BMW ConnectedDrive: BMW announces new Apps

by Bernie McGroarty on July 10, 2013, 11:40 pm

Munich. BMW is expanding its BMW Apps option for the Apple iPhone. The latest partners offering BMW-approved Apps include Deezer (subscription music service), Napster by Rhapsody (subscription music service), TuneIn (Internet radio), Audible (downloadable audio books and other spoken-word content) and Glympse (temporary location sharing in real-time). These new services will broaden the flexibility and usability of the industry’s leading smartphone integration solution. BMW drivers can use the new services safely and conveniently in the usual way, via the iDrive Controller.

“Via BMW Apps and MINI Connected, new in-car apps are being rolled out all the time. The BMW AppCenter supplies interested app providers with a Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows them to access the iDrive system and display using A4A (Apps for Automotive) technology.
Deezer, Napster by Rhapsody, TuneIn Radio, Audible and Glympse have A4A built in, which allows these systems to be integrated seamlessly into the driver-oriented BMW and MINI control and operation system,” says Uwe Higgen, Head of the App Center in Munich.

“Personally, I myself am a big fan of Glympse. On my way home from work in the evening I can send my wife a Glympse and she knows when to expect me back. The iDrive Controller makes the whole process simple and effortless to operate. And Audible’s audio books, or the extensive music catalogues of Deezer, Rhapsody, Napster and TuneIn Radio, allow me to enjoy perfect entertainment on every trip. BMW is already talking to many more app providers and is also developing some great new functions of its own. So our customers can look forward to some more surprises very soon,” Higgen continues.

Subscription music services: Deezer, Napster by Rhapsody.
Deezer offers its fans across 182 countries the complete, global music experience, providing instant access to a catalogue of 25 million tracks which can be played on any device, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, home music systems, in-car systems or work computers.

Deezer’s mantra is “music discovery”. It offers its 4 million subscribers and 10 million monthly users, the opportunity to enjoy 100 million sharable playlists – and discover the best in new music – as recommended by its team of expert editors who are discovering the best new music every day, all over the world.

Napster, the daughter company of the first online music service Rhapsody International Inc.’s, is available in 16 European countries. Globally more than one million members have access to one of the world’s biggest online music catalogues, comprising more than 20 million songs, from charts hits to Indie tracks. Napster’s team of music experts offer pre-programmed playlists, featured artists and expert content to help users discover new music, along with live sessions, exclusive artist interviews and radio stations. In Germany, the catalogue also includes several thousand audio books – from detective stories and romance novels to non-fiction works and children’s stories.

This service can be accessed via a wide range of devices – from computers, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, games consoles and in-car equipment to home entertainment systems like Sonos. Users can store playlists, albums and songs on their mobile devices and can play them on- or offline. The service can be accessed directly via the BMW ConntectedDrive interface – in Europe with Napster, in the USA with Rhapsody. The iPhone apps are fully integrated into the BMW infotainment system, so users can not only use the vehicle controls to find and listen to their favourite tracks, but can also navigate Rhapsody’s music discovery tools, which have been optimised for in-car use. In the USA, BMW drivers have been using Rhapsody via BMW ConnectedDrive since the end of March 2013.

TuneIn: the world’s radio.
TuneIn has more than 40 million listeners a month worldwide, and its content includes music, sports, talk and news from all parts of the world. More than 70,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio stations and more than 2 million on-demand programmes from every continent are available. This free-of-charge service spans virtually all music genres and offers countless radio stations, as well as live sports coverage and virtually any podcast. A free account allows drivers to access their favourite stations, music tracks and programmes via any device.

Integration in BMW Apps means users can access the TuneIn Radio app using the vehicle’s infotainment controls, allowing them to navigate the world’s biggest radio catalogue from their car.

Audible: the leader in downloadable audio-books and other audio content.
Audible is the world’s largest producer and seller of digital spoken-word entertainment. Audible content comprises more than 135,000 audio programmes from more than 2,700 content providers, including leading audio book publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, newspaper and magazine publishers and business information providers. Audible is the exclusive provider of downloadable audio-books to Apple’s iTunes Store.

The addition of Audible’s digital spoken-word content to BMW Apps marks the first time a graphical integration of the app has been available in a vehicle infotainment system. Thanks to BMW Apps, Audible customers can access their library using the BMW iDrive controls and menu. And with Audible’s innovative Whispersync for Voice technology, BMW owners can also switch seamlessly between reading a book on their Kindle at home and listening to the audio-book version in their car via their iPhone app – without losing their place. With Audible’s suite of mobile apps, the last listening position, bookmarks and notes are stored in the cloud, ensuring that as soon as they open up their iPhone app, drivers can pick up exactly where they left off.

Glympse: GPS-based location sharing.
With Glympse, users can share their location temporarily with other people, from minutes up to four hours. When accessing this function via BMW Apps, drivers can use the familiar in-car controls to share their current location and expected time of arrival while en route, all updated on a dynamic map, with none of the hazards of using a phone.

Used with BMW Apps, Glympse offers options to share, pause or cancel the location information via the BMW iDrive Controller and screen. Drivers can also choose whether to send the “Glympse” to other users via the app, the telephone contact list or their personal social media feeds (Facebook and Twitter).

