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      03-28-2018, 09:04 PM   #1
cepheus007
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Apple Car play options for Z4 E89 which one?

hi guys

I have 2016 BMW Z4 E89 28i.

i am trying to get some sort of support for Apple car play. BMW told me that apple car play retrofit is not available for Z4 models.

i've came across very different but 4 options.

First two options are wireless transmission of the phone screen hence no need to add 2nd display on the car.

1. Bimmertech smartview - $614 USD
https://www.bimmer-tech.net/shop/bmw...tech-smartview
Pros : credible company and people actually have had these units
cons : what if new iOS update gets released and i am at a mercy of Bimmertech to release the firmware upgrade

2. Unichip carplay smartbox (chinese company) - $458

Pros : looks great and it seems to be working.
Cons :it seems that there might be an issue when it comes to future support


Extra display screen options (Single DIN)

3. Pioneer AVH-3300NEX (wired car play) - $429 USD

Pros : screen is folded back when turned off the unit so it can look ver clean
Cons : not sure how much i can flex the screen

4.Alpine ILX-107 (wireless car play) - $664 USD

Pros : wireless apple carplay this is the way to go
cons : screen will block A/C control unit

Not sure what to do, first two options are literally giving your expensive upgrade at a mercy of Apple as these companies need to update their device when new iOS get released. however, they are directly mirroring to the built in iDrive screen so looks very sleek.

#3 and 4th option, you can be sure that they will release the iOS update and can easily update them through USB connector but it might make car dashboard a bit silly with screens. also audio system must be removed and it might need to come out a littler more towards the gearbox as there is leather trim (3cm) that come out towards the gearbox just below the a/c unit.

i am leaning towards #3 Pioneer AVH-3300NEX

anyone who have had made any of these upgrades?

thanks,


J
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      04-02-2018, 04:15 AM   #2
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If the 1st option works as advertised, I firmly believe that you should take it. I'm going to look into it myself, as it will make my life easier.
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      04-05-2018, 06:39 PM   #3
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hey. i agree.. i am leaning towards option 3 but probably going to wait to see what others has to say. if you install any of 4, please let me know!! thanks man!
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      04-07-2018, 09:00 PM   #4
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I am just thinking out loud.
We have a DVD drive. Can we leverage the video input and mirror iPhone screen?
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      06-20-2018, 08:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unixphone View Post
I am just thinking out loud.
We have a DVD drive. Can we leverage the video input and mirror iPhone screen?
If there is an HDMI or DVI in on the head unit, we may be able to use it. Bimmer Tech has repurposed an Apple TV to drive mirroring. There are smaller options like Google Chrome and FireTV sticks that support Miracast and Apple play mirroring. Just like BimmerTech, we can power it through USB. We just need a mechanism to take the HDMI-in.

I am curious if anyone has pictures of the head unit?
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      06-27-2018, 10:30 AM   #6
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I am a noob. Just picked up a CPO 2015 Z4 sDrive28i. It's a real base model without iDrive and with just the basic BMW Professional Radio. No screen.

I love CarPlay and would like to upgrade to be able to use it as my NAV. I could go with a magnetic mount and just use the phone, but I would like to see how your option 3 looks like with the screen in and out. If you go that direction, I would love to see pictures.
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      06-27-2018, 01:42 PM   #7
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Im seriously considering option 2. I know it seems risky but it seems to be the only integrated option which will work with my idrive. Option 1 does not offer "Carplay" but only mirroring. Additionally, you can purchase on Amazon and the manufactures says there that they will provide USB updates to keep up with IOS updates.

I may end up being the guinea pig on this, will keep you all posted how it goes.
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      06-29-2018, 07:40 PM   #8
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I have been doing my own digging. I do not have an iDrive screen. So, I am only looking at options that add a screen.

There is a new Pioneer model: AVH-3400NEX. It looks like the screen will be able to deploy and just miss the gear shift. However, when deployed the screen sits atop the 1-DIN unit and will definitely make the AC controls difficult to get to.

The Alpine unit you are looking at is a 2-DIN unit and will not fit. However, they have a very impressive new unit that will fit: Halo9 iLX-F309. It has an absolutely massive 9" screen. However, the screen is only 6" tall and comes on a floating swivel mount that allows you to adjust the height. I think you could adjust it lower so that the AC controls are accessible as well as the buttons for the retractable top. My only question is whether the screen comes out so far that it might obstruct the gear shift. (I have a manual.) The other problem is that it is pricey.
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      07-23-2018, 09:19 AM   #9
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Greetings all,

Here is an update. I opted for option 2. The unichip Smart Box from China.

I installed it last week and it works flawlessly. I am very impressed with the full apply car play functionality.

The installation was not the easiest but it is almost completely plug and play.

If anyone needs advice or has questions please send me a PM.

