BMW added text-to-speech capability in its latest update of the BMW Connected iPhone app. The new release adds a play button to the iDrive system that will read to you while you're in the car.
When an iPhone equipped with the BMW Connected app is connected to the vehicle's mobile-phone docking station, drivers can use the iDrive controller to play new Twitter and Facebook messages.
I haven't had the chance to test this new feature, and don't know how the text-to-speech capability will treat abbreviations or what it will do with hashtags in Twitter. But if you must stay up to date with your tweets, it's probably better, or at least safer, than reading them on your mobile phone at stoplights.
BMW also added iPhone Calendar integration that will let you view appointments for the day, week, or month and read them out loud.
BMW began offering text-to-speech capability with its 2011 models andlast year. With some BlackBerry models, appropriately equipped BMWs could read e-mails out loud. No apps or integration have been announced for Android mobile devices, but the company has previously stated that it is working to support additional platforms.
The BMW app integration works similarly to the Mini Connected system we recently tested in the. As these systems use the same base technology, Mini Connected should be getting the additional text-to-speech capability.