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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Mobile

iOS 5 will stream song info to Bluetooth stereos

Like the one in your car, if you're lucky enough to have a fairly new set of wheels. Now your stereo will display each song's artist, album, and title.

Back in December I leased a 2011 Kia Sportage, and one of my favorite features by far is the Bluetooth stereo. No more messy cable running from my iPhone to the aux jack; now all my audio gets beamed automagically via Bluetooth.

Alas, what I don't get is any information about the song that's playing. So if I hear something I don't immediately recognize, I have to pick up my phone, turn it on, and focus on the screen for a second--not exactly safe.

That should change with the arrival of iOS 5. According to 9to5 Mac, Apple has updated the Bluetooth profile in iOS 5 to support audio metadata: album name, artist name, song title, and so on. Translation: now I'll be able to see what's playing just by glancing at the in-dash stereo.

Here's a video showing the new arrangement in action:

Pretty slick, right? I'll admit this isn't the kind of feature that'll have most people turning cartwheels, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.

However, I just tested this with an iPad 2 running the iOS 5 beta (thanks to my awesome neighbor Brad), and my Kia stereo didn't show any track info. I don't know if that's a limitation of the stereo (in which case: rats!) or an iOS beta issue, so if anyone else is able to test-drive the feature, please share your results.

In the meantime, I'm curious: how many of you have Bluetooth in your cars, and how many of you use it for streaming audio? Personally, I'll never buy another car that doesn't have it.