Heres the Pros:
-Seemless integration to Idrive
-Can use steering wheel buttons and Idrive controller for carplay controls
-Ask Siri functionality

Cons:
-You must use their aux in wire to plug into the jack under the arm rest, means hiding a wire
-Phone has to be plugged into their USB input wire
-Placement of smartbox is tricky. They state that it can fit behind the CIC unit but its tight. Alternatively you can remove the panel under the glovebox and wire back through there.
-You must use their mic, which is supplied, but that means another wire to hide
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      07-24-2018, 12:15 PM   #10
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That looks like a good option. I hope it works out for you. Unfortunately, I do not have the iDrive. I just have the crappy Professional radio. So, to get CarPlay, I need to add a screen. That has proven very difficult to find a screen that will not ruin the aesthetics of the interior or interfere with my shifting of the manual transmission. The single DIN Alpine looked promising, but its big screen just protruded to far. I would hit it every time I shifted into 1st or 3rd. But I think I have found a solution in Joying's 8.8 inch android unit.

This thing's screen is 9.4' x 4.2' and will fit in the dash perfectly. It is ridiculously powerful and can do practically anything (assuming it doesn't break). It has an app called Zlink that can simulate CarPlay and Android Auto. I am going to get it installed soon. I'll report back with problems, that I fully expect.

Last edited by tommylotto; 07-24-2018 at 12:39 PM..
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      08-15-2018, 09:46 PM   #11
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So, I finally managed to get the Joying android head unit installed. I didn't't trust myself to install it right, so I needed to hire an installer.

The first guy I went to was very competent and high end, but he was really resistant to installing anything that was not Alpine, Pioneer or Kenwood. He offered to hack my dash up and force a 2-DIN unit into it. He advised against the Joying, but agreed to do the install then scheduled me for two weeks later. I asked him if he had the right fascia and harness and he said no problem. Two weeks later, he waits until 5 p.m. to open my car up, and lo and behold, he says he cannot do it because he doesn't have the right fascia and harness. He recommends hacking a 2-DIN unit into the dash again. I leave upset.

I find the fascia on ebay from London and the harness/CANBUS adaptor on ebay from Germany. I order the parts and wait another week and a half. I go to another installer. Probably less skilled, but more enthusiastic. He too was doubtful it would work, but he was game to try.

It worked! The harness/CANBUS adaptor kept the parking sensor beeps and 6 out of the 8 steering wheel controls (volume up, volume down, phone and source). That is good enough for me.

I think my installer did a sloppy job, and I think I'll need to go back. He left a gap between the dash and the fascia and the microphone and GPS antenna were placed sloppily.

However, this head unit really does have all the power of a full fledged android tablet. You can surf the web, watch videos, download and run apps like Torque Pro. Lots of cool stuff. The settings menu is absolutely dizzying.

CarPlay works flawlessly (except the issue described below).

Right now the only problem that I have encountered is that the audio from my phone (both calls and iTunes music) does not seem to work when the car is in Accessories mode. It works fine when the motor is running, but no sound once I stop the motor. The radio works however. So, it is baffling. I suspect it might be a setting somewhere, but it may be hours before I find the right setting.




The Joying customer support is not bad. It is not instantaneous, but they follow through. On several issues, I would email them a description of the problem. The next day they would email back a solution, or they would ask me to post a video of the problem. Then the next day they would post a solution.

An MCU firmware update fixed the CarPlay audio in ACC mode. Now that that works, I am a happy camper. CarPlay was the reason I got this unit. However, I have been temped by the Android goodies. I bought an ODB2 adaptor and get Torque Pro diagnostics and driving data. I bought Joying's TPMS adaptors. Initially the TPMS software didn't work with the 8.8" horizontal screen (buttons were lost), but after a few days and a few emails, they produced another version of the software for me. So, now I can keep an eye on my non-run flat Michelin Pilot Sport 4s's.

The final touch was to add Web Car Guru's launcher for a more OEM look.



Last edited by tommylotto; 09-12-2018 at 05:20 PM..
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      09-11-2018, 03:12 PM   #12
camiton
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Hey tommylotto, pretty cool set up.
i got the same car, and looking to maybe try to do the same, you think is possible to share the links of all the items you buy to make it possible ?

thanks !
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      09-11-2018, 04:51 PM   #13
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Fascia

Wiring Harness

So, things are not perfect. Overall I am happy, but there are caveats. This is my weekend cruiser, and I might not be so patient and understanding if this were my daily driver.

6 of 8 of the steering wheel buttons do work and can be assigned to whatever tasks I want while in the android side of the system. However, that feature does NOT work while in the CarPlay emulation. The only buttons that work while in the ZLink CarPlay app are the two buttons assigned to volume. The ZLink app has a setting window that says it allows you to assign steering wheel buttons to tasks, but Joying does not support that feature at this time. Maybe in the future they will get it to work. Right now, all you get is the volume control.

