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A Complete Guide to BMW’s Latest OTA Upgrade: How to Install It and What's New

Only five months after the last comprehensive remote upgrade, BMW has launched the latest version of its Operating System 7. It surpasses any previous versions in terms of size, and it brings some interesting new features and enhancements.
BMW M8 11 photos
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The Bavarians just crushed their previous record for the largest OTA (over-the-air) upgrade ever conducted by a European manufacturer, with over one million BMWs set to receive version 11/20 worldwide.How to install it
If you own one of the more than 20 compatible models (spanning almost the entire BMW range), installing the huge upgrade is easy but will take about 20 minutes since the car will have to download between 0.8 and 1.2 GB of data.

If you haven’t received a notification from the My BMW app, which would have prompted you to start downloading the upgrade package, you should do this first to save time by simply accessing the app. Make sure you have enough free space on your device because the upgrade package will be downloaded on it and not directly to your car.

Once the download is complete, you need to get to the car and sync the device to it via both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to enable the transfer of the package.

You’re not done yet. To start the transfer, you need to check for the engine to be turned on. A progress report will be displayed on the iDrive screen, and the process can be paused and resumed at any time.

When the transfer is complete, the actual upgrade can begin. Make sure the car is parked and that you won’t be using it for the next 20 minutes or so. Start the upgrade via the central display by accessing the Settings menu, select General Settings, and finally, Remote Software Upgrade.

New features

Arguably the highlight of the upgrade is what the carmaker calls deep integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, which you can now use inside your car the same way you do at home.

That means that accessing your playlists, editing shopping lists, or controlling the smart devices inside your home is now possible from the comfort of your BMW.

The sad part is that this feature will only be available for owners in Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy for now. The UK will get it by the end of March, but the carmaker hasn’t given us any details or timelines for further market releases.

Another new feature allows owners to transfer their driver profile to other BMW cars, including rental vehicles.

By using the My BMW app, you can transfer climate control and navigation settings along with seat position, exterior mirrors alignment, and driver assistance preferences effortlessly to another BMW. Feature updates
In addition, the BMW M Laptimer app has been enhanced and should now do a better job processing sensor data. Lap times, distance, and all track-relevant information can be viewed at any time, even while driving. All the data is compiled into a user-friendly format that can be analyzed when the session is over.

If you don’t own an M model, the Intelligent Personal Assistant can now give you a taste of one. You simply have to ask, “Hey BMW, what does a BMW M8 sound like?” and the symphony of an S63 twin-turbo V8 will be unleashed in your car’s speakers.

Part of the Steering and Lane Control Assistant, the Active Navigation feature that recommends making a lane change whenever a driver is required to follow a designated route is now available in France, Portugal, and Spain.

Using the My BMW app, you can now personalize your profile image with one of your own, in addition to the standard pictures available.

If you’re returning a rental or selling your BMW, all the personal data and My BMW app links or BMW ID will now be deleted when you reset the vehicle to its factory settings.

Finally, BMW tells us that this remote software upgrade also updates the vehicle’s Integrated Owner’s Manual with the latest information.


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