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      07-21-2018, 09:19 PM   #1
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OEM Touchscreen + CarBridge App = What CarPlay Should Be

Ever since I got my M3, I wanted more from the infotainment system. I think the iDrive system is good (with ID6 being better than ID5 that came with my car), but I wanted more. I have been an iPhone guy for a while so I was looking forward to CarPlay, only to be disappointed at the limited number of apps that can used and the lack of a touchscreen interface. I looked at some of the aftermarket options, specifically the Android touchscreens on the market. They showed some promise, but were too "glitchy" IMO and I didn't want to feel like a beta tester. I wanted an OEM solution (or at least a near OEM solution).

In comes CarBridge, an app that allows you to use any app on your phone with CarPlay. My car did not come with a touchscreen, which makes the CarPlay experience more the way it should be, IMHO. So I first retrofitted an OEM 8.8" touchscreen into my car. Very easy to do since my car came from the factory with the NBT Evo headunit - required only three lines to code. Then I had to wait for the CarBridge app to be updated for the iOS version on my phone (iOS 11.3.1 specifically). The CarBridge app has actually been around for a while (I happened to stumble across it on YouTube), but it only worked on iOS 10 up until a few weeks ago. I will let the quick video I made demo how CarBridge works with CarPlay:



Now some detailed info about using CarBridge...

1. Your phone will need to be jailbroken in order to use this app. Even though it is a paid app ($5), it is not available in the Apple app store as Apple does not want to allow the use of all 3rd party apps with CarPlay (at least for now).

2. The integration of all 3rd party apps is not flawless, and the "glitches" that can occur can either be app specific or sometimes vehicle specific (i.e. BMW vs Audi vs Honda, etc) as each OEM integrates CarPlay slightly differently.

3. The iDrive controller will not work with any of the the 3rd party apps. This is why you will need a touchscreen.

Some apps don't work at all. For example, I tried to run Harry's Lap timer, which would be great for the track rats out there, but no joy as it just failed to open. The most annoying glitch that I have discovered since it's release a few weeks ago is the audio interrupt feature when using navigation apps like Waze or Google Maps. For example, if I am listening to Sat radio or off-air radio (or any non-CarPlay audio source), if Google Maps tries to provide any audio guidance, it will not come through (like it would if using the BMW Nav or Apple Maps, which is native to CarPlay). So far I have been able to find one workaround. If I open and run one of the native CarPlay audio apps first, like Apple Music (to play the songs stored on my phone), the audio interrupt from Waze or Google maps will work just fine. The catch is that I can only listen to audio from a native CarPlay app for this to work properly. If I switch back to a non native CarPlay audio source, like Sat radio, the audio interrupt from the 3rd party app will not function. In the case of Waze, it will cause Waze to lock up. This appears to be a BMW issue unfortunately. But if you usually listen to audio from a native CarPlay app (like Pandora, Spotify, Audio Books, etc), the audio from 3rd party apps like Waze or Google Maps will come through fine.

One other thing. You will notice in the video (due to my poor video skills with my iPhone) that in the reflection you can see my iPhone and that it was plugged in while I was making the video. When using CarBridge with CarPlay, the BMW interface with CarPlay is still a wireless interface. I only had my phone plugged in for power as my battery was running a bit low. Apparently CarPlay integration in aftermarket headunits and most other OEMs still requires the iPhone to be plugged into the radio via the lightning connector. And lastly, CarBridge allows you to use two different apps at once - one on your car's screen and a different app on your phone. That is how I was able to record the video using my iPhone and CarPlay at the same time. I could not demo a video playing on YouTube as running the video app (to record the video) did not allow YouTube to play any videos - not sure if that is a glitch or a limitation of the phone itself (I was using an iPhone 6s).

