Carmiol
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:06 pm

Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:13 pm

Hi! This is my first post, so hello everybody!

I am in the process of purchasing my first i3 (my first BMW as a matter of fact). So Im pretty new to all of this world. It’s a 2017 White Giga, a beauty. I’m very excited!

Now, to my (somewhat) disappointment, this 2017 BMW does not support CarPlay. This is were I need help to solve.

To the best of my research, the reason for this is that the head unit is NBT and not the NBT EVO that started in 2018 i3.

Researching a little more, I found that Bimmer-Tech sells the NBT EVO ID5/ID6 Retrofit. It also sells a CarPlay MMI. That’s were things started to get confusing. Doesn’t the NBT EVO include the ability to CarPlay? Do I have to get both in order to have CarPlay? Help!?

Doing a little more research, I found out that there are other companies doing retrofits (Esys, somebody on Alibaba, etc.). This brings me to the next question: which one gives the closer look and feel to original BMW CarPlay (2018-2019)?

Doing even more research, I found out there is forum called BMW Coding, which apparently can activate stuff on the i3 (although I know that I can’t activate CarPlay if the hardware doesn’t support it). Buuuuuut, I still don’t really understand what can be done with this coding. Help!

Anyways, hello again! Please let me know if you know any of the answers to my questions. Thanks in advance.

jadnashuanh
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:06 pm

Coding a BMW is somewhat of a misnomer. You won't actually be changing the operational code, but changing parameters used by that coding. On some, it turns functions on/off. On others, it offers changes in the calibration of those effects. Think about it like a formula like F=ma. The formula is fixed, but you can change the parameters of m or a and get a different result. Note, though, that if you change anything, if your vehicle needs new software from the dealer to fix a problem, it will reset any of the changes you may have made. There's a huge amount of things that can be 'coded' in a typical BMW.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV

Carmiol
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:06 pm

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:37 pm

Oh I see. For example, the speed of the hazard lights could be changed by coding. Or turn “on” CarPlay, correct? Again, probably need a NBT EVO retrofit for it to work, right?

Carmiol
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:06 pm

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:40 am

So I missed something (important) in my original research. The ID6 retrofit costs over $2000 from Bimmer-Tech. Has anybody done this?

I mean, the NBT unit is the basic difference between the 2017 and the 2018. If it will get me the look and feel of a 2018 i3, for $2000, its not a terrible deal. Is it that much different from ID4? Or the CarPlay MMI?

Any comments, please?

vreihen
Posts: 303
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:55 pm
Location: Orange County, NY (FN21vm)

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:24 am

Carmiol wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:40 am
So I missed something (important) in my original research. The ID6 retrofit costs over $2000 from Bimmer-Tech. Has anybody done this?
Their $2000 ID6 retrofit gets you wireless CarPlay, the same as 2018+ models. (No touchscreen, though.)

Their cheaper MMI option is apparently an older BMW entertainment system box, with only wired CarPlay hacked onto it somehow.

There are also ~$400 options from China similar to the MMI but not quite plug-and-play, if you want to go down that rabbit hole and deal with tech support through Skype when it doesn't work.

If you want the pure BMW experience, it'll cost you two grand. If I were doing CarPlay, that is what I would be buying. There is a video on YouTube showing the installation process on an i3, and it looks simple since everything is done under the rear seat. (Most other BMW's require opening up the dashboard as well.)

Personally, I would give the non-CarPlay BMW stuff a fair shake before dropping the money to replace it. Their connected apps setup works fine for Pandora in my 2015 model, and I think that it is worth the $50/year fee. If you want Google Maps or Waze, then CarPlay is the only game in town.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

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MKH
Gold Member
Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:09 pm

The Unique Auto Dev retrofit is about half the cost of the Bimmer Tech, and reviews suggest it is better.


https://medium.com/@ayanhaydock/unique- ... 9137669bce

https://unique-ad.co.uk/product/wireles ... creen-8-8/
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

Carmiol
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 1:06 pm

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:18 pm

MKH wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:09 pm
The Unique Auto Dev retrofit is about half the cost of the Bimmer Tech, and reviews suggest it is better.


https://medium.com/@ayanhaydock/unique- ... 9137669bce

https://unique-ad.co.uk/product/wireles ... creen-8-8/
Does it have the same look and feel of OEM BMW NBT EVO ID6? Apparently, the Bimmer-Tech one is original BMW, so it would be OEM. However, if Unique Auto Dev has the same look and feel as OEM, but half the price, that's a good option. Bimmer-Tech retrofit is $2000+

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MKH
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Posts: 564
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 5:48 am
Location: Dallas

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:43 am

Does it have the same look and feel of OEM BMW NBT EVO ID6? Apparently, the Bimmer-Tech one is original BMW, so it would be OEM. However, if Unique Auto Dev has the same look and feel as OEM, but half the price, that's a good option. Bimmer-Tech retrofit is $2000+
I think the difference between the two systems, is the Bimmer-Tech replaces the factory i-drive unit under the rear seat, and depending on the year, also requires replacement of the head-unit on the dash - and gives OEM Carplay. the Unique Auto Dev has you connect a piggy-back Carplay unit to the existing i-drive unit under the seat, run a mic to the driver side pillar for voice control, and you then can switch back and forth between carplay, and the original i-drive setup.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

3merson
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:42 am

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:44 pm

@Carmiol

Where did you end up on this? Did you go with replacing the NBT unit completely or getting the MMI? Curios how this all shook out, I am looking at doing the same thing in my 2017.

geeksec96
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:52 pm

Re: Retrofits Questions (a lot)

Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:25 pm

I just purchased the retrofit for my 2017 and will post the results once I receive it and get it installed. This is for the Bimmer-tech version of the Car Play Prime MMI

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