The phone works fine in CarPlay for me. I can hear everything perfectly. However, whomever I am calling hears an echo as they talk. I do not hear the echo. So, it doesn't bother me, but one of my callers has complained, and I imagine it would be annoying on a longer call. Again, the ZLink settings window has a feature called echo cancellation, which, if it worked, would probably fix this, but it is not yet supported by Joying.

The Joying radio app seems to forget all my stored radio stations every time I re-start the system. It is frustrating, but I have not really tried to fix this issue, because I do not use their radio application. I spend most of my time in CarPlay. So, for radio I use either iHeart Radio (for local broadcasts) or Sirius XM (for everything else). I upgraded my Sirius XM subscription on one of my other cars to include streaming. So, I can now use the Sirius XM application for radio in the Z4. Both the iHeart and the Sirius XM apps work well through CarPlay, so long as I have cell service...

I have filled the 32Gb of memory with a sizable chunk of my music library. So, if I do not feel like plugging in my phone or if I drive outside of cell service I will have something to listen to.

The final complaint is one that I imagine plagues any screen based system in a convertible. With the top down in the bright sunlight, it is difficult to see the screen. You have to drive under a shady tree or some thing else if you want to change the station.
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      09-12-2018, 02:32 PM   #14
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amazing review ! thanks

my local dealer want me to install the Halo9 , but is just to big
so i will get the parts to get this a try

thanks !
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      09-19-2018, 10:34 PM   #15
Dusty78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
Fascia

Wiring Harness

So, things are not perfect. Overall I am happy, but there are caveats. This is my weekend cruiser, and I might not be so patient and understanding if this were my daily driver.

6 of 8 of the steering wheel buttons do work and can be assigned to whatever tasks I want while in the android side of the system. However, that feature does NOT work while in the CarPlay emulation. The only buttons that work while in the ZLink CarPlay app are the two buttons assigned to volume. The ZLink app has a setting window that says it allows you to assign steering wheel buttons to tasks, but Joying does not support that feature at this time. Maybe in the future they will get it to work. Right now, all you get is the volume control.

The phone works fine in CarPlay for me. I can hear everything perfectly. However, whomever I am calling hears an echo as they talk. I do not hear the echo. So, it doesn't bother me, but one of my callers has complained, and I imagine it would be annoying on a longer call. Again, the ZLink settings window has a feature called echo cancellation, which, if it worked, would probably fix this, but it is not yet supported by Joying.

The Joying radio app seems to forget all my stored radio stations every time I re-start the system. It is frustrating, but I have not really tried to fix this issue, because I do not use their radio application. I spend most of my time in CarPlay. So, for radio I use either iHeart Radio (for local broadcasts) or Sirius XM (for everything else). I upgraded my Sirius XM subscription on one of my other cars to include streaming. So, I can now use the Sirius XM application for radio in the Z4. Both the iHeart and the Sirius XM apps work well through CarPlay, so long as I have cell service...

I have filled the 32Gb of memory with a sizable chunk of my music library. So, if I do not feel like plugging in my phone or if I drive outside of cell service I will have something to listen to.

The final complaint is one that I imagine plagues any screen based system in a convertible. With the top down in the bright sunlight, it is difficult to see the screen. You have to drive under a shady tree or some thing else if you want to change the station.
I just got an E89 today and am already looking to upgrade the radio. Do you think the halo would work with an automatic with the electronic shifter? Also is there any other car functionality you lose when changing out the business radio? I know about the steering controls. I have the base model radio. No nav or screen. Thanks
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      09-19-2018, 10:42 PM   #16
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I found this picture from Alpine Greece so it looks like the halo should work with the automatic at least although your hvac controls will be partially obscured

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/wMtcsj1q/61_C42...BF2_AEFFCE.jpg[/img]
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      09-20-2018, 06:07 AM   #17
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I tried to get the Halo to work, but the screen and mounting bracket was just too thick. The screen came out too far. My knuckles would hit the screen every shift into 1st, 3rd and 5th. There would be less than an inch between screen and gear shifter. Iím not sure about the automatic. It probably will not be an issue, because you are not always manipulating it like with a manual. You could probably manage with narrow clearance. However, from the picture, I would find it unacceptable due to obscuring the AC controls. You might be able to reach behind, but you would not be able to see what you are doing. That would obstruct functionality.

The stock radio did not do that much. So, I didnít lose any functionality with the Joying. The harness preserved most of the steering wheel controls (as discussed above) it also preserved the beeping of the proximity sensors. Iíd like to be able to control the volume of the beeping, but it gets your attention and you can turn it off if it annoys you. The simple on board computer stuff is all handled by the amber screen between the instrument cluster and it is not effected.

