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BMW Rolls Out OTA Software Update for Its iDrive7-Equipped Vehicles

BMW has announced the contents of its latest Over-The-Air software update. The German marque has reached version 21-07 of its Operating System, and it brings a few tweaks here and there, along with new functionalities for the models that are compatible with the tech.
BMW's 2021 Fall updates - 4 Series Coupe pictured for illustration purposes 150 photos
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Earlier this year, in February, BMW offered an over-the-air update to over one million vehicles, and it brought Amazon Alexa to those vehicles. As usual, not all updates of this kind will go to all BMW models on all markets, which is why this article will focus on those sold in the North American market.

Some BMW models sold in other markets may get some of these features with the update when it becomes available for them, but if some features are not available in your market, adding this update will not work magic. For example, BMW has implemented SiriusXM Pandora Artists stations with the new update. If you do not have SiriusXM coverage in your country, this update will not work miracles.

Now, coming back to the update, you should know that BMW has made refinements to its Lane Departure Warning function. The latter will “know” if it is on a narrow road without a center marking and will automatically suppress steering intervention.

That means that the vehicles will no longer try to steer towards the middle of a two-lane road without a center marking. So, drivers will no longer have to deactivate the system if they encountered such interventions in the past.

Moreover, Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) from BMW Maps can now process congestion data on turning lanes, which means a more accurate prediction of the arrival time, along with optimized routing. That only works if you use the vehicle's built-in navigation system instead of Waze, Apple Maps, or Google Maps, though.

BMW drivers with Android smartphones will be happy to learn that an advanced volume control feature has been implemented to work when their devices are connected to the vehicle via Bluetooth. The idea is that the seemingly minor update will provide an enhanced sound experience during streaming music or podcasts.

Moreover, select Android devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, will be able to support the second-generation BMW Digital Key. The latter is available as an option for almost all new BMW models, so this is a big update.

Users of Spotify and Pandora will be able to enjoy a better integration of those apps within the BMW Connected Music app. All MY2022 and later BMW models equipped with SiriusXM with 360L will get Pandora stations, but the feature will be available to vehicles that are fitted with SiriusXM 360L when they were ordered.

If you are not a user of those apps, do not pout, as you might change your preferences in the future. The update process requires user intervention, and this is how it is done.

Meanwhile, owners of BMW M3 and M4 models will be able to configure sounds they hear when starting the engine, as well as the sound that is heard when gears are shifted on their eight-speed M Steptronic transmissions. With the use of the Sound Control Button, a quieter drive mode can be selected.

Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows images of the G22 BMW 4 Series Coupé, but the update is not limited to just this model in the BMW portfolio.

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