BMW Apps: the industry’s leading smartphone integration solution.
BMW Apps, optionally available for model year 2011 and later BMW models, allows drivers to stay seamlessly connected using their Apple iPhone. Vehicle-compatible apps such as the BMW Connected App can be downloaded from the iTunes Store, enabling customers to access Twitter and Facebook updates, listen to internet radio stations from all over the world via Web Radio, or locate their parked car using the Last Mile feature. The calendar function can also be accessed. Additionally, popular services such as Pandora (USA only), AUPEO!, Stitcher and Snippy can be quickly and easily streamed to the BMW vehicle interface. The flexible design of BMW Apps offers unprecedented integration of smartphone functions, taking the in-car integration of iPhone, entertainment and online functions to a whole new level. BMW Apps adopts the familiar BMW display and controls, ensuring that all functions can be operated conveniently, simply, safely and intuitively, with minimum driver distraction.

The iPhone is linked to the car via the centre console and a USB cable, which is supplied with the phone. Alternatively, a snap-in adapter can be used. Once connected, the phone can be stored away and all functions can be operated via the iDrive Controller, the steering wheel buttons or the on-board monitor.

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11 responses to BMW ConnectedDrive: BMW announces new Apps

rmjames007 commented:
July 11, 2013, 11:00 am

Seriously BMW there are other phones out there than the iphone.
jjrandorin commented:
July 11, 2013, 12:12 pm

BMW probably has metrics that show that the majority of BMW owners either have iPhones, or are willing and able to buy them if the apps proposition is compelling enough. Its also easier for them to develop for iPhones than android, due to having to develop for different screen sizes, etc.

They can not even do well doing iPhone apps (witness the BMW remote app debacle), so expecting them to get android apps right might be a little too much
rmjames007 commented:
July 11, 2013, 12:58 pm

I think is lazy. They did BB integration before as well. But I must say my iPod touch center console dock is cool

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using BimmerApp mobile app
HokieXDriver commented:
July 11, 2013, 2:25 pm

Weren't these apps announced previously? The only one I don't remember is Deezer, which apparently isn't available to US customers.
Bimmermeupscoty commented:
July 11, 2013, 4:05 pm

Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
Weren't these apps announced previously? The only one I don't remember is Deezer, which apparently isn't available to US customers.
eyvazk commented:
August 10, 2013, 5:42 pm

Folks, is BMW apps available on 2011 models? I have 11 X5 35, I cannot find it on idrive menu. Or maybe it is an option?
EstorilF30 commented:
August 10, 2013, 5:56 pm

Oh, wow, three new music related apps, how ground breaking.

And this isn't meant to piss off non-iPhone users, but at my firm, all of the partners and directors (whom easily are deemed "rich") use Apple products, and have the choice of Android or iOS. Not saying this is a representative population, but my experience is that people with money buy iPads and iPhones, not other devices.
voip-ninja commented:
August 13, 2013, 4:39 pm

What would be nice for BMW to do is offer app support for Inrix or another quality traffic app.... their traffic system is slow, sometimes doesn't update at all and doesn't do a very good job with re-routing. Instead they offer up these limp music apps. Geez.
Gerry1314 commented:
August 13, 2013, 5:29 pm

my experience is that people with money buy iPads and iPhones, not other devices.
I don't think it's about money. I think it's about the status of owning one of these devices. High schoolers through senior people buy these devices because people "notice" you when you brag about having the new Apple whatever. Business people think the same way. If the boss or important people have an iPod, then me having one too, shows them I have good taste. And if I can buy one because my boss recommended it, then more points to me for showing that i can learn by taking the boss's advice. "Oh look boss, thanks for the tip about your iPod, I took your advice and got one of my own. I love it." Apple markets their products as cool, innovative, and you just have to have one. But I digress.

As you may have imagined by now, I have an Android Galaxy S4, which is also well equipped to connect to the iDrive, I hear. Somehow, I'll get my money's worth out of both whether BMW continues to seduce Apple at the expense of Android devices, or not.
voip-ninja commented:
August 13, 2013, 6:25 pm

Almost everyone I know has an iDevice. They don't have them for status, because their boss has one or because they "look cool". They have them because they are easy to use, work very well, and the app store offerings are good. There's even a joke in the "We're the Millers" movie about how the homeless kid has an iphone. I don't think that the iSheep are buying for the reasons you think they are.

There are good Android devices too, but most of the time I see someone posting about their Android device it is accompanied by plenty of 'Apple Bashing'. Seems that the Android folks are insecure or something. Whatever.

It's also worth pointing out I suppose that because Android is found on everything from flagship devices like the Galaxy down to cheap disposable crap phones that are given away for free with a contract that all of the marketing data has demonstrated that the iDevice owners are more affluent and also spend more per annum in the app store than their Android counterparts. Those are all legitimate reasons that companies like BMW are targeting the iDevice crowd.
rmjames007 commented:
August 13, 2013, 7:01 pm

I have an android and it looks like the unlock feature no longer works

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using BimmerApp mobile app