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      12-12-2020, 11:51 PM   #1
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iDrive 6 Retrofit - issues with CarPlay (SOLUTION)

Hi everyone,

Recently I retrofitted iDrive 6 into my 2017 F20 125i LCI which had iDrive 4 (entrynav) and everything went smooth except for Apple CarPlay.

The saga so far:

After installing the head unit and bigger screen I booked a coding session with the company I purchased the kit from, however, it was going to be a few days until that could happen so I just didn't use it all that much until then, however, I did attempt to connect my phone to the system so I could at least have music while driving to and from work.

When connecting the phone Bluetooth it would work just fine, however connecting CarPlay was proving to be a bit more difficult. When connecting to CarPlay via My Vehicle > iDrive Settings > Mobile devices > Connect new device > Apple CarPlay - and then on the iPhone via Settings > General > CarPlay - I would get the 'Connecting to Apple CarPlay... This process may take some time'. screen for exactly 1 minute and then I would receive an 'Unable to establish connection' message. I've linked a video of this below.

https://youtu.be/3qjZ0IQNmwg

From there I thought this might just be a coding issue so I waited until I had my coding session. The coding session came and I was still receiving the above error. The company I purchased it from started investigating the issue.

From here it has been a bunch of back and forth testing multiple things:
  • Checking physical connectors on the back of the head unit
  • Disabling hotspot on the phone & disconnecting from all WiFi networks
  • Checking CarPlay enabled properly on iDrive via My Vehicle > iDrive Settings > Mobile devices > Settings > Checking CarPlay already ticked

Those were some of the main points, I think I tried too many things to list. From there we had another coding session to check over everything and still no luck. This is about where we were until about today when I decided to have another go and see if there was anything else I could do.

The solution:

Today I went into the car and decided to try again. Basically, I got it working using the following method. Firstly I cleared the device list on my iPhone and on iDrive, I also cleared my wifi list on the iPhone. I connected the iPhone to the iDrive system using the regular method and when I received the 'Connecting to Apple CarPlay... This process may take some time' message I switched to the phone and went to the wifi area in settings and saw a network called 'BMWXXXXX CarPlay'. I tapped it and connected & all of a sudden CarPlay appeared on the iDrive screen. I have no clue why this happened like this but currently, I have it working via this method. I've turned the car off completely, got back in some time later & started it up & CarPlay connected automatically.

The iPhone is currently on iOS 14.2 and I'm not sure if it's an iOS issue or an iDrive issue. I'm leaning more towards iOS. My thinking is that it's meant to connect to this network automatically but it did not, however when connecting manually it works.

So there we go, just thought I would post this that way it may help someone else if they have the same issue. I searched night and day and couldn't find anything on this issue except for a few people complaining that the connection would not work during the iOS 14 beta. Hope this helps.
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      01-02-2021, 08:08 PM   #2
tomee
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what did you buy for a ID6 reteofit?
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      07-08-2021, 03:13 PM   #3
paivig
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The issue that you faced with the carplay is a known bug. Sometimes it works right of the factory. other times have to manually connect in wifi settings apparantly.
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      07-16-2021, 06:24 PM   #4
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I have the EntryNav HU with iDrive 4 as well and would be interested in an upgrade to iDrive 6. Are you able to provide more info on what you needed to buy to upgrade, the process, and if possible cost etc?
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