At the New York International Auto Show, BMW announced four new apps that will be available for porting to the vehicle's dash-based controls from an iPhone.
The apps include Rhapsody, Audible, Glympse and TuneIn. Rhapsody and TuneIn are both music services, while Audible is an audio book service and Glympse is an app that lets drivers share their destination and location. The announcement marks an addition to BMW's existing app roster, which includes Pandora and Mog.
The addition will surely please BMW fans and is part of the company's strategy to create vehicles that also serve as powerful entertainment machines.
"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. "Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn were natural additions to the family of BMW Apps Ready Apps."
BMW Apps is an optional software kit that can be used in BMWs and Mini Coopers from 2011 to the present. The process involves an iPhone being plugged into the car through a USB. Certified apps work on the BMW iDrive user interface located on the dashboard, and drivers control the interface through the iDrive knob.
"Integrating access to digital spoken-word content from Audible was the next logical way to expand audio entertainment for drivers," Johnston added. "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 the key to vehicle infotainment, and by partnering with Rhapsody, we are delivering music to our owners in user-friendly formats they prefer. With TuneIn, BMW drivers will not only get thousands of music radio stations, but also live sports, news and talk shows from around the world."
The new apps will have to be updated by their developers before being integrated with BMW's vehicles. It is not known at this time when the updates will arrive.