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Will Audi be playing catch-up again with BMW (like the DAB Radio which was standard in BMW's from 1st January this year).
From Auto Express: Upgraded internet-based ConnectedDrive system to feature in all new BMWs from autumn (no cost)
BMW has announced that its latest ConnectedDrive internet system will be fitted to every new car it sells. Beginning this autumn, BMW will fit its latest iDrive controller, a TFT central display and an in-built BMW SIM card to every new model it launches.
This will allow drivers to access apps like music streaming service rara, which gives access to a library of 17 million songs while on the move, plus a Mobile Office App which lets you dictate and send emails and text messages using just the SIM card built into the car.
The system also allows BMW to send software updates and diagnose faults remotely. The firm claims ConnectDrive won't add any more to the new price of a car. Instead, BMW plans to recoup the cost of developing the system - a figure in "the three-digit millions of Euros" according to one BMW insider - by selling apps developed by BMW and third party firms, through a bespoke BMW app store accessed either in-car or on a special owner's section of the BMW website.
 

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This is the thing that annoys me most about my SQ5 compared to my 135i... The built in SIM is so much better than messing about with tethering to your phone!

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This is the thing that annoys me most about my SQ5 compared to my 135i... The built in SIM is so much better than messing about with tethering to your phone!

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Jose, you can insert a sim in the Audi system can't you? I'm hoping so as I have Apple everything and know that I can't tether so I will arrange a separate data only plan for the car...at least I was hoping to!

Have to say, the rest of the BMW stuff on connected drive is of less interest. Both Audi and BMW systems are similar and as for Internet radio, I use Napster through iPhone for the exact same service, albeit with data charges...
 

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Yes you can - but you cannot currently use your iPhone handsfree at the same time (this is fixed in MY14 cars, and I am awaiting an update for MY13 cars) - plus I will have to pay ~£120 per year for the data SIM, whereas the BMW has this cost included for the first 3 years of ownership, and then is £120 per year after that direct to BMW, but you get more than just the data, you get the SOS, and BMW On Call helpdesk service (you call, give them a location you want to go to, they will send it direct to the car - much easier than typing in on the iDrive while you drive, and the call cost is free) etc included...

The iDrive also has a full browser included (a gimmick but is sometimes handy if you want to look something up), and you can lock/unlock/locate the car from your smartphone app over the internet which is a handy feature (I used to get paranoid I hadn't locked it all the time!). Some BMW's also allow you to turn on the A/C from your phone so when you get to the car it is a nice temperature - these are all still missing from the Audi offering because to offer them you need an always on connection, something not possible if you do tether (I know it would be potentially if you put a SIM in the car).

Overall I would say the Audi MMI is only 75% of what the BMW iDrive is. It is let down mainly by not thinking out properly how the various technologies should work together. The BMW is a seamlessly integrated bit of kit, you get in the car, put your BMW account username/password in once when you buy the car, and everything just works.
My Audi I have had to put 2 or 3 different usernames/passwords in (to link to Audi Connect, and then that to your Google account to send nav destinations) - and after that I can't use any of these features anyway as I have an iPhone (as do most people!).
As mentioned, I am hoping that MY13 cars get the SIM+iPhone fix soon as I like my gadgets - mainly I want the Internet based traffic and the ability to send nav destinations from Google prior to getting in the car (so much quicker to look it up on your phone and send it that type in on MMI).
 

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Thanks Jose, that's really useful. I have to say I've not really used Internet in my Z4 but I do use the google search function in the navigation to locate addresses and get direction; I have always found this to work very well.

I have a deal with Three for my iPad giving my 15gb of data for £5 a month. I'll just add another sim for the car to this.

I guess my car will be a MY14 so should have the updates.

Thanks again.
 

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£5 for 15GB is an awesome deal - may well look into that if/when I get a SIM for the car.

Cheers!
 

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£5 for 15GB is an awesome deal - may well look into that if/when I get a SIM for the car.

Cheers!
That is good but i bet i know someone who has a cheaper and better option

Bye Bye lol
 
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It's with Three. And contrary to expectation, it's actually been very reliable. I took the £15 for 15gb deal on a one month rolling contract and then after three months told them I wanted to leave. Refused there first two offers but accepted their last attempt to 'retain one of our special customers'. Now they keep asking if I'd like another one a the same price.
 

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Whilst I'm certainly not adverse to technology, how much of what BMW is now offering is going to be used? We have a Mini with Sat Nav, DAB, Bluetooth and Ipod connection that all works but when I was last in the dealership the salesman focused on being able to check my facebook account as being a reason to upgrade!
 

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Yea - I never used the FB bit! Some of the in-built posts were pretty funny though, they used external info like temperature, last received caller and how the car is configured etc - so it would suggest "It's 21 degrees outside and I'm driving my BMW with the roof down!" CRINGE!

I did use most of the other online features though including;
Sending nav destinations from laptop/phone to car
Internet based traffic (1000 times better than TMC over FM)
Online google destination lookup on the nav
Remote lock/unlock/location/horn/lights (handy if I was out and the Mrs' left her sun glasses in the car at home for example). And I guess in a festival parking scenario you could beep the horn/flash the lights etc to find the car.
In car web browser (though not that often)
Weather/news

I think the only things I never used were the Twitter/FB integration - you also had to have your iPhone with the BMW app open for them to work which was silly. They have vastly increased the app thing and opened an API for 3rd party developers to integrate with since I had the car - but looking at the list it is all a big gimmick IMHO. The napster integration could be useful - but I use Spotify anyway, and I stream it over bluetooth just fine, it shows track names and can pause/skip track etc from the MMI controls so don't see the need for anything better than that.
 

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I'd need a FB profile to start with...now if they did LinkedIn.

It'll be interesting to see how the current US and EU moves to control and limit in car tech progress. I detest over-regulation and can imagine if I'm told I can't have something or (god forbid) existing functionality has to be switched off, I'll immediately want it all!
 
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