BMW Screen Mirroring Retrofit: A Concise Guide

As a BMW owner, you might be interested in enhancing the usability of your vehicle’s iDrive system by adding the screen mirroring functionality.

BMW screen mirroring allows you to display your mobile device’s screen on the larger iDrive display, making it easier to use apps for navigation, music, and more.

To retrofit screen mirroring in your BMW, you have several options. You can opt for coding or installing hardware components, depending on your vehicle model and its compatibility with the available options.

When choosing an Android screen mirroring retrofit, you need to consider the compatibility of your vehicle with certain BMW models and years. In some cases, this can be achieved through software activation.

While it is a simpler and more affordable option, it may not support all the features such as Android Auto retrofit or Screen Mirroring.

If you want a more comprehensive solution that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you can consider a hardware retrofit that may involve the installation of new hardware components.

This option is ideal for BMW owners who are interested in a more seamless integration of screen mirroring capabilities in their vehicles.

When choosing a screen mirroring option, it’s crucial to verify the compatibility of your BMW model and mobile device operating system.

BMW provides firmware updates to their iDrive systems, which may enhance or alter the screen mirroring compatibility.

In summary, retrofitting BMW screen mirroring functionality can significantly enhance your driving experience by allowing you to access your mobile device’s apps and features directly on the iDrive display. When considering a retrofit, be sure to choose the option that best suits your vehicle model, and always consult a professional technician for installation and coding.

Starting the Retrofit Process: Compatibility and Prerequisites

Checking Your Vehicle’s Compatibility

Before proceeding with the retrofit, it’s important to ensure your BMW is compatible with screen mirroring. Compatibility largely depends on the iDrive system and the production date of your vehicle.

BMW officially enabled screen mirroring for Android phones in cars with the NBT Evo ID5/ID6 iDrive system, which means vehicles produced after July 2016 are likely compatible.

Additionally, MGU head units also support this feature. You can find out the exact production date of your car by checking the VIN.

For earlier models like the E-series and F-series, you may require an NBT Evo retrofit to enable screen mirroring capabilities.

Keep in mind that not every earlier model is compatible with the retrofit. Before embarking on this process, consult a professional or a trustworthy source to confirm your specific model’s compatibility.


To successfully complete the BMW screen mirroring retrofit, you should understand some prerequisites.

First, you’ll need access to a compatible iDrive screen and software.

The software should be updated, ensuring optimal performance and compatibility with the latest devices.

Your phone’s operating system is another prerequisite to consider.

BMW’s screen mirroring feature is built to work with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Ensure your phone is running on the most recent OS version to ensure seamless integration.

In addition to these prerequisites, consider other components necessary for the retrofit, such as wiring and adapters.

Consult a professional for guidance on finding the right materials and tools for your specific model.

In summary, check your vehicle’s compatibility with screen mirroring options before starting the retrofit process. Identify all necessary prerequisites, including software, hardware, and vehicle models, and seek assistance from a professional when needed.

By following these guidelines, you’ll take the necessary steps towards a successful BMW screen mirroring retrofit.

Picking the Right Retrofit Kit

Choosing Between OEM and Third-Party Kits

When looking for a BMW screen mirroring retrofit kit, you’ll encounter both OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and third-party options.

OEM kits ensure compatibility and quality as they come from BMW itself, while third-party kits may offer additional features or lower prices.

When considering a third-party retrofit kit, ensure that it has good reviews and is specifically designed for your BMW model.

One popular example of a third-party retrofit kit is the BimmerTech CarPlay MMI Prime which supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Kit Contents

Fully understanding the contents of your chosen retrofit kit is crucial for a successful installation.

Some kits may include all necessary hardware and software, while others might require additional components or coding. Here is a list of possible components you may find in a retrofit kit:

  • Screen mirroring adapter
  • Wiring harness and connectors
  • Software updates, if needed

Make sure to double-check the compatibility of the materials provided in the kit with your specific BMW model and its existing iDrive system.

By choosing the right retrofit kit, you’ll enhance your driving experience with a seamless screen mirroring experience.

Android vs. IOS: Screen Mirroring Capabilities

Android Screen Mirroring with BMW

Android screen mirroring is an excellent feature that allows you to display your smartphone’s screen on your BMW’s infotainment system.

This way, you can access your favorite apps and media content directly on your car’s screen. For Android users, one popular retrofit option for screen mirroring is the BimmerTech CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit.

This retrofit supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing seamless integration with various smartphone models.

To set up screen mirroring with your Android device, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:

  1. Enable Screen Mirroring on your Android smartphone: Access your phone settings and look for the screen mirroring or casting option. Turn the feature on.
  2. Connect your phone to your BMW’s infotainment system: Once the retrofit is installed, follow the instructions provided to pair your Android device with your car’s system.
  3. Begin mirroring your Android screen: With your phone connected, you can now enjoy your favorite apps on your BMW’s screen.