So am I gad I did it? Yes, as I think this is the way CarPlay should be and what makes a touchscreen in the FXX cars more useful. Even though Apple plans to offer official CarPlay support for Waze and Google Maps with the release of iOS 12 this Fall, I will still most likely use CarBridge so that I have access to other 3rd party apps on the OEM touchscreen.
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Last edited by jmciver; 07-22-2018 at 08:48 AM..
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      07-22-2018, 08:47 AM   #2
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Not to knock you - as this is sweet - didn't apple announce that iOS 12 would support use of many more 3rd party apps? I see you noted it might be in reference to just Google Maps & Waze? Not positive. Think that comes this fall or something.
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      07-22-2018, 09:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwhands View Post
Not to knock you - as this is sweet - didn't apple announce that iOS 12 would support use of many more 3rd party apps? I see you noted it might be in reference to just Google Maps & Waze? Not positive. Think that comes this fall or something.
Yes, they did. But I had not heard about Apple offering any support for other 3rd party apps besides Waze & Google Maps (as apparently Apple has been getting a lot of pressure to integrate those two apps in particular since Apple Maps is not as capable as those other two map apps). I would be really surprised if Apple opens up CarPlay to all 3rd party apps though (even though that is the way I think it should be since people are going to use their phones in their car anyway - so why not on the car's screen?).

TBH, I was mostly interested in CarBridge to use Waze or Google Maps. But I still like the ability to use some other 3rd party apps. I don't have a desire to use every app on my phone in CarPlay. I did not turn on all of the apps in CarPlay that I have installed on my phone, only the ones that I have some initial interest to use in the car - which I will refine over time. But I do like to have a choice of which apps I may want to use. And I would rather use my car's screen than look down on my iPhone for those times when I want to use another app.

Edit:
After a quick search, it appears Apple plans to open up 3rd party app development in the following categories: messaging, audio/music, VoIP, and OEM specific integration in addition to navigation. Still seems somewhat restrictive when you think of all the different apps out there. It remains to be seen if your favorite app (that you would want to use in the car) will fall into one of these categories for Apple to officially allow it in CarPlay.
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Last edited by jmciver; 07-22-2018 at 09:51 AM..
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      07-22-2018, 09:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmciver View Post
Yes, they did. But I had not heard about Apple offering any support for other 3rd party apps besides Waze & Google Maps (as Apple has been getting a lot of pressure to integrate those two apps in particular since Apple Maps is not as capable as those other two map apps).

TBH, I was mostly interested in CarBridge to use Waze or Google Maps. But I still like the ability to use some other 3rd party apps. I don't have a desire to use every app on my phone in CarPlay. I did not turn on all of the apps in CarPlay that I have installed on my phone, only the ones that I have some initial interest to use in the car - which I will refine over time. But I do like to have a choice of which apps I may want to use. And I would rather use my car's screen than look down on my iPhone for those times when I want to use another app.
I agree - very nice find
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      07-24-2018, 05:08 PM   #5
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How much did the 2018 screen run you? Also is the screen what comes with ID6? Or is the coding what activates ID6? I have ID5 in my 2017 and much prefer my wife's ID6
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      07-24-2018, 08:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Thescout13 View Post
How much did the 2018 screen run you? Also is the screen what comes with ID6? Or is the coding what activates ID6? I have ID5 in my 2017 and much prefer my wife's ID6
I purchased my OEM 8.8" screen from a forum member for $600. If you wait long enough, you can find a decently priced one on eBay from overseas. Otherwise it is $2k+ new. My '17 came with ID5, but coding it to ID6 was easy and is well documented. The coding to enable touchscreen control is separate from turning on ID6, but it is easy as well.
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      07-24-2018, 09:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmciver View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thescout13 View Post
How much did the 2018 screen run you? Also is the screen what comes with ID6? Or is the coding what activates ID6? I have ID5 in my 2017 and much prefer my wife's ID6
I purchased my OEM 8.8" screen from a forum member for $600. If you wait long enough, you can find a decently priced one on eBay from overseas. Otherwise it is $2k+ new. My '17 came with ID5, but coding it to ID6 was easy and is well documented. The coding to enable touchscreen control is separate from turning on ID6, but it is easy as well.
Perfect thanks! Having some coding done on Friday and was going to have them code in ID6_lite as I like how ID6 looks on my wife's much better than my ID5. Although I wish I could do the touchscreen, I find myself never using touchscreen on her car, so not in a hurry, but if I see a decent deal I make jump on it. Thanks!
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      04-11-2019, 07:12 AM   #8
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Hey There,

Did you see any lag or problem on viewing youtube videos?
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      04-15-2019, 01:14 PM   #9
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Hey There,

Did you see any lag or problem on viewing youtube videos?
audio and video is out of sync, yes
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      04-27-2019, 08:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmciver View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thescout13 View Post
How much did the 2018 screen run you? Also is the screen what comes with ID6? Or is the coding what activates ID6? I have ID5 in my 2017 and much prefer my wife's ID6
I purchased my OEM 8.8" screen from a forum member for $600. If you wait long enough, you can find a decently priced one on eBay from overseas. Otherwise it is $2k+ new. My '17 came with ID5, but coding it to ID6 was easy and is well documented. The coding to enable touchscreen control is separate from turning on ID6, but it is easy as well.
Can you share the coding to enable touchscreen please?
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      04-27-2019, 02:51 PM   #11
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Here you go....

