription service outage

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 9
A number of BMW owners are unable to access Apple's CarPlay from their in-car infotainment systems after the German marque's ConnectedDrive subscription service suffered an outage early this week.

BMW


While BMW has yet to comment on the apparent outage, owners believe CarPlay was made inaccessible when ConnectedDrive went down on Monday. Other drivers outside of the U.S. claim CarPlay has been unavailable for over a month.

The ConnectedDrive subscription service manages car infotainment, mobility and remote control systems, and serves as a gatekeeper to connectivity features like CarPlay. Some surmise that without confirmation of paid monthly dues, a car's network-connected head unit will not authorize access to select apps and services. It appears CarPlay is among those products impacted by the downtime.

Multiple reports listed in a Reddit thread spotted by 9to5Mac seemingly support the theory.

Interestingly, some BMW owners claim the ConnectedDrive outage also affects cars not covered by the subscription service, or more specifically older models in which the feature was offered as a factory upgrade.

When BMW introduced CarPlay to its lineup in 2016, the carmaker charged customers what amounted to a $300 activation fee. The company last year revealed a new pricing structure that gates CarPlay behind a subscription plan facilitated under ConnectedDrive.

Don Smith, technology product manager for BMW North America, pitched the strategy that charges customers $80 a year after 12 months of free access, as a win for price-conscious consumers.

"This allows the customer to switch devices," Smith said in an interview at the Detroit Auto Show in 2018. "A lot of people buy [CarPlay] and think its okay, but sometimes they stop using it or switch to Android."

BMW is one of only a handful of carmakers that charge for CarPlay access.

BMW has not addressed the issue publicly and it is unknown if the company is working to resolve the complication. Customers who have sought assistance from dealerships say service technicians are citing a system-wide problem with ConnectedDrive, but have found no further information on the matter.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,168member
    This is the sort of crap that would make me want to switch cars to a different brand.
    chaickarotateleftbyteolsmacseekerravnorodomrhbellmordavgregdws-2StrangeDayscaladanian
  • Reply 2 of 43
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,747member
    Total bullshit that BNW would charge a subscription on something that should be built-in.

    That alone would have me walking out of the dealer showroom.
    edited May 10 racerhomie3macseekerrhbellmordavgregcaladanianmacxpress
  • Reply 3 of 43
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,698member
    I am actually in the market for a new vehicle and when I first heard about this I immediately crossed BMW off the list. But to those who went along with it, all I can say now is ... BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
    macseekerolsrhbellmorcornchipdavgreg
  • Reply 4 of 43
    chaickachaicka Posts: 161member
    This is the #1 reason I went down with Mercedes instead of BMW when I was shopping for a new car.
    chasmolsrhbellmordavgreg
  • Reply 5 of 43
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 304member
    It was already ridiculous enough that BMW charged some $300 for CarPlay when some $20k cars throw in CarPlay for free.  Their subscription service is yet more money grabbing.  Ridiculous.

    Oh, did I mention that you can’t even get CarPlay unless you also buy their $2k navigation package?!

    I have a 2006 BMW 330i and pretty soon need a new car.  It ain’t gonna be a BMW for sure.  Next one will be an Audi (etron sportback) or Tesla Model Y.
    chasmolsmacseekerrhbellmorstompydavgreg
  • Reply 6 of 43
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 668member
    Keep the phone, ditch the car.
    chasmolsdavgregcaladanian
  • Reply 7 of 43
    rotateleftbyterotateleftbyte Posts: 1,185member
    tjwolf said:
    It was already ridiculous enough that BMW charged some $300 for CarPlay when some $20k cars throw in CarPlay for free.  Their subscription service is yet more money grabbing.  Ridiculous.

    Oh, did I mention that you can’t even get CarPlay unless you also buy their $2k navigation package?!

    I have a 2006 BMW 330i and pretty soon need a new car.  It ain’t gonna be a BMW for sure.  Next one will be an Audi (etron sportback) or Tesla Model Y.
    Does Tesla support CarPlay? I can't remember seeing it as being available when I looked at a Model S (this time last year and before the Model 3 became available)?

    I have it in my EV and TBH, it is a PITA. I keep having to tell siri to **** off when using my phone out of the car but that is probably down to me more than anything.
    caladanian
  • Reply 8 of 43
    xyzzy01xyzzy01 Posts: 40member
    Does Tesla support CarPlay? I can't remember seeing it as being available when I looked at a Model S (this time last year and before the Model 3 became available)?

    I have it in my EV and TBH, it is a PITA. I keep having to tell siri to **** off when using my phone out of the car but that is probably down to me more than anything.
    No, Tesla does not support CarPlay or Android Auto. Infotainment wise, they're a bit behind the curve. I've had CarPlay support in  my Hyundai Ioniq EV for a couple of years, and it's also my current Jaguar I-Pace - I would not buy a car without it. That's quite easy, as I think Tesla is pretty much the only one without.

    That said, I would not buy a car without a dashboard either - so 3 and Y were off the list anyways.
    ravnorodomcaladanian
  • Reply 9 of 43
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 833member
    There was a time when consumers stopped buying stereo amplifiers unless they had "compatible with iPod" (basically a USB input for your iPod). From reading these comments it appears consumers are now hesitating to buy cars unless they are "compatible with CarPlay."
    chasmolscaladanian
  • Reply 10 of 43
    Audi would never be so uncivilized as to charge for access to technology. 

    Vorsprung durch Technik!

    https://www.motor1.com/news/26995/audi-motto-celebrates-40th-anniversary-vorsprung-durch-technik/
    rhbellmor
  • Reply 11 of 43
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 720member
    There was a time when consumers stopped buying stereo amplifiers unless they had "compatible with iPod" (basically a USB input for your iPod). From reading these comments it appears consumers are now hesitating to buy cars unless they are "compatible with CarPlay."

