BMW gets Apple fever

BMW shows off a car that integrates two iPads and an iPhone 4 at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

BMW iPad and iPhone mounts
BMW fits this 1-series with iPads for rear-seat entertainment and an iPhone 4 on the dashboard. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Showing a DIY spirit, BMW decked out a 1-series convertible with two iPads and an iPhone 4.

BMW's ConnectedDrive effort is always looking at ways to increase the cabin tech in its cars, but at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, that resulted in merely buying tech from Apple. We ran across this 1-series, a European 118d convertible, fitted with two iPads for rear-seat entertainment and an iPhone 4 to serve as infotainment center.

The brackets for the iPads, attached to the front-seat headrest posts, looked surprisingly crude for BMW. These brackets would also prevent the front headrests from being lowered all the way.

Ensconced in the dashboard was an iPhone 4 fitted into a sturdy-looking bracket anchored to the car. A custom app on the phone showed large buttons for navigation, music, and phone--common car tech functions. The only problem with this configuration was that the phone looked like it would be a long reach from the driver's seat.

BMW iPhone mount
This iPhone serves as the car's infotainment center, with navigation, music, and phone. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

BMW iPad mount
This iPad mount looks a little crude, and prevents the headrest from lowering all the way. Wayne Cunningham/CNET


Under its ConnectedDrive effort, BMW announced it has implemented a Wi-Fi network in the 7-series, making it possible for passengers to use iPads and laptops while on the go. BMW has also updated its Bluetooth phone systems to work with iPhone OS4. Outside of the Apple universe, BMW adds integration with Blackberry phones, letting the car read out e-mails as they come in.

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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