These parameters are in the HU_NBT2 module

3000 HMI_ID_VERSION set to: id6_light
3000 CID_TOUCH set to: aktiv
3000 CID_HMI_TOUCH set to: aktiv
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      06-23-2019, 04:21 PM   #12
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Just got my car yesterday .... LOL and one of the first things I did was get CarBridge running on my phone. Mixed results as I did get it to work but there was a lot of glitches and bugs. Like the audio would play but no picture, or the image would be sideways with no way to adjust. I don't know if the crappy playback is due to my old phone (iPhone 5 that doesn't have LTE.... yeah I know its old and slow), or is it just a limitation of the system. If I need to get a new phone I can but... just wondering. What apps have people gotten to work and to what degree. We should get a list started for reference.
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      06-25-2019, 09:36 PM   #13
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Just got my car yesterday .... LOL and one of the first things I did was get CarBridge running on my phone. Mixed results as I did get it to work but there was a lot of glitches and bugs. Like the audio would play but no picture, or the image would be sideways with no way to adjust. I don't know if the crappy playback is due to my old phone (iPhone 5 that doesn't have LTE.... yeah I know its old and slow), or is it just a limitation of the system. If I need to get a new phone I can but... just wondering. What apps have people gotten to work and to what degree. We should get a list started for reference.
iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to have LTE.

iPhone 5 is also 32 bit that might cause serious issues as Apps and iOS are not being updated.
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      06-27-2019, 08:45 PM   #14
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iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to have LTE.

iPhone 5 is also 32 bit that might cause serious issues as Apps and iOS are not being updated.
I have one of the originally released iPhone 5. When I switched to T-Mobile they told me that my phone was not able to run on the current LTE towers and I'd have crappy reception. I only ever get 2 bars.

I'm really an Android chick so I only use an iPhone for work (hey they give it to me for free, which is why I have an old iphone 5 laying around). But I ordered an iPhone 5c which I know supports LTE and was the cheapest newer iPhone I could get to test out CarBridge. If it works great. If not, then the new 5c goes back.
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      06-27-2019, 09:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TProfit View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to have LTE.

iPhone 5 is also 32 bit that might cause serious issues as Apps and iOS are not being updated.
I have one of the originally released iPhone 5. When I switched to T-Mobile they told me that my phone was not able to run on the current LTE towers and I'd have crappy reception. I only ever get 2 bars.

I'm really an Android chick so I only use an iPhone for work (hey they give it to me for free, which is why I have an old iphone 5 laying around). But I ordered an iPhone 5c which I know supports LTE and was the cheapest newer iPhone I could get to test out CarBridge. If it works great. If not, then the new 5c goes back.
You switched to TMobile. The iPhone 5 had LTE but not EVERY Carriers LTE Bands. So switching to TMobile from another carrier was why you could not get TMobile LTE in your phone. Your iPhone had LTE, just not the TMobile version of LTE.

In fact, that's still true today. Not all Smartphones have the others full working frequencies.

It will be EVEN WORSE with 5G as each carriers plans are VERY DIFFERENT.
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      06-28-2019, 09:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You switched to TMobile. The iPhone 5 had LTE but not EVERY Carriers LTE Bands. So switching to TMobile from another carrier was why you could not get TMobile LTE in your phone. Your iPhone had LTE, just not the TMobile version of LTE.

In fact, that's still true today. Not all Smartphones have the others full working frequencies.

It will be EVEN WORSE with 5G as each carriers plans are VERY DIFFERENT.
AHHH you make a good point. Thanks. My work phone had AT&T but I got a great deal and new SIM card for T-Mobile. Like I said I don't use iPhones, my real phone is Android. This was just something I was trying to use to get CarBridge to work for really cheap.
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