    Some car features are necessities for consumers:
    1. Air Conditioning
    2. Cruise Control
    3. Leather Seats
    4. Car Play

    Manufacturers simply need to realize what is important to consumers i order to sell cars. 
    racerhomie3rob55
  • Reply 12 of 43
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 720member


    BMW is one of only a handful of carmakers that charge for CarPlay access.


    This is a greed play. Pure and simple.
    Essentially, you are renting your BMV for life. 
    Avoid BMW. 
    olsracerhomie3
  • Reply 13 of 43
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member


    BMW is one of only a handful of carmakers that charge for CarPlay access.


    This is a greed play. Pure and simple.
    Essentially, you are renting your BMV for life. 
    Avoid BMW. 
    Generally speaking, there is a reluctancy for carmakers to get Apple in between themselves and their customers.
    Therefore, many developed their own navi- and infotainment systems and integrated it with the car to a level that Apple/Android can’t match.
    The reason is their intrinsic fear for Apple as it tries to become a force in the automobile world - thereby enforcing their UX onto cars - reducing the role of the carmaker to a casing manufacturer.
    I am not saying what’s right or wrong, but I can understand their reluctancy. And when greed comes into place, we should respect the real champ...
    edited May 10
  • Reply 14 of 43
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 668member
    There was a time when consumers stopped buying stereo amplifiers unless they had "compatible with iPod" (basically a USB input for your iPod). From reading these comments it appears consumers are now hesitating to buy cars unless they are "compatible with CarPlay."
    I believe that entirely - a car is a huge investment, and with that it means that there are certain things that you will want it to do. Working with your digital ecosystem seems like an important requirement. (Especially when you gain first hand experience to how many car makers don't understand the importance of good UI/UX.)

    We see the exact same thing with HomeKit - people want their devices to work with HomeKit because of all the additional benefits this simple layer of compatibility brings. (Automation, Siri, Ease of use etc.)
    caladanian
  • Reply 15 of 43
    My recollection was that BMW said they were charging because CarPlay “would require ongoing development.” Well this sounds like exactly the kind of thing that those funds should go towards. If they can’t keep the service going there is no way they should charge.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    LoneStar88LoneStar88 Posts: 289member
    Latko said:


    BMW is one of only a handful of carmakers that charge for CarPlay access.


    This is a greed play. Pure and simple.
    Essentially, you are renting your BMV for life. 
    Avoid BMW. 
    Generally speaking, there is a reluctancy for carmakers to get Apple in between themselves and their customers.
    Therefore, many developed their own navi- and infotainment systems and integrated it with the car to a level that Apple/Android can’t match.
    The reason is their intrinsic fear for Apple as it tries to become a force in the automobile world - thereby enforcing their UX onto cars - reducing the role of the carmaker to a casing manufacturer.
    I am not saying what’s right or wrong, but I can understand their reluctancy. And when greed comes into place, we should respect the real champ...
    We leased a new 2018 Honda Accord Touring last December which has Apple Car Play, no extra charge.

    Though it offers NFC connections of Android phones, you do have to physically connect an iPhone to one of two USB ports, though, which is a bit of a pain. 

    But it works great. The sound quality of Honda’s speakers is good. 
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 17 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member
    If I were these car companies I’d be worried. They are getting in their own way a lot.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 725editor
    Latko said:


    BMW is one of only a handful of carmakers that charge for CarPlay access.


    This is a greed play. Pure and simple.
    Essentially, you are renting your BMV for life. 
    Avoid BMW. 
    Generally speaking, there is a reluctancy for carmakers to get Apple in between themselves and their customers.
    Therefore, many developed their own navi- and infotainment systems and integrated it with the car to a level that Apple/Android can’t match.
    The reason is their intrinsic fear for Apple as it tries to become a force in the automobile world - thereby enforcing their UX onto cars - reducing the role of the carmaker to a casing manufacturer.
    I am not saying what’s right or wrong, but I can understand their reluctancy. And when greed comes into place, we should respect the real champ...
    The entire reason that CarPlay and Android Auto exist is because car makers failed so badly at making infotainment. Historically, they opened it up for bids to the usual suspects (Blaupunkt supplied Ford, Alpine did the Bose-branded stuff in GM, etc.) and went with whatever met the price they were willing to pay the supplier. Apple and Google's UX are in cars only because car and radio manufacturers didn't (and arguably still don't) understand UX and meeting a user's goals.
    stompylordjohnwhorfinMplsPcaladanianStrangeDaysurahara
  • Reply 19 of 43
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,263member
    Latko said:


    BMW is one of only a handful of carmakers that charge for CarPlay access.


    This is a greed play. Pure and simple.
    Essentially, you are renting your BMV for life. 
    Avoid BMW. 
    Generally speaking, there is a reluctancy for carmakers to get Apple in between themselves and their customers.
    Therefore, many developed their own navi- and infotainment systems and integrated it with the car to a level that Apple/Android can’t match.
    The reason is their intrinsic fear for Apple as it tries to become a force in the automobile world - thereby enforcing their UX onto cars - reducing the role of the carmaker to a casing manufacturer.
    I am not saying what’s right or wrong, but I can understand their reluctancy. And when greed comes into place, we should respect the real champ...
    My friend just bought a 2016 Toyota Highlander that does not have Apple CarPlay.
    It is obvious that Toyota put a LOT of time, resources  and effort into developing their inhouse system.
    It is equally obvious that their inhouse system is crap.
    caladanian
  • Reply 20 of 43
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,263member
    I don't get it.   Does CarPlay require a subsciption of any sort from anybody?
    I thought it worked off of the iPhone like an Apple Watch without LTE.
    cornchip
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