BMW switches from Linux to Android Automotive next year


It only happens on certain models to begin with

Most drivers with Android phones probably rely on Android Auto these days – assuming, of course, they have a car that supports it. There’s a big difference between projecting your smartphone onto your car’s built-in screen and a vehicle that short on Android, though, and that’s where Android Automotive comes in. We’re finally seeing more vehicles running Google’s full operating system over the past two years, and from 2023 BMW will be the last company added to the list.

This week, BMW confirmed that some of its future models will run on a next-gen version of its in-house operating system built on Android Automotive. It’s a big change from previous Linux-based releases, although the company says some of its cars will remain on its legacy version. So far, the automaker has yet to confirm which of its models will get automotive support, although support work won’t begin until March 2023.


The automobile’s main selling point for automakers is its flexibility and customization options. Outside of some built-in Google apps – Assistant, Maps, the Play Store – don’t expect to immediately notice these BMW cars running Android. Instead, the company will almost certainly rely on a skin to bring the experience more in line with previous vehicles, as well as the Linux-based operating system the company plans to continue developing.

It’s the latest partnership for BMW, a company that was initially slow to work with companies like Google. It was the latest pushback from major car companies to support Auto, only bringing the feature to vehicles in the summer of 2020 after offering CarPlay for years. The announcement of a car move just two years after this debacle was resolved shows a much closer partnership with Google on the horizon, but with supported models over a year away we’ll have to wait. a bit longer for more definitive details.


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