BMW adding Rhapsody and Audible to app roster

At the 2013 New York auto show, BMW demonstrated new app integration with apps Rhapsody, Audible, Glympse, and TuneIn.

BMW Apps
BMW owners will soon be able to access their Rhapsody apps through the iDrive interface. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

NEW YORK--Adding to its existing roster of app integration, which currently comprises Pandora and Mog, BMW announced its next four apps to work with BMW cars at the New York International Auto Show. Music fans will be able to easily use Rhapsody and TuneIn, book lovers can listen to Audible, and Glympse lets drivers share their current whereabouts and destination.

Each app shows up on the LCD in BMW models equipped with the app integration feature, in a format similar to other car applications, such as navigation or the hands-free phone system.

Rhapsody subscribers will get a similar feature set to what shows up on the smartphone app, including playlist access and the ability to download music. The app also shows album art for currently playing tracks.

BMW Apps
BMW Apps integrates apps running on an iPhone with the car, letting drivers access features through the car's interface. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The integration with Glympse includes the ability to share destinations from the car's own navigation system, or use one previously saved in the app. Drivers will be able to set the amount of time the Glympse tracks their movement and specify whether to send it to a specific person or share it on a social network. Each Glympse a driver sends shows the car's destination and its current location on a map.

Similar to the Audible app, BMW's integration lets drivers choose a recorded book and play it over the car's stereo. The interface lets drivers change the playback speed and skip back 30 seconds at the push of a button. Because the car integrates with the app on a phone, it starts playing from the most recent stop point. Audible book recordings integrate with Amazon's Whispersync, so if a driver owns a book on Kindle and Audible, the last Audible book starts at the last stopping point of the Kindle version, and vice versa.

With TuneIn, drivers can listen to radio stations streaming over the Internet from anywhere in the world.

All the apps are integrated through the BMW Apps feature, which means they must be installed on the phone, and the phone must be connected to the car through a cable. Currently, BMW Apps only works with iPhones.

BMW offered no timeline for when the new apps would work with BMW Apps, but it should be soon, as the demonstration looked finished.

Along with the app announcement, BMW also said it would extend its telematics-based collision notification feature by making it standard equipment in all of its models. Further, the service will be free of charge for 10 years, and will transfer to a new owner if the car is sold used.

BMW Apps
Glympse lets drivers share a real-time map of their locations and destinations with friends and social-networking services. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

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About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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