Like their MINI brethren before them, the 2011 BMW lineup will have access to Pandora, the music-streaming app that’s already feeding audio systems from Ford and Toyota. Integration of Pandora is specifically available starting with all 2011 model year and onwards (built after 3/11) BMWs equipped with the BMW Apps option.
Bringing Pandora service into the cars is as simple as downloading it to its host iPhone. The iPhone is linked to the car either via USB cable or through the center armrest with an available snap-in adapter. Once connected, the phone can be stored and all functions are operated using the vehicle’s iDrive controller, steering wheel buttons and on-board monitor.
The integration will also allow users to shuffle through music, choose custom channels and bookmark certain tracks, all via the same car controls.
BMW also offers its own BMW Connected app for the iPhone, which will be a gateway for its integration of other apps into the existing controls–all to keep driver distraction to a minimum, BMW says.
Pandora is offered through Ford’s SYNC service, and it’s one of five apps that will make their on-screen debut in Toyota’s Entune service, which arrives first in the 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon later this year.
Pandora will be the first app approved by BMW for use in its cars. BMW Apps is available for $250.00. The BMW Connected App and the Pandora app are now available for free at the Apple App Store.
Popular Pandora features available to BMW drivers include the abilities easily access existing stations, create new stations, thumb-up or thumb-down tracks, and bookmark songs.
“The seamless integration of a highly desired service like Pandora demonstrates the enormous potential of the new BMW Apps,” said Stephan Durach, Director of the BMW Group Technology Office. “We are pleased that we are able to partner with Pandora in order to now offer this function across the BMW product range in a way that is simple to access and safer to operate.”
“We’re excited that BMW is making Pandora available to customers across its full range of vehicles and that drivers will be able to tune into their personalized radio stations from the road,” said Jessica Steel, EVP/Business Development for Pandora.