Listen to NPR, Eat a Pizza: BMW and Ford Unveil New Local Deals and Radio On-Demand Apps

#BMW, #Ford

The landslide of in-dash applications continued this week, as BMW unveiled a new radio on-demand application, and Ford released a new Groupon-like daily deals application.

The newest application for Ford Sync is called Roximity, and is the creation of Danny Newman, Austin Gayer, and Joe Mease. The three submitted Roximity in last year's 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in Ford's SYNC App Developer Challenge and won first place. Roximity might follow the same path as special daily-deal services like LivingSocial and Groupon, but allows registered users to fine-tune which deals they see. As it runs on an Apple iOS device, it uses the smartphone's GPS to tell the user where the closest relevant deals are. Because they won the SYNC app challenge, Newman, Gayer, and Mease were given access to the Ford SYNC programming interfaces; the result is full Roximity integration with the SYNC system, making your car arolling bargain hunter.

The system only runs on SYNC AppLink, which is limited to non-MyFord Touch devices, and requires an iOS device like an iPhone to be connected to SYNC. Once everything is set, the driver can use Ford SYNC's voice-activation feature to search for particular deals. The app launched this morning and is available in the Apple App Store.

BMW's newest application won't find you an inexpensive pizza, but it will play you episodes of "This American Life." BMW announced this week that all BMW Apps- and Mini Connected-equipped cars now have Stitcher Smart Radio connectivity, which connects to the Stitcher Smart Radio application for iOS and plays radio stations and programs on demand.

Unlike BMW's other radio apps -- Pandora and MOG -- Stitcher Smart Radio taps into already-existing radio stations, which include music, talk and sports stations. Stitcher Smart Radio also provides access to pre-recorded radio programs, including numerous National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and BBC programs.

With the addition of Stitcher Smart Radio, it would appear that BMW is going for the title of "Ultimate Entertainment Machine." A well-equipped BMW now has access to AM/FM radio (with HD capability), SiriusXM, an in-dash CD player and hard drive, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, Pandora, MOG, Stitcher, and web radio functionality. BMW drivers may never go without something to listen to again.

Sources: BMW, Ford

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