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BMW ConnectedDrive issues caused Apple CarPlay to disappear for some owners

It should be back up and running for just about everyone at this point.

If you're feeling left out, you can always park your car in a Faraday cage. That should provide about the same experience.

BMW

When it was rumored that BMW would be moving to an annual subscription for Apple CarPlay, we called it "next-level gouging." It's not a move anyone really appreciates, but now, an unforeseen connection between various services reportedly left some BMW owners without CarPlay for a spell, which is even more frustrating.

A problem with BMW's ConnectedDrive online services caused some owners to lose Apple CarPlay functionality for a brief period of time. Without the service online to confirm the car's subscription, owners last week found themselves missing the smartphone-mirroring system that they paid cold, hard cash for, Engadget reported Friday.

By the end of last week, Engadget says, most users had seen the functionality return as ConnectedDrive's services came back online. In the US, a BMW spokesperson told Engadget that a server migration was to blame, but it was working to get everything back up and running as quickly as possible.

BMW first announced its decision in January. It was the first automaker to take Apple CarPlay and shift it from a one-time $300 purchase to an annual $80 subscription. BMW said this move added flexibility, so iPhone-toting owners won't feel like they lost $300 if they later upgrade to an Android phone. This is, of course, a silly premise, and if anything, it feels like an excuse for BMW to bilk used-car buyers for $80 a year in the future.

Nevertheless, it's uncharted territory for Apple CarPlay, although Motor1 reported that Toyota may follow a similar strategy with the 2020 Supra, which shares its underpinnings (and telematics) with the BMW Z4. Hopefully, future ConnectedDrive outages won't leave Supra drivers out in the cold, although the real hope should be that both automakers will ditch this idea and get back to charging one-time fees that represent pennies on the dollar compared with the car's window sticker.

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