I figure the Halo is just the beginning. Soon, the major players like Alpine will develop a single DIN horizontal screen CarPlay capable head unit that doesnít stick out too far, but until then it looks like the Joying is the only option on the market.
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      09-20-2018, 01:10 PM   #18
Dusty78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
I tried to get the Halo to work, but the screen and mounting bracket was just too thick. The screen came out too far. My knuckles would hit the screen every shift into 1st, 3rd and 5th. There would be less than an inch between screen and gear shifter. I’m not sure about the automatic. It probably will not be an issue, because you are not always manipulating it like with a manual. You could probably manage with narrow clearance. However, from the picture, I would find it unacceptable due to obscuring the AC controls. You might be able to reach behind, but you would not be able to see what you are doing. That would obstruct functionality.

The stock radio did not do that much. So, I didn’t lose any functionality with the Joying. The harness preserved most of the steering wheel controls (as discussed above) it also preserved the beeping of the proximity sensors. I’d like to be able to control the volume of the beeping, but it gets your attention and you can turn it off if it annoys you. The simple on board computer stuff is all handled by the amber screen between the instrument cluster and it is not effected.

I figure the Halo is just the beginning. Soon, the major players like Alpine will develop a single DIN horizontal screen CarPlay capable head unit that doesn’t stick out too far, but until then it looks like the Joying is the only option on the market.
So I have the S677A HiFi System Professional DSP setup. Do you think it will be a pain to retrofit this system into it? I will likely need a new multi-channel amp correct? Or do you think the harness from Germany can be used? Maybe a bypass? Thanks
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      09-20-2018, 03:54 PM   #19
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I am not sure with your set-up. I am no expert. My car has the six speaker set-up. What I can report is that both installers told me that installing the Joying would require a complicated retrofit -- either rewiring the whole thing or installing a new amplifier. They were both telling me the amplifier is digital and yada, yada, yada, it will never work. However, once they installed the Joying with the German harness that I brought to them everything worked perfectly fine, including the stock speakers and stock amplifier.

Now, I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that the German harness somehow gets the audio signal properly from the head unit to the amplifier. So, it should not matter if you have a 6 speaker system or a 10 speaker system. Once the audio signal gets there, everything else is being handled by the amplifier. My amp would divide the signal 6 ways, yours 10. Like I said, I could be wrong. However, both my installers were definitely wrong. I'd insist that they try to install with just the harness to see if it works before I agree to anything more drastic.

Also, when ordering the harness, they ask you to send a picture of the Joying wiring diagram. Apparently, there are several wiring systems for the "no-name" Chinese head units. They need to know which wiring system your head unit uses to give you the right adaptor wire.
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      09-20-2018, 04:54 PM   #20
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Awesome. Thanks
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      10-03-2018, 04:55 PM   #21
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This post has been a long time coming... but, here's my experience.

I went with option 2, the UniChip SmartBox and have been very happy.

Installation is a bit of a challenge. But, worth it in the long run.

In addition to their video instructions. I loosened the center console to run wires back to the armrest. In the process, I swapped the cigarette lighter/ashtray piece for a small tray/sunglasses holder and also swapped out the cupholders/phone dock for a large oddments tray. I drilled a large hole through the large oddments tray and ran both the aux cable and a USB flush mount cable through there.

Lastly, I ran wires through the armrest, into the trunk and through the back of the trunk to the license plate area to install a license plate holder with back up camera.

Much to my surprise everything works.

Pros:
-Anyone who didn't know better would think this was a stock system as it uses the iDrive screen, iDrive control unit and steering wheel buttons.
-Back up camera turns on when put in reverse and turns off when back in gear for a few seconds (other forums have claimed that you needed to press a button to activate/deactivate the back up camera).
-Tech support is great.

Cons:
-Installation is a pain.
-Back up camera image is shifted upward a bit on the screen. I have contacted support to see if there are any settings that can be adjusted. Also possible that it could be an issue with the camera itself.


My only fear with this system at this point is that if something ever goes wrong... ugh. It will be a hassle to diagnose and fix.
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      10-04-2018, 07:30 PM   #22
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That does look like a nice stock-like installation. Questions about the camera -- do the lines turn with the car? Do the lines match the width of the car? What creates the lines, the camera or the head unit? Can you drive in reverse by camera? What camera did you use?

My camera is not too useful. The lines are generated by the head unit and do not move nor do they match the width of the car. So, the lines are of no use. My camera tilts down and has a wide 170 degree image. Because license plate area on the Z4 is so low and the screen (like yours) is so wide, the down tilted camera picks up every bit of pavement under my wheels, but it is too hard to drive in reverse by relying on the camera alone. I think I have to find a new camera that does not tilt down, plus I'd like one with adjustable lines that move.
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