Drivers of newer BMW and Mini Cooper cars will be able to access their iPhone's music apps from the dashboard.
Mobile World Congress 2013: 9 Hot Gadgets
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
BMW wants to be known for designing and manufacturing the ultimate entertainment machine. On Wednesday BMW announced a host of new apps that can interface with its cars' infotainment center, allowing iPhone owners to port even more of their content to the car's dash-based controls.
The latest BMW-approved apps include Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn Radio.
"We regularly identify apps that our owners rely on as part of their everyday life, and adapt them for an in-vehicle experience they'll find safe, useful and engaging," said Phil Johnston, product manager for the BMW Group Apps Platform from the BMW group technology office.
BMW Apps is an optional software package available in BMWs and Mini Coopers with model years 2011 and up. The idea is to let the driver access their phone's core features in a way that's safer than interacting directly with the device in the driver's hand.
With BMW Connected Apps, drivers can already access Facebook and Twitter updates; view upcoming calendar appointments; listen to Pandora, MOG or Stitcher (music apps already approved for the service); as well as access standard telephony functions such as the phone and contacts apps. There's even a Last Mile app that helps BMW drivers find their car in large parking lots.
Apps that are certified for use with BMWs and Mini Coopers are adapted to the BMW iDrive user interface on the dashboard, which can then be controlled by drivers via the iDrive knob. The iPhone itself is plugged directly into the car via USB and can be stored somewhere safe.
"Integrating access to digital spoken-word content from Audible was the next logical way to expand audio entertainment for drivers," said BMW's Johnston. "The ability to use the Glympse app from the existing vehicle controls enables drivers to share their whereabouts and ETA in a much safer way."
Music is already a big part of BMW Apps' service, with some notable apps already on board. "By partnering with Rhapsody," said Johnston, "we are delivering music to our owners in user-friendly formats they prefer." The same goes for TuneIn Radio, which streams Internet radio stations to the iPhone, and, through BMW Apps, the car's stereo system.
BMW Apps work differently from competing services, such as Ford SYNC. SYNC is used to access car functions through voice recognition, though some SYNC packages (there are four) can access phone apps, too. Ford's service works with a much larger number of devices. SYNC is compatible with the iPhone and with dozens of Android smartphones, including the Motorola Atrix HD and Droid 4, Kyocera DuraCore, various BlackBerry 5, 6 and 7 models, and Samsung's Galaxy smartphones. BMW hasn't said if or when it will follow suit and certify BMW Apps for devices other than the iPhone.
According to BMW, the new apps approved for use with BMW Connected Apps today will need to be updated by their respective developers before they are fully functional with BMW's cars. BMW did not say how soon those updates might arrive.
Attend Interop Las Vegas May 6-10 and learn the emerging trends in information risk management and security. Use Priority Code MPIWK by March 22 to save an additional $200 off the early bird discount on All Access and Conference Passes. Join us in Las Vegas for access to 125+ workshops and conference classes, 300+ exhibiting companies, and the latest technology. Register today!
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."