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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > ConnectedDrive / I-Drive / Navigation Related Discussion > The new iDrive, in pictures.



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      10-18-2008, 05:33 PM   #1
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The new iDrive, in pictures.

I posted this over on the 'Fest but it seems appropriate to this forum as well.

Here are some images of the new iDrive system. I shall try to explain them as I go here.

On the main menu, the new iDrive is divided into several sections. A number of these correspond to the buttons around the new controller.



Note that my car does not have all of the possible options, and I would imagine that Bluetooth, Satellite Radio, and the Smartphone Integration add a few menu items here and there.

CD/Multimedia
This first section houses the CD player, the onboard "music collection" (which in my car is 13Gb in size), and external devices," which refers to the iPod and USB interface.



Within each of these audio sources, you can perform some fairly powerful searches to narrow down large numbers of music files. Predefined playlists are also supported.



The "Tone" section contains the usual tone controls as well as options for system audio volumes.



Radio
This section is home to AM/FM radio as well as the HD radio that BMW tossed in with the iDrive option on '09s. I would imagine that Satellite Radio also lives in here.

The car will scan the local area for HD radio stations as well as traditional FM stations that broadcast Radio Data System (RDS) signals. These are presented to you in a list, but you can tune manually if you know a station by frequency rather than name. They provide a boatload of preset slots as well if you are fond of station-hopping.



Next up....Navigation.

--LR
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      10-18-2008, 05:34 PM   #2
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Navigation
Navigation is the most involved of the sections, and concerns itself with maps, routes, points-of-interest, and traffic information.

Similar to standalone GPS navigation devices, iDrive's navigation system lets you enter an complete or partial address or intersection as a destination or way-point. My system with the U.S. navigation data includes Canada and Mexico. You can choose which type of route you prefer (fast, short, or efficient), and also to avoid highways, tollways, or ferries. iDrive will provide alternate routes to pick from as well. You also have the option of searching for Points-of-Interest (POIs) at/near your destination (more on POIs below).



Points-of-Interest are businesses, public facilities, and recreational areas stored in the iDrive's internal database. POIs can be located by proximity to your current location, your current destination, an arbitrary destination, or along the route you are currently travelling. There are seven broad POI categories which contain subcategories (Banking and Shopping has malls and ATMs, while Travel has airports and train stations). These categories can be used to narrow down the sort of POI you are seeking.



You can also incorporate the name of the POI, if you aren't sure what category it would be in or if the category is broad and you only want specific options, such as a certain restaurant. As an example, I have a softball game at Marymoor Park tomorrow, so I selected Recreation and Attractions > Parks as my category and entered "MARY" to narrow the search. A list of matching entries is provided, and as you scroll through each, it is shown on the map to the right. As with all maps in iDrive, you can move over to the map and zoom in or out if you need context or fine detail on the local area around the POI.



The Map view in iDrive contains a fair number of options. Along the left side, there are buttons for starting/stopping guidance (following a route to a destination), toggling iDrive's voice instructions, changing routing preference, and searching for POIs. There is also an option for reviewing traffic/construction info along the current route as well as an interactive map mode and the ability to change the current map view. iDrive has four map views: A simple arrow-and-text for the minimalists, 2D maps where north is always up and where the direction of travel is up, and the perspective 3D view.



When I took delivery of my car, my CA went through the iDrive functions (though it was likely as new to him as to me). When he toggled through to the Perspective view, I must have been a bit deflated as I noted the flat 3D view, and he asked what was up. I explained that some of the promotional shots of the new iDrive included perspective views with topographic land contours, but many included a note that some advanced features would be included only with the 7-series, so it seemed that the nice-looking contour view was exclusive to the higher model. Once I had opportunity to explore the system a bit on a drive, to my surprise I found the option to turn on the 3D contours, and it about made my day.



In the event that you have no idea what the address is of the place you are trying to get to, nor do you know which POI category it would be in (or perhaps it is not in the POI database), or perhaps it is off the beaten path--iDrive provides the Interactive Map that allows you to move a cursor around on the map and point to precisely where you want to go. This mode is one of the few times you actually move the iDrive controller forward and back; nearly all other operation is done side-to-side.



The integrated traffic receiver will pop up little traffic or construction icons on the map, and you can select the Traffic Info option to see detailed visuals on each one. If you prefer to detour around one or all of the affected areas, you can do that as well.



And lastly in the Navigation section, you can call up Route Information to see the turn-by-turn steps involved in your current route. As you scroll through each one, the map on the right shows that particular leg of the route for easy reference.



I'll wrap up the rest of the functions in the next post.

--LR
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      10-18-2008, 05:34 PM   #3
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Contacts/Address Book
The Contacts section stores information about people--names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and such. My car is not outfitted with Bluetooth or the 6NF Smartphone Integration, either of which would make this section a bit more useful.



Likewise on the BMW Assist--my car is not equipped with it, so I've no firsthand knowledge on what the options look like for those that do.

Vehicle Info
The Vehicle Info section contains the informational displays for your current trip and route as well as diagnostic information and controls.

