BMW has just made it easier for music lovers to get their fix of streaming radio, as the automaker announced that Pandora is now available for the BMW Apps feature. BMW owners can either download the Pandora BMW Connected App and install it in their BMW or just run the program on their iPhone using the iPhone integration. Once installed, the program can then be accessed using the many interface controls found on BMW models.
Boasting a musical catalog made up of hundreds of thousands of songs, Pandora is one of the most widely used apps on the iPhone. Giving users the ability to create their own station by inputting a song title, artist name or musical genre, Pandora can suggest songs for you based on what you thumb-up or thumb-down. These features often lead to the discovery of new music for Pandora users, which could be part of the reason why the service is so popular.
“The seamless integration of a highly desired service like Pandora demonstrates the enormous potential of the new BMW Apps,” said Stephen Durach, Director of the BMW Group Technology Office. Durach goes on to say that BMW chose to offer Pandora for BMW Apps to make the program easy to access and safer to use while driving.
Closely mirroring the functionality of the iPhone app, the BMW Connected App allows drivers to create their own stations, cast their vote on a particular track and bookmark songs they like using BMW’s interface controls. Users can connect their iPhone either by USB cable or by docking it into the center armrest’s optional snap-in adapter. Then, all of the iPhone’s functions can be transferred to the car’s iDrive controller knob, steering wheel-mounted buttons or monitor controls.
While the app is free to download, the BMW Apps feature costs an additional $250 and is only available on BMW models produced from March 2011 onward. As the first third-party app to be approved for BMW Apps, Pandora will likely pave the way for other apps on BMW’s system.