How to Use Apple CarPlay to Watch YouTube and Netflix

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Estimated reading time: 4 min

What
apps work with Apple CarPlay?
If CarPlay has a downside, it’s that not all iOS apps are supported on the
platform. Your iPhone’s games and video apps, for example, won’t show up on
your CarPlay menu, which means no Netflix on CarPlay. (Then again, there
might be a few workarounds that we’ll get to in a moment.)  On the other hand, you shouldn’t have any
problems finding your favorite navigation, messaging or music apps. Whether
you use Google Maps or Waze, SMS or WhatsApp, Spotify or YouTube Music,
CarPlay will let you use it on your dashboard display.

Check out the best BMW CarPlay apps

And those apps you can’t get through CarPlay? Can you play Netflix on Apple
CarPlay, or do you have to make do with only music and podcasts to keep you
entertained on a long road trip?

WATCH NETFLIX ON APPLE CARPLAY WITH APPLE TV
If you’ve ever tried to play Netflix on Apple CarPlay, you’ve probably
noticed the app doesn’t show up on your BMW’s CarPlay menu. BMW wants your
eyes planted squarely on the road, and while that’s something we’d obviously
also recommend, there are some situations when knowing how to watch Netflix
on Apple CarPlay can come in handy.

Say you’re parked up at a rest area on a long drive, and want to put on an
episode of your favorite series to help pass the time. Or maybe you’re
travelling with children, and want something to keep them entertained.

In that case, there is a way to watch YouTube in your BMW. but it’s not on
CarPlay.

Netflix works fine on Apple TV, and while you’re probably more used to
seeing that in people’s living rooms, you can take it along for the drive,
too!

Autosvs’s SmartView HD with Apple TV4 includes an original Apple TV4 box
with remote, plus all the required hardware to integrate it with your BMW
iDrive. Switch from iDrive to Apple TV using the dashboard controls, then
watch content from any Apple TV streaming app you want.
 
Watch YouTube on Apple CarPlay with AirPlay
Apple TV also includes built-in support for AirPlay, so you can mirror any
AirPlay-compatible content from your iPhone to the iDrive screen with
SmartView HD Apple TV4.

But if you aren’t interested in watching Netflix in your BMW (the app uses
DRM technology to prevent screen mirroring, which means Apple TV is the only
way), it’s absolutely possible to use CarPlay instead, and mirror other
content including YouTube to your iDrive screen.

There isn’t any native AirPlay to CarPlay feature, but Autosvs’s CarPlay
Smartbox Prime retrofit for BMW comes with both CarPlay and AirPlay support,
so as well as all the standard apps from Apple CarPlay, YouTube can be cast
via screen mirroring from your iPhone.

PLAY VIDEO ON CARPLAY FROM USB OR DVD
Whereas the native BMW CarPlay system is wireless only, CarPlay Smartbox
Prime supports both wireless connection, and wired connection through a USB
port. That USB port doubles up as a way to play saved video files straight
from a USB.

That can be a much more stable option on a long road trip, when streaming
video on Apple CarPlay isn’t always possible. Just download your content
before you set off, and have constant access to it, without worrying about
patchy mobile signal.

For BMWs that include a DVD player, that adds another way to get video going
in your vehicle. And while from the factory, video playback is likely to be
blocked when your vehicle starts to move, with Autosvs’s easy video in motion
coding for BMW, you won’t have to be parked up to play your content.

HOW TO GET CARPLAY ON BMW?
So that’s covered a few extra options that offer things CarPlay doesn’t. To
get the full package, though, you’d need CarPlay, too, so what if you don’t
already have it from the factory? Do you have to go without, or is there a
way to activate Apple CarPlay in your BMW?

As long as you’ve got a suitable iDrive system, there is. The latest BMWs
often have all the hardware required to run wireless Apple CarPlay, and only
need a software activation to start using it. The same goes for MINIs, with
many of the latest models coming ready for CarPlay, making it easy to
retrofit Apple CarPlay in a MINI Cooper.

BMW Apple CarPlay Activation
In that case, you won’t even need to leave home to activate BMW-original
Apple CarPlay; Autosvs’s skilled technician can unlock CarPlay for you in a
30-minute remote coding session. Depending on your vehicle, you may not even
need that our innovative USB activation procedure requires no more than
copying an activation file to a USB drive and plugging it into your BMW’s USB
port.

However you get CarPlay for BMW, you’ll be able to do it at a time that
suits you, without having to leave your car at the shop overnight. Before you
know it, you’ll be using all your favorite iPhone apps in your BMW.

BMW Apple CarPlay Retrofit
If you own an older vehicle, you can still enjoy a BMW Apple CarPlay
retrofit that offers all the same apps you’d get with CarPlay baked in. It
only needs a hardware installation.

Autosvs’s CarPlay Smartbox Prime retrofit for BMW is a hardware device that
connects to your BMW’s iDrive system and factory dashboard screen. It offers
both Apple CarPlay and iOS screen mirroring in a single package great not
just for checking up-to-the-minute directions, but also mirroring other
content from your iOS device. Yes, you can even play video on CarPlay
Smartbox Prime!

If your friends and family use Android, it includes Android Auto support,
too, so everybody will be able to cast content from their phones.

CarPlay Smartbox Prime is available for almost all BMWs from the previous
few generations that don’t have native support for Apple CarPlay. So if you
were waiting to enjoy CarPlay (and an Apple CarPlay video hack or two, too),
there’s no reason not to. 

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