Ask MF: What Would You Like to See in MINI Connected?

We’re big fans of MINI Connected. The system is just getting started though. A handful of third-party apps have made their way into the system, but frankly, there should be more. So here’s the question: what would you like to see in MINI Connected?

Obviously, there’s Android support, but what kind of apps would you like to see? What features would you existing users love to see? What features would put you nay-sayers over the edge to pony up the dollars for the system? Sound off in the comments.

  • Tim


  • Hanzo

    I’ll be taking delivery on my new Countryman All4 soon (hopefully). Something that I believe was promised, but I don’t think it’s actually made it in yet was “Mission Control”. 

    I’ve had fun with the MINI Link iPhone app..that might make another nice addition. 

    • Frenchy2004

      Mission Control is a part of the app now. But to make it work you have to have other parts of the app shut off, that is the down side.

  • Greg

    I would like to see an assortment of electronic gauges like , oil pressure, engine temp, transmission temp, etc. 

    Another useful display would be compass, outside temp, current time, trip mileage, current mpg efficiency, and miles to empty.

    I would also like to see navigation programs like Motion-x Drive be able to use the large lcd display for maps.

    I also think an iTunes app that doesn’t hijack the system would be nice as well.

    • R Burns

      it already exists…

      • Greg

        No it doesn’t!  I am talking about apps that work through mini connected and display on the mini 7″ LED display. I am not talking about iphone apps that display on the iphone screen only and require special hardware to connect to the car.

        • As already stated, it still already exists, check out driving excitement in the updated connected.

        • Greg

          Yeah, I know all about the driving excitement app and it doesn’t have oil pressure or trans temp at all.  It has engine temp and hp and a few other read outs but not the other gauge measurements I was talking about. I am talking about using the full 7 inch LED display to show a nice cluster of gauges as well as info read-outs all at once.

        • Mathew

          I agree that mission control should be a standard part of the infotainment system and not an app.  Why should one have to access their phone to access their car’s computer.  Mission Control was simply a novelty for me

  • Photo

    Why would anyone want anything more than just a nice dock (or mirrored touchscreen) for their iPhone or Android? Why not leave the software to the software people? Why try and reinvent the wheel? If I could have anything, it would just be an 6 inch touch enabled enlargement of my iPhone screen when it plugs in to the dock. Am I missing something?

    • dr

      Not everyone has nor wants a smartphone.

      • that.guy

        Of the people who can afford to buy a MINI, I would guess “smart phone” penetration is well over 90%. 

    • Anonymous

      Touch screens don’t work well in cars because you have to look at the screen while touching it, there’s no tactile feedback. That’s why they have an iDrive like joystick to control it and no touch screen.

  • Anonymous

    1) Mirrored display of my phone with the head unit screen being a touchscreen as well 2) Buddy Radar!!

    • Hanzo

      Yes! One of my favorite parts of MINI Link is when you get the random thumbs up from a passing MINI.

      I always try to wave, but still..

      • Frenchy2004

        The MINI Link seems like it would be a really nice app but since I live in Germany it will not work fully.

  • Brian Barthel

    I’d be happy with a simple mirroring function to display whats on my phone.  I think that it would make the NAV soooo much more usable and more accurate as it would be able to update the app with maps ounce a month really easily. I disliked NAV so much I left it out of my order. (it will not happen because then how would MINI get their 750$ option.)

  • Anonymous

    SDK and an API to talk with various parts of the car. Oh the possibilities. Also, offer MINI Connected retrofit for JCW WC50 🙂

    • Jb

      like being able to play “God Save the queen” with the engine revs?

  • JBFromOZ

    MINI Connected availability for Australia would be fab. I have just ordered an SD All4 Countryman, with Visual Boost, and looking for ways to get it outside the “original delivery” including researching the M65. part number as a way to buy it after the event. Perhaps I may need to get friendly with a stateside dealer for them to order it on my behalf or something, but being able to actually get MINI connected on my car officially or otherwise is number 1 on my list…

    • Ben

      Hey Jb, Mini Connected isn’t available in New Zealand either.  I ordered a ’11 Cooper S Clubman with nav. It had the same software as installed on the Oz cars. My dealer installed Mini Connected on my Clubman. It took the dealer about a week to work out how to install activate the software. They had to factory reset the car back to the base euro-spec software, then activate the Mini Connected then activate the NZ nav. I believe mine is the only Mini Connected car in NZ.  Good luck with yours

      • JBFromOZ

        thats awesome news! any chance of an offline email with the dealers details so i can get my guy to speak with your guy? jb at designlab dot cx would be legen wait for it……. dary!

      • Ken

        Can you share your dealer detail with me, keep looking for a solution in NZ withno luck.

  • CharlieVictor

    I’ve got the Connected w/Nav, and I’d like to see better traffic reporting.

  • I’m taking delivery of my Justa with Mini Connected next week. It’s my primary reason for buying MINI again. I can’t wait to explore its features.

  • minipuma


    • Chrissy

      I am able to use Spotify with Connected.  It obviously isn’t integrated the same way Pandora is, but I can still use the joystick or the steering wheel controls to skip or restart songs.  I use it almost every day and I really love it!

      • Do you use it via the Bluetooth Audio Streaming? How do you use it?

