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BMW and Mini cars add iOS integration for Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn

BMW and Mini cars add iOS integration for Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|March 27, 2013 12:01 AM

BMW hasn't been quite as aggressive in pushing smartphone app integration as American counterparts like Ford or GM, but it certainly knows how to make up for lost time: the Munich automaker just greenlit tie-ins with the iOS apps from Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn. Plug in a device and it will be possible to wield the apps' respective audiobook, location sharing, subscription music and live streaming radio services from a BMW Apps-capable BMW or Mini, with an interface optimized for the center stack. Each of the developers will need to update their app to make everything click, which we're told may take weeks. There still shouldn't be much wait before fans of Teutonic (and British) rides can get lost while streaming favorite songs -- and tell everyone just how far they went off-course.

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BMW Announces Four New App Integrations for iPhone

• New Partnerships with Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn.
• Demos of the full suite of BMW Approved Apps available for media at New York International Auto Show

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 27, 2013 12:01am EDT... BMW today announced four new partners to provide BMW Approved Apps for BMW Apps option for Apple iPhone. The latest BMW Approved Apps include Audible (downloadable audio books and other spoken-word content), Glympse (location sharing), Rhapsody (subscription music service) and TuneIn (Internet radio). These newest integrations broaden the flexibility and usability of the industry's most comprehensive smartphone integration.

"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."

Johnston continued, "Integrating access to digital spoken-word content from Audible was the next logical way to expand audio entertainment for drivers. 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 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."

Previews of all four demo apps will be offered for media guests at the New York International Auto Show on the BMW stand March 27 and 28.

Audible: The leader in downloadable audiobooks and other audio content.

Audible is the world's largest producer and seller of digital spoken-word entertainment. Audible content comprises over 135,000 audio programs from more than 2,700 content providers, including leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers and business information providers. Audible is the exclusive provider of downloadable audiobooks 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 is available in a vehicle's infotainment system. Using BMW Apps, Audible customers will be able to access their library through the BMW iDrive controls and menu display. 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 companion audiobook in the car via their iPhone app-without losing their place. With Audible's suite of mobile apps, last listening position, bookmarks and notes are saved in the cloud, ensuring drivers always pick up where they left off when they open their iPhone app.

Glympse: GPS-driven location sharing.

Glympse's location-sharing application enables users to share their location with anyone for a specified period of time. Enabling access to this function through BMW Apps allows drivers to use the car's familiar controls to share their location and arrival time while en route, without the dangers of picking up their phone.

In use with BMW Apps, Glympse location information from the app is populated with options to share, pause or cancel the information through the BMW iDrive controller and screen. Drivers can opt to send the Glympse to other users via the app, using the phone's existing contact list, or their personal social media feeds (Facebook and Twitter).

Rhapsody: Subscription music service.

Rhapsody is the original premium, ad-free on-demand music service, with more than one million members, who can listen to more than 16 million tracks on their favorite device, including connected audio systems, smartphones, iPads and Android tablets, MP3 players, connected TVs, gaming consoles and in-car audio. Rhapsody offers the best music discovery tools, thanks to a team of renowned editors help guide members through Rhapsody's catalog spanning 600 genres with original features and content, including videos, playlists, reviews and radio stations for effortless listening and discovery. Rhapsody makes it easy to find the right song for every moment.

The Rhapsody iPhone app will be fully integrated into the BMW Apps system, meaning users will be able to not only use the vehicle controls to find and listen to their favorite tracks, but also navigate Rhapsody's music discovery tools, which have been adapted for in-car use.

TuneIn: The World's Radio.

TuneIn lets people listen to the world's music, sports, talk and news from wherever they are, with over 70,000 AM, FM, HD and Internet radio stations and more than two million on-demand programs streaming from every continent. The free service includes practically every genre of music, including decades stations, plus live sports, and nearly every podcast show. A free personal account helps drivers access their favorite stations, songs and programs across any device.

The BMW Apps integration will enable users to access the TuneIn app using infotainment controls of their vehicle, allowing them to navigate the world's radio from their car.

BMW Apps: The industry's most comprehensive smart phone

The BMW Apps option, available in model year 2011 and later BMWs enables the BMW driver to be more seamlessly connected than ever before using their Apple iPhone. Vehicle compatible apps like the BMW Connected App can be downloaded from the iTunes store, enabling customers to access Twitter and Facebook updates, listen to internet radio from around the world with Web Radio, and use the Last Mile feature to help find their parked vehicle. The calendar can also be accessed. Additionally, popular services like Pandora, MOG and Stitcher can be easily and safely streamed into and controlled by the BMW vehicle interface. The flexible design of BMW Apps allows 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 to ensure that all functions can be operated comfortably, simply, safely and intuitively while minimizing driver distraction.

The iPhone is linked to the car through the center console either via the USB cable, supplied with the phone, or through an available snap-in adapter. Once connected, the phone can be stored away and all functions can be operated using the vehicle's iDrive controller, steering wheel buttons and on-board monitor.

BMW and Mini cars add iOS integration for Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn