One of the best aspects of MINI Connected is the ability for the iPhone App to be upgraded and add features to your MINI for no cost via the iTunes store. Today that has happened with the addition of Pandora. The Pandora app on MINI Connected is the first 3rd party app developed but rumors suggest not the last.
When Connected launched last fall we mentioned the future proof concept of the app. Now only a few months later we see the first fruits of that.
Official Release: MINI USA announced today that the company is collaborating with Pandora to develop the first third party app for MINI Connected. Upon completion, Pandora internet radio will be available at no charge and allow customers to access and control Pandora through the existing MINI Connected system. (Fully gallery after the break)
All 2011 MINIs equipped with MINI Connected will be able to stream Pandora, enabling access to personalized internet radio across the entire vehicle lineup. Unique features to the MINI Connected app will include popular Pandora features, such as: easy access to existing stations, the ability to create new ones using the car interface and high-resolution, color display of album art.
â€œIntegration of Pandora has been highly requested by our existing owners and potential new customers,â€ said Stephan Durach, Director of the BMW Group Technology Office Palo Alto. â€œWe are pleased that we are able to partner with Pandora and look forward to offering this function across the MINI product range in a way that is simple to access and safer to operate.â€
Once development is complete, MINI customers will be able to download Pandora, which will immediately work with their existing MINI Connected systems. The Pandora internet radio integration, like the existing MINI Connected functions, will be seamless.
“We’re thrilled that MINI is making Pandora available to customers across its full range of vehicles, thereby enabling people to enjoy their personalized radio stations while on-the-go,â€ said Jessica Steel, Executive Vice President of Business Development for Pandora.
Demonstrations of the forthcoming app and its functionality in MINI vehicles will be offered this week during the Consumer Telematics Show and Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV.
Added future-proofing with MINI-specific apps.
The functional repertoire of MINI Connected can be extended easily by dipping into the MINI Connected Approved iPhone Apps. Any changes that are made to the apps are automatically updated through the Apple App Store. This allows MINI Connected customers to continue to benefit from technical advances and creative developments in the field of in-car entertainment into the future without the hassle of service calls to ensure the latest updates are incorporated.
â€œWe look forward to bringing additional premium partners into the world of MINI Connected Approved iPhone Apps,â€ said Robert Passaro, Senior Project Manager at the BMW Group. â€œExpect more exciting announcements in the future.â€
The flexible design of MINI Connected allows unprecedented integration of smartphone functions, taking the in-car integration of iPhone, entertainment and online functions to a whole new level. MINI Connected adopts the familiar MINI display and controls to ensure that all functions can be operated comfortably, simply, safely and intuitively while minimizing driver distraction.
The MINI Connected iPhone App is available for free right now from the Apple App store, and offers drivers access to their favorite entertainment and online functions of the iPhone in the car â€“ Web Radio, News, Twitter, Google Send to Car, Google Local Search, and MINIMALISM Analyser.
The iPhone is linked to the car either via a USB cable, supplied with MINI Connected, or through the center armrest with an available snap-in adapter. Once connected, the phone can be stored and all functions are operated using the vehicleâ€™s joystick, steering wheel buttons and on-board monitor.
Another MINI first: the MINI Connected PlugIn.
MINI Connected also offers MINI Connected PlugIn â€“ the Apple designed, automotive- grade iPod interface that supports Appleâ€™s iPod Out. This function is unique to MINI as it enables MINI Connected to display the familiar iPod navigation menu in the vehicleâ€™s display screen. It also allows control of the music playback features with an iPhone, iPod touch or the latest-generation iPod nano, using the vehicleâ€™s controls. This promotes a safer driving experience, as all of the vehicleâ€™s infotainment controls have been designed to minimize distraction while driving. This newly developed interface technology requires iOS 4.2.1 with iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod touch (second and third generation).
In addition, the display screen gives MINI drivers direct access to the latest iPod functions, such as a custom playlist and Genius Mixes, which lets you automatically create playlists from songs in your music library that go great together.