BMW iDrive Controller On its Way Out — Time to go Full Touchscreen?

Discussion in 'BMW News and Reviews' started by GunRunner, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. GunRunner
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  2. markyboyt
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    Big shame, touchscreens have their draw backs. I think they’re more distracting to operate whilst driving as you need your eyes off the road longer and need to press the exact spot. Also you then get finger prints all over them. The only time I’ve found touchscreens and advantage is zooming and dragging nav maps.
     
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  3. Wynne71
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    Not sure about this as a step forward. All the hire cars I’ve had with a touch screen have annoyed me, the screen is not quite in reach when driving, this is a dangerous issue as I have to take my eyes off the road. The idrive is intuitive to use, easily accessible with my left hand.
    I also can’t stand fingerprints on shiny surfaces....
     
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  4. The_Master
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    I hate touchscreens in cars, I can never seem to press the right button without looking, then in some cars because the buttons are small it's not easy anyway.
    Some manufacturers touch screens are not very responsive which is infuriating....

    I love the iDrive controller most functions are easy to navigate and the 'upturn pie dish' feels premium and slick to use...I hope BMW keep it

    Unfortunately touch screens are cheaper to engineer so it'll be the way forward...
     
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  5. GunRunner
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    Some cars are using both. The newer X1 still has all the controller functionality + touch screen added. This is on the 10.25 inch display.
     
  6. Abh29
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    Only ever used touch screen in a X type Jag , and you had to be parked to use it or it was dangerous. The screen was very low in front of the gear stick, and not reliable ---but that 12 years ago. Had the car for a few month only then gave up work.

    I think haveing both options is the ideal option,please all drivers.
     
  7. snrbrtsn
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    snrbrtsn WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Is this touch screen or gesture control

    Regardless, too much complication and the car will do it’s own thing, no doubt similar to voice control
     
  8. Carl W
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    Touchscreens mean fingerprints on the glass. NO NO NO! my undiagnosed OCD wouldn't cope with that.

    Kindest Regards
    Carl.
     
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  9. Cotswold BMW
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    Nooo, but I can operate iDrive without looking :cry:
     
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  10. GunRunner
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    I should think so now that you have been given the yearly BMW vaccination that comes as standard for all BMW employees.
    :whistle:
     
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  11. Peter
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    Hopefully BMW are not ditching the i-Drive controller. One of the best user interfaces in the industry and definitely a safer way to control functions, than any touch screen.

    If BMW do remove it, (can't see it myself), another nail in the coffin for the "ultimate driving machine" tagline.

    Peter
     
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  12. GunRunner
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    Agreed. But some people think the iDrive controller is still another distraction and could be a problem or an accident creator.
    From...
    https://www.bmwblog.com/2019/10/08/test-drive-2019-bmw-x1-facelift-improving-the-successful-formula/
    I see...
    Perhaps voice control?
    I am pleased that on the new BMW X1 I have all 3 options on the M Sport with 10.25" display.
    Voice.
    Stab the Screen - Touch
    iDrive
    :)
     
  13. Peter
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    I've no problem with a touch screen as an additional function, mainly for when stationary.

    I've voice control in the 5-series, don't use it a lot. Does help on the move, can get you to the right function, or sometimes just requires a 'push down' on the Controller to complete an OK command.

    How about the gesture commands?

    Peter
     
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  14. GunRunner
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    I have no experience of gesture controls except using the two-finger one when the recipient has already passed me and cannot turn round and catch me.:D

    I did see a youtube video not sure whether it was iDrive 6 on the X1 or iDrive 7 on another car where the video creator pointed at the screen and rotated his finger clockwise for increase volume or anticlockwise for decrease volume.
    EDITED
    Found it...
     
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  15. f30paul
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    f30paul

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    I still can’t believe the EU haven’t ruled touchscreens dangerous for use in cars. I haven’t come across a good one. It’s nothing to do with the sensitivity of the screen nor the resolution, more about trying to hit a postcode letter correctly whilst navigating bumps in the road as your fingers inadvertently knock another part of the screen! All the time your eyes are on your fingers and the screen. Ludicrous.

    I-drive rotary button so much safer to use, even the Audi version is not far off but I’d go nowhere near a touchscreen. Though for how long we have that option I don’t know...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. markyboyt
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    It seems everyone has a fairly similar view. Ultimately with I drive if you need to use it whilst driving you can move then glance quickly when safe, you don’t need to focus on it while you operate it.
     
  17. kleynie
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    I have touchscreen with 1st gen gesture control, it’s crap. Good job most functions can be done using the steering wheel controls or voice control. The system itself is good, just needs a better user interface.
     
  18. JasonH
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    We have an Android head unit in our other car and I find it really excellent. The first point to note is that car sat nav/infotainment technology is always a few years behind phones and tablets because of the development time for the vehicle, then consider that your phone is probably less than 2 years old but your car is most likely older. All this means the idrive is much older technology than say your phone.

    Now on the Android head unit I have a few physical shortcut buttons to radio, phone, nav - perfect. Volume has a knob or I can use the buttons on my steering wheel.

    What about Navigation or anything where data needs to be input....well it has Google maps and the voice input is pretty much flawless. I can speak out a full address, like 11 Station Road with a postcode and it gets it right every time, to the house number not just the centre of the postcode. If I just say 11 Station Road it suggests the nearest one but offers me a choice. If I say something like "Costco" it either knows which Costco I go to, or it knows there is only one in a sensible distance. I don't even need to press start navigation if I say "Take me to Costco".

    In parallel with this my phone has Google assistant so it can answer questions and I can dictate text messages. And when I say "Hey Google Call Fred" my phone will call Fred and because it's paired with the Android unit I am calling hands-free.

    So in that car with a modern Android head unit and a modern smartphone I pretty much only use the buttons on the steering wheel and voice control. A few times I have thought it's like having a Personal Assistant in the passenger seat operating the Sat Nav. Just jumping in the car and saying "Take me home" is awesome and covers 50% of journeys!!!
     
  19. slim_boy_fat
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    That's a tad optimistic :hehe:

    I can push/hold a button on the steering wheel to get that done. :D

    I DO feel that vehicles from all marques are becoming unnecessarily 'tech heavy' with the manufacturers in a race to have the public [who fall for it] believe that their product is 'bigger & better' [let's leave grille design/size out of this :whistling:]. The corollary of that is more "consult your authorised Dealer", diagnostic charges [aka plug it in and do what the 'puter says....:rolleyes:], and the proliferation of 'new part syndrome'.

    I'm not a100% Luddite and recognise that this is progress which will never be stopped, but the Mach 2 rate of change could do with being slowing down just a little :getmecoat: I'll get back in my box now........:oops:
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
  20. The CO
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    Having used a touchscreen for the last two years I can safely say it's bloody horrible and I miss my iDrive twiddler! In all seriousness, I hate using it on the move (there's an obvious answer there) it's just too dangerous even for minor bits and pieces like changing an album or calling someone. Although I can do these things quite quickly now it's not intuitive and I still get lost in the myriad of steps to find the thing I need. BMW's iDrive is light years ahead and I genuinely miss it, if they get rid of the knob that would be a travesty of form over function.
     

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