Keep in mind that it’s important to check the compatibility of your specific Android device and BMW model before attempting a retrofit.

Apple Carplay and Screen Mirroring

For iOS users, Apple CarPlay is the solution for integrating your iPhone with your BMW’s infotainment system.

Like Android screen mirroring, Apple CarPlay allows you to access your iPhone’s apps, messages, and media content on your car’s display.

Screen mirroring for iOS devices is made possible by the SmartView HD Flex retrofit, which includes built-in AirPlay and Miracast receivers.

Setting up Apple CarPlay and screen mirroring with your iPhone involves a few steps:

  1. Enable Screen Mirroring on your iPhone: Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Center. Tap on the “Screen Mirroring” button.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your BMW’s infotainment system: With the necessary retrofits installed, follow the provided instructions to pair your iPhone with your BMW.
  3. Begin mirroring your iPhone screen: Once connected, you can use your preferred navigation apps, access messages, and play media on your BMW’s display.

Just like with Android, it’s crucial to verify the compatibility of your specific iPhone and BMW model before proceeding with a retrofit.

By understanding the capabilities of both Android and iOS screen mirroring, you can make an informed decision on the best solution for your BMW.

Ensure that you choose retrofit options that are compatible with your specific vehicle and smartphone model to enjoy a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Installation and Configuration Guide

In this section, we will guide you through the process of installing and configuring a BMW screen mirroring retrofit in your vehicle.

Follow the steps carefully to ensure a smooth setup.

Physical Installation

  1. First, gather all necessary tools and materials required for the installation. This may include a screwdriver, trim removal tools, and any required wiring or hardware that comes with the screen mirroring device.
  2. Locate the appropriate iDrive system in your BMW and carefully remove the necessary trim piece to access it.
  3. Connect the retrofit device to your existing iDrive system, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Typically, this involves connecting the device to the video input of your iDrive unit.
  4. Once the device is connected, test it to ensure proper functionality. You should be able to see the screen mirroring interface when selecting your connected source.
  5. If everything is working correctly, carefully reassemble the trim pieces and secure your new screen mirroring device in place.

Configuring and Coding your iDrive

To ensure that your BMW screen mirroring retrofit works seamlessly with your iDrive system, some coding may be necessary.

Coding involves modifying existing software on your iDrive to enable or disable certain features. There are two methods of coding: remote coding sessions and USB coding.

Remote Coding Session

In a remote coding session, a professional coder will connect to your iDrive system through your computer and perform the necessary changes. Follow these steps:

  1. Schedule a session with a qualified BMW coder, and ensure that you have a stable internet connection.
  2. Prepare a Windows computer with BMW coding software, such as ISTA or ENET, and a compatible cable to connect your BMW OBD port to your computer.
  3. During the scheduled session, follow the coder’s instructions to connect your BMW and computer, and allow them to remotely access your iDrive system.
  4. The coder will perform the necessary modifications to enable screen mirroring compatibility. Once completed, test the functionality to confirm that everything is working as expected.

USB Coding

USB coding involves using a USB drive preloaded with coding files to modify your iDrive system. Here’s how to perform USB coding:

  1. Obtain a USB drive preloaded with the correct coding files for your BMW model and iDrive system. This can typically be purchased from a BMW retrofit specialist.
  2. Insert the USB drive into the USB port of your iDrive system.
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts, which may include turning the engine on and selecting the appropriate coding option.
  4. The system will update and apply the coding changes. Once completed, remove the USB drive and test the screen mirroring functionality.

By carefully following these installation and coding steps, you should have a fully functional screen mirroring retrofit integrated with your BMW iDrive system, providing a seamless entertainment experience.

Utilizing Multiple Apps with Screen Mirroring

Screen Mirroring with Navigation Apps

With BMW screen mirroring, you can utilize popular navigation apps like Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps, directly on your vehicle’s built-in display.

This means you can benefit from real-time traffic updates, voice-guided directions, and even view upcoming turns more easily.

To access these features, simply connect your smartphone via Wi-Fi or cable and set up screen mirroring according to the app’s instructions.

Music and Video Apps

Entertainment on the go is also possible with screen mirroring.

Apps like Spotify, Tidal, and YouTube allow you to stream audio and video content seamlessly through your BMW’s native sound system.

Just connect your device, and you’re all set for a personalized entertainment experience.

Keep in mind that while you can use video apps like HBO, Netflix, and Hulu while parked, playback is usually not allowed while driving due to safety concerns.

Dealing with DRM Issues

When using certain video streaming apps such as Netflix and HBO, you may encounter digital rights management (DRM) limitations.

These restrictions can prevent screen mirroring of copyrighted content. To get around this, consider incorporating devices like the SmartView HD or an Apple TV when retrofitting your BMW.

This will enable you to watch your favorite shows without worrying about DRM issues.

Moreover, using Bluetooth connectivity or accessories like a Wi-Fi antenna can enhance your screen mirroring experience, allowing you to enjoy music, messaging apps like WhatsApp, email, and native BMW apps all through your vehicle’s display.

