Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, better known as BMW, features a special option dubbed Apps which integrates iOS software from third-parties for some cool in-car entertainment and driving experience.
Part of the luxury automaker’s ConnectedDrive initiative, the Apps platform supports model year 2011 and later vehicles and is controlled through a dedicated iOS app aptly named BMW Connected App. These apps are still few and far between so today the German car maker launched new additions.
A total of four iOS programs that integrate with the BMW Apps platform have been confirmed: Amazon’s Audible app which lets you listen to audio books, real-time location sharing software Glympse, the subscription-based music streaming service Rhapsody and Pandora-like TuneIn app that features offers over 70,000 stations and two million shows…
These new apps, like other BMW Apps-enabled software, integrate with the car’s entertainment system and interact with the iDrive controller. Previous BMW Apps include software for locating your vehicle, remote car locking/unlocking, finding Google Maps locations and more.
Third-party apps compatible with the BMW Apps framework are also able to render graphics and put information on the car’s main display and interact with the audio system of the vehicle.
BMW wrote in a media release that it will preview the four new apps at the New York International Auto Show on the BMW stand March 27 and 28.
And, in another vote of confidence to Apple, BMW will be using Apple’s Genius retail model hoping to ignite more sales. Per CNET, the initiative launches in the U.S. in 2014 and calls for young people armed with iPads who will roam BMW showrooms even before the sales staff get down to clinching the deal.
From the BMW Apps web page:
The BMW Connected App creates new possibilities for unique networking between the vehicle, your iPhone, and the outside world.
You just connect the iPhone to the USB connection or SnapIn adapter in your BMW, start the app and then experience the functions of this app via the iDrive controller, the display and the audio system of the vehicle.
Of course, drivers are able to also control the individual functions of any given app through the vehicle’s iDrive system.
This provides for both hands-free and eyes-free experience, much in a way Apple’s Eyes Free in-car integration allows drivers to interact with Siri by pressing the special Siri button installed in select vehicles.
For example, Siri Eyes Free allows one to place hands-free phone calls, play songs from the Music app, ask Siri simple questions, listen to and compose iMessage and text messages and more – all while keeping one’s eyes on the road.
A number of big name car brands support Siri Eyes Free, including Audi, BMW, Toyota, Honda, Land Rover, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.
Notably, Apple has been seen talking to Ferrari about further in-car entertainment plans.