BMW announced today that drivers of vehicles equipped with BMW Online will be able to access Yelp in their cars.
That's right, the love-it or hate-it user-contributed review site is the latest app to make it into BMW's suite of application integrations. But this time, drivers will be able to Yelp with or without an iPhone.
Thanks to a change earlier this month with BMW Online, drivers will be able to download the Yelp application directly to their vehicles. Unlike Pandora and Mog app integrations, users won't need to have or use their iPhone to access Yelp. Until now, Android, Windows Phone, and other handset users have been left in the cold when it comes to playing with the latest infotainment apps in their car. But now the app will be available on the new Applications screen that was added with the BMW Online update.
Using the vehicle's in-dash display, drivers will be able to use Yelp to search for restaurants or stores by category, and see a listing's rating, address, distance, phone number, and number of reviews. Their BMW will also be able to read a listing's latest three reviews out loud, which if you're familiar with Yelp's Elite reviewers, could also be considered entertainment. Once you've decided on a destination, the vehicle's onboard navigation system will guide the vehicle there.
And no, you can't add a review using the BMW Yelp app.
Yelp isn't the first embedded application BMW has added to vehicles. BMW Online also offers customers Google search capability and access to Bloomberg news from the in-dash display. Nor will Yelp be the last--a BMW spokesperson indicated that the company will offer more downloadable applications in the future at the same time it is also pursuing more smartphone-based application integrations for ConnectedDrive.
But for the moment, Yelp's iPhone app won't work with ConnectedDrive. The reviews are only available on vehicles equipped with BMW Online--an optional BMW Assist subscription service that's offered on the following vehicles equipped with onboard navigation system:
ConnectedDrive for Android is in the works, says BMW, but thanks to the complexities of creating a single solution that works with multiple devices, no timeframe has been announced.