Don’t forget to use voice assistants like Siri for hands-free control and improved driving safety.

Advanced Features and Enhancements

Utilizing Full Screen and High-resolution

With BMW screen mirroring retrofits, you can enjoy the full-screen mode and high resolution on your iDrive display.

This allows you to experience better image quality and maximized screen space when using apps like Waze or Google Maps.

For models like the F30, upgrading your screen resolution will make a significant difference in the functionality and aesthetics of your BMW multimedia system, enhancing your overall driving experience.

Incorporating Front View Camera and Video in Motion

In addition to the screen mirroring capabilities, some retrofits may offer the integration of a front-view camera and support for video in motion.

The front-view camera can improve your parking experience and increase safety when navigating tight spaces.

Video in motion allows your passengers to watch media content without restrictions while you’re driving.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s crucial to prioritize road safety and adhere to any regulations in your locality.

Virtual Assistant Integration

BMW screen mirroring retrofits often support virtual assistant integration, enabling you to use popular voice-activated assistants like Siri and Google Assistant.

This feature allows you to give voice commands for navigation, audio playback, and other functions, enabling a hands-free experience during your drive.

By upgrading your BMW screen to include virtual assistant compatibility, you’ll gain added convenience and functionality that can enhance your time on the road.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Dealing with Connectivity Problems

If you experience connectivity issues with your BMW screen mirroring retrofit, there might be a problem with the phone, software, or Wi-Fi connection.

First, make sure your phone is compatible with your BMW’s screen-sharing system, and that your phone has a stable Wi-Fi or AirPlay connection.

Check the settings in your iDrive menu to ensure that screen mirroring is enabled. You should also verify that your USB port is functional, as it plays a crucial role in establishing a connection and delivering power for charging.

In certain cases, the issue might be with your car’s multimedia interface (MMI) or CarPlay MMI Prime. Make sure these systems have up-to-date firmware and that your iDrive software is also updated.

When all these factors are in order, you should be able to establish a connection between your phone and your BMW’s screen.

Resolving Software-related Issues

Sometimes, software glitches can interfere with screen mirroring. For example, your CIC might not render navigation maps or send audio output to your car speakers.

To resolve such issues, try restarting the iDrive system, as this can often clear minor software-related problems.

If the issue persists, consider resetting your iDrive to factory settings and reinstalling the necessary software, including the navigation maps.

Note, however, that doing this will erase your personalized settings and may require re-enabling features like screen sharing and CarPlay support.

Finally, if you are using third-party retrofits, ensure they are compatible with your BMW model and software version.

If necessary, get in touch with the retrofitter or a BMW specialist for help resolving software-related issues.

Remember to use a confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear tone of voice while addressing common issues.

By following this guide, you should be able to troubleshoot and resolve any connectivity or software-related problems with your BMW screen mirroring retrofit.

Cost and Value Evaluation

When considering a BMW screen mirroring retrofit, it’s important to weigh the cost and value of the upgrade. One of the retrofit options that you might encounter is the CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit offered by BimmerTech.

This solution allows for integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and provides a user-friendly interface to access your smartphone features.

Price: The cost of a CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit can vary depending on the specific vehicle model and configuration.

Generally, you should expect a price range starting from $624.00 for a simple SmartView HD Apple TV3 retrofit. Keep in mind that additional installation costs may apply if you choose to have a professional handle the installation process.

Customer Reviews: When evaluating the value of a retrofit, it’s important to consult the experiences of other users.

Reading customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality, functionality, and overall satisfaction of the retrofit.

The CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit, for example, has received positive reviews for its seamless integration with iDrive display systems and native controllers.

AUX Port: Most BMW screen mirroring retrofits make use of the vehicle’s existing AUX port for audio streaming.

This ensures that audio quality remains consistent with the original car system. If your BMW doesn’t have an AUX port, you may need to consider additional upgrades or compatible systems with built-in audio streaming capabilities.

Multimedia Features: Screen mirroring retrofits often come with a host of multimedia features, which can greatly enhance your driving experience.

For instance, the CarPlay MMI Prime Retrofit offers wireless connectivity and iPhone screen mirroring functionalities through Apple TV3, enabling you to stream videos, music, and access apps right from your iDrive display.

In summary, when evaluating the cost and value of a BMW screen mirroring retrofit, consider the price, customer reviews, AUX port compatibility, and multimedia features offered by the particular retrofit.

Make the decision that best suits your needs and preferences to enjoy a seamless and upgraded infotainment system in your BMW.

Georg Meier

BMW technician since 1996. I began my automotive journey in 1993 as an apprentice mechanic at Automag, the world's oldest BMW dealership in Munich. With years of experience and dedication, I garnered a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of BMW and MINI vehicles. The love/hate relationship with the brand led me to found BIMMERIST where I share expertise and insights with fellow enthusiasts.

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