New BMW iDrive this year. Big changes are coming

The Bavarian automaker has announced a new version of the BMW iDrive infotainment system. Interestingly, this year two editions will be presented, which “under the hood” will be significantly different from each other.

Quick access to the most important functions

It must be admitted that BMW iDrive has undergone significant changes in terms of the visual layer in recent years. This is clearly visible, for example, between versions seven and eight. It turns out that more big changes are coming soon, and they promise to be a step in the right direction.

BMW iDrive will get a major update this year, which will present both new solutions and develop ideas implemented in the iDrive 8 version. First, we will get a new design, new home screen, in which system navigation will have higher priority. In addition, new gadgets will be shown that will allow, among others, control of music or access to selected functions from a connected smartphone. It should be noted that the widgets will be located near the driver by default, which should lead to greater convenience.

A novelty that should also significantly affect ease of use is QuickSelect. At the bottom of the screen there will be icons of frequently used functions, such as music, navigation or telephone. The user will be able to configure exactly which features they want to have quick access to.

(photo BMW)

The introduction of icons at the bottom of the screen is a good idea, but it should be noted that BMW did it in an even better way, ie. using lots of physical buttons. Yes, we will still find a set of buttons and an iDirve knob, but unfortunately not in all models. In addition, recently the number of buttons has been significantly reduced.

In addition, the content, including interactive widgets, will adapt to the user’s needs. The new BMW iDrive will simply learn the driver’s behavior to display the most necessary functions at any given moment. Of course, now we will find such a solution in BMW, but apparently the manufacturer intends to expand this function.

BMW iDrive 9.0
(photo BMW)

BMW iDrive will be divided into two versions

Of course, the new home screen will be a big change, but actually the biggest revolution will happen “under the hood”. Well, Germany this year will introduce the iDrive 8.5 and 9.0, but the first version will be aimed at the larger and more expensive models, and the second at the basic ones in the offer. Why such BMW policy? Let me explain.

It turns out that iDrive 8.5 will still be based on Linux, just like iDrive 8 or 7. Here, first of all, we will see changes to the interface. In addition, work will be focused not only on the touchscreen, but also on the iDrive button located on the central tunnel. On the other hand, iDrive 9.0 should be based on Android Automotive, but interestingly, without Google services. It will also fit the cheaper BMW models, in which we will not find the aforementioned button.

The BMW 8.5 operating system will be introduced gradually from July 2023 on the following models: Series 7, iX, i4, X5, X6 and XM. BMW iDrive 9.0 will make its debut in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and X1, which will be produced from November 2023.

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