BMW app crowdsources fans' favorite drives
Your navigation app may show you the fastest or most fuel-efficient way to get where you're going, but does it show you the most fun route?
Your navigation app may show you the fastest or most fuel-efficient way to get where you are going, but does it show you the most fun route?
BMW's Ultimate Drive app for Android and iPhone lets users search for, create, and share their favorite drive routes. The navigation app is less about how to get where you're going, and more like a travel guide for Sunday drives.
Using the free app, you can search for routes by location or sort them by length, newness, and user rating. As of today, there are a handful of submitted drive stretches for each location I searched. That may be because the app is only a day old, but it could also be because it's a little difficult to enter routes.
The app lets users create their own drives using Google Maps, but at least in the iPhone app, it doesn't have the benefit of letting users manually enter addresses or drag around route guides. You have to visually place the starting point, waypoints, and end point.
If you need to enter granular driving directions, which many secret stashes require, the app could get tedious. But once a stretch has been submitted, you can add comments, share the route via e-mail or Facebook, or send it to your GPS device. In the app, other users are free to add their comments and rate the route on traffic, scenic quality, fun, and amount of twisties.
So far users seem to be engaging well with the social-navigation app, adding helpful comments about rock slides and closures. However, since a lot of the best routes for cars are often the same ones favored by cyclists, there's a potential for ruffling a few feathers. I'm hoping the next version of the app will let you import a Google Map route that you've created on a computer, and enter local points of interests, such as restaurants, scenic points, or lodging to create a full-service driving guide.The app is available for iPhone and Android, and in more than 50 countries.