The Onboard Info section provides information on remaining range, distance to destination (in case the remaining range isn't sufficient to make it there), estimated arrival time, fuel consumption and average speed. A resettable trip computer gathers the same information independent of an active route.



Within Vehicle Status are several maintenance and diagnostic tasks--TPM monitoring and reset, oil level check, and service and vehicle check alerts. The Check Control is apparently the place to check for more details on notices and warnings in the center of the instrumentation cluster.



Settings
The final section, Settings, contains all of the selectable options for the iDrive system and the operation of the car. Most of these are as you would expect, though the Door Locks and Lighting option panels contain some of the settings you'll want to configure to your liking.



Split Screen
iDrive has the ability to provide two of its displays simultaneously, with the primary display taking up slightly more than half of the total display area. To split the screen, hit the Option button on the controller or move to the right off the edge of the current display to invoke the options, then select the Split Screen box. The content of the split can be modified by choosing the option on the bottom of the split view, and new content for the split can be chosen from a list of the possible displays.



Here are some of the possibilities. Bear in mind that the controller buttons impact the left pane and most of the settings are done on the left...most of the right-hand displays are informational.



And there you have it. Hope this helps some of the folks out there!

--LR
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      10-18-2008, 05:35 PM   #4
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One other important note I forgot to include in the above writeup is the preset management. The six buttons on the center stereo column appear to be standard stereo presets, but with iDrive, they can apparently be used to store nearly anything the system can display or manage. You simply select the address, view, radio station, audio source, et al. and press/hold the preset button for a few moments, and you can recall it with a simple press. This would seem to be good for frequent destinations, specific views you prefer, and so on. I've also included the Music Collection's free memory screen since folks seem to have interest.



The "available disk space" seems to be mislabeled, not sure what the deal is there.

--LR
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      10-18-2008, 06:22 PM   #5
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wow!!! thank you so much for the awesome write up, looking forward to own my 3er soon.
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      10-18-2008, 09:56 PM   #6
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As always, thanks for the great info. Hopefully I'll be playing with my navi by this time next week!
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      10-18-2008, 11:12 PM   #7
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Great write-up!
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      10-19-2008, 11:24 AM   #8
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great post, now I can't wait for my 09 E90 to arrive
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      10-19-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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I'm so beyond jealous right now. My iDrive sucks
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      10-19-2008, 12:09 PM   #10
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One more time - Thank you for great post!
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      10-19-2008, 12:57 PM   #11
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Thanks for the great info. cheers!
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      10-19-2008, 01:21 PM   #12
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Can you try to play a dvd movie?
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      10-19-2008, 06:00 PM   #13
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Thanks for the suggestion...DVD movie playback is indeed supported.



The system allows navigation of DVD menus using the iDrive controller and plays CSS-encrypted content without complaint. Subtitles are supported, and with the Logic7 system in my car I am getting 5.1 surround on DVD content. The DVD can be played on the entire screen or the left side of the split--there seems to be no support for playing it on the right side of the split.

Given that the iDrive screen is aimed somewhat at the driver, I'm not sure of the advisibility of having a movie playing on the screen, but it works.

Edit: The video playback of the DVD is tied to the parking brake. I was in the midst of a detail on the car when I tested earlier, and didn't actually check to see what happened while moving. When the parking brake is released, the video is replaced by the message "For your safety, video only while parked." The audio continues, however, which is interesting. It is possible to maneuver the parking brake so that it is on just enough to allow video and still not affecting the car's movement, but iDrive complains about it with a warning message and chime, so using the DVD playback as backseat entertainment on trips appears to be out.
--LR
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Last edited by LionRampant; 10-19-2008 at 09:58 PM.
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      10-19-2008, 06:21 PM   #14
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damn. It looks amazing. My idrive seems rediculously outdated compared to this.
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      10-19-2008, 07:05 PM   #15
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wow...my idrive sucks
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      10-19-2008, 07:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taichimaster View Post
wow...my idrive sucks
I feel like selling my car just so that I can buy a 2009 for the idrive. BMW realized the original version sucks ass too little too late
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      10-19-2008, 08:48 PM   #17
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Wow the graphics and pixilation look ten times better than before. Its about time They are moving in the right direction.
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      10-19-2008, 09:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asclepius View Post
I feel like selling my car just so that I can buy a 2009 for the idrive. BMW realized the original version sucks ass too little too late
Better late than never. Maybe not in your case, but in general anyway.
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      10-19-2008, 10:20 PM   #19
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thanks for disliking my iDrive even more


lol jealous!
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      10-19-2008, 10:56 PM   #20
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iDrive

Wow! Very impressive. Should have my E92 by next week. Previous E36 328is, then E46 M3, then a short foray into Audi (S4) and Mercedes, but I'm now excited to be back

Very nice post - and another forum that I need to monitor ...
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      10-19-2008, 11:44 PM   #21
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wow, what a great write up! I can't wait to get mine. I'm so glad the POI search capabilities have been addressed.
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      10-20-2008, 01:26 AM   #22
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Can you try hooking a USB hard drive to it?
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