Sometimes when we receive reader questions asking us to test things we are only more than happy to oblige. So, when Anthony e-mailed us and asked how the Apple Watch and smart phone interacts with the BMW i8, there was only one way to find out. Q: Hello team. I read recently that BMW has developed an application for the Apple Watch that allows it to interact with the BMW i3 and i8. I know it's probably pushing the friendship, but is there a chance you can show us how it works? A: Thanks for the message, Anthony.
Of course, we'd be more than happy to help! We snaffled a BMW i8 for a few days and ordered an Apple Watch to put the technology and application to the test.
While we recently tested the Connected Drive smart phone application, we hadn't yet had the chance to try it out with the Apple Watch or with the smart phone iRemote application. The application also works with Android smart watch equivalents, but we wanted to evaluate the novelty factor of Apple's cash cow.
Firstly, after testing the BMW iRemote application (exclusive to the BMW i3 and i8) with the Apple Watch, it's now sitting in the office gathering dust. We reckon it's a pointless device (this application aside) and we can easily live without it.
That point aside, let's take a look at BMW iRemote.
With the vehicle paired to the application (this happens after entering the last few digits of the VIN and confirming a security code), we can open the application on the Apple Watch and begin taking advantage of the features.
Using the Apple Watch, we're able to check the vehicle's level of charge (and how long it has left to charge) and verify whether the car is locked or unlocked and whether the windows are closed.
We can also precondition the cabin to ensure the car is at the right temperature when we get to it. By setting the desired temperature, the car will either heat or cool using the battery's power.
One of the most useful features is the map function. Clicking on the locator icon searches for the car and pinpoints its position. You can also use the application to send navigation destinations to the car — whether it's to the nearest charging station or to another location.
Finally a cool, but redundant, feature is a portion of the smart phone application dedicated to scoring. The scoring system rates your driving style in relation to battery usage. Given the i8 sounds so good under throttle, our scores were always quite low.
So Anthony, we hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the BMW iRemote application on a smart phone and the Apple Watch.