YouTube on BMW iDrive: How to Access it Now and What New Updates to Expect
BMW part number is 84 21 2 495 544.
BMW's Car Play feature has been a hot topic among car owners for some time now, with many wondering if it is possible to play YouTube videos on the Infotainment screen while charging. Unfortunately, there is no native YouTube app available in iDrive yet, but Android users can cast their phone to the iDrive screen. For iPhone users, there is an app called Cartube which can be used when parked up or charging.
The good news is that BMW may soon offer a native YouTube app in iDrive, with reports suggesting it could be available as early as the 3.2023 software update. However, this will only be possible if the car is equipped with an e-sim. It is worth noting that BMW also offers a wireless sim reader doodad which may help with the setup process.
For those in New Zealand, unfortunately cars shipped from BMW come with TCU 4G Low and not eSim capability. This means that the wireless sim reader doodad might not be of much help here. However, there have been reports of this being mentioned in Headunit coding files, so it may be worth ordering one just to see if it works. The BMW part number for this item is 84 21 2 495 544.
Overall, it looks like BMW may soon offer a native YouTube app in iDrive for both i7 and iX models, though this will depend on whether the car is equipped with an e-sim or not. In the meantime, Android users can cast their phone to the iDrive screen and iPhone users can use Cartube when parked up or charging. For those in New Zealand, the wireless sim reader doodad may be worth ordering to see if it works.
Is there a way to play YouTube videos through Car Play or screen sharing?
For Android phones, it is possible to cast the phone to the iDrive screen. Unfortunately, this is not possible with iPhones. There is also an app called Cartube for Android Auto that can be used when parked up/charging.
Is there a native YouTube app in iDrive?
Yes, but it is not available for all models yet. It could come as early as the 3.2023 software update, but only if the car is equipped with an e-sim.
Is there any equivalent to Car Tube on iOS?
Not at this time. BMW likely wants this to go through the e-Sim so they don't have to pay for the data through the ConnectedDrive service. There is a wireless sim reader doodad that BMW is advertising which may alleviate the pain of the e-Sim setup, but it currently requires cars with eSim capability already onboard.
Do cars in NZ ship with eSIM enabled?
No, our cars ship with TCU 4G Low. The eSim is only present in TCU 5G High. The wireless sim reader doodad may be a solution, but it is unlikely based on current information.
Is there any other way to play YouTube videos on the iDrive screen?
Yes, you can use a USB drive or an HDMI cable to connect your phone to the car. This will allow you to mirror your phone's display onto the car's infotainment screen. You can then use the YouTube app on your phone to play videos.
What about Apple Car Play?
Unfortunately, Apple Car Play does not support video streaming from YouTube. It is limited to audio streaming only.
Are there any third-party apps that can be used for video streaming?
Yes, there are several third-party apps available that can be used for video streaming. Some of these include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. However, these apps may require a subscription in order to access their content.
Are there any other ways to watch YouTube videos while charging?
Yes, you can use a laptop or tablet connected to the car's Wi-Fi network. This will allow you to access YouTube and watch videos while the car is charging. You can also use a portable DVD player or a portable media player to watch videos while the car is charging.