        • Chrissy

          I plug in the phone, activate the plugin on the Mini Connected screen, then open the app from the phone and hit play on the phone.  Then select Now Playing on the Mini Connected screen and it will pop up and say Spotify at the top and the artist/track info and the album cover shows up on the screen.  I think it works through Bluetooth streaming as well, but I’d have to double check.  I typically just plug it in so my phone will charge.  I also bought a 2′ extender cable from Amazon that makes it a lot more convenient to use the phone this way.

  • Will

    Support for spotify, more gauges that are actually accurate (HP meter is a joke), a re-write of the web radio app to support more features already in tune in radio (cover art etc).

    Siri support for sending texts

    Bluetooth support for all connected features so I don’t have to plug in all the time

    Ability to run connected in the background on iPhone

    Ability to play videos and output via AirPlay to mini screen

  • les

    I hate that little joy stick thing. For me, if I was buying a new MINI right now, the only reason I would not buy Connected is b/c it doesn’t has a touch screen.

    • Generally speaking premium European automakers stay far away from touch screens because of usability issues. Studies have shown it takes more brain processing power to zero in on a digital button on a screen than to use a mouse like device while driving.

      At this point they’re a little archaic. I can’t help but think that any automaker that offers them does so out of cost control and not thinking about safety.

      • Gary

         …not to mention that the OCMD afflicted can’t bear the thought of the continuous presence of greasy fingerprints on the face of the screen.  The joystick is easily manipulated without taking eyes off the road too.

  • Jason Kay

    Siri-like voice control (or would that be Kit or HAL?). Apps for price of local gas and cheapest gas near your location Auto “wave” to passing Minis. Nav with traffic showing both the fastest route, and most fun. (that last part is the key, new feature) App showing where the next mini gathering is and when

  • Gauges, only this time, more useful gauges like the engine temp guarge.  Maybe boost or how about the ability to do 0-60 runs or 1/4 mile times.

  • I would like to see some more Mission Control theme’s with sliders to particular characters can be more chatty or quieter.

    More guages, they are really great! Another driving game perhaps?

    I think most of all I would like the Mini Connected APP on the iPhone to work in the background so it doesn’t have to be on the iphone screen to be working. If its a multitasking issue, just check to see if the iphone has power (from the APP) if it does wake up the Mini Connected app. Hate it when I’ve put it in the arm rest and realised that the app isn’t active.

  • Steven

    Navigon by Garmin.  Of course I doubt they’ll ever allow a 3rd party navigation app because they would lose sales of the OEM nav product.  However, since I travel for work by plane I have to have a navigation app in my iPhone anyway.  It would be amazing to have it show up on the screen through Connected.

    • The irony is that those are the same maps used in bmw and mini nav systems

    • The issue with phone based Nav is that the MINI onboard Nav is connected to more than the antenna. The MINI onboard Nav is also also getting information from the wheels, speedometer etc. This allows fairly accurate tracking when going through tunnels or in areas with spotty coverage. App based Nav would still work, just not as well. Plus, the onboard is much faster and accurate. I’m not saying the phone based nav systems won’t eventually catch up, but for now, the onboard Nav system provides a better user experience in most situations. 

      • Greg

        Try Motion-X GPS Drive for iphone. It beats mini nav hands down. More accurate,faster, voices street names, and distance to the turn, the exit number, and name of the exist almost always exactly as displayed on signage.  All it needs is a mirror to the 7″ LED mini built in display and No one would buy mini nav anymore.

        • Thanks Greg. Downloading the app now. I’ll give it a try. 

        • I’ve been using it for a couple of months now on DB’s recommendation. It’s terrific. Put it in a good mount and it’s as good or better than any standalone GPS I’ve ever used.

        • Anonymous

          Google Maps on Android is quite good too. I know most MINI drivers use iPhones, but for those of us who aren’t Apple sheep out there Android support needs to happen now.

  • photo

    Maybe a little too big for the mini.. but this is what I want. If only apple made an ipad mini 🙂

    • photo

      This is a better version.. 

  • I would like it if they kept the connected “header” available/visible when you’re in the iPod Out “Plugin” mode. I hate not knowing what time it is when I listen to music from my iPhone using this mode…

    • Greg

      I agree! 100%. The itunes plugin really sucks when it comes right down to it. They need a whole new app that just navigates the phone and allows you to play whatever you want. Then when playing it needs to give more info on that huge screen. In addition, it needs to have the interface fixed so that scrolling and selecting works just like all the other app functions, instead of reverse.

  • Anonymous

    A clock ! when MINI connected is used the clock disappears.  Alsoincremental volume display.

    • Anonymous

      Yes 1000x over with the clock!! My first MINI was an ’07, and in that year you could swap the secondary speedometer on the tach for a clock/temp readout, and I was crestfallen when I traded for an ’11 Clubman and discovered this feature was removed. Why do I need two speed readings when the primary speedo is the size of my head?? A consistent place to check the time was far more useful, and with MINI Connected it’s constantly jumping around, or missing entirely.

    • Mathew

      YES with the incremental VOLUME DISPLAY

  • Mike

    Here’s an easy one, but something that would be quite useful to me.  How about a voice recorder, so you could make voice “notes” to yourself while driving, then have them either emailed to yourself or available in the MINI Connected app even when it’s not connected to the car.  I don’t know about you, but while I’m driving, I often come up with the greatest ideas–or I simply remember something I’m supposed to be getting from the store.  Kind of like being in the shower . . .

  • Rockinmini

    1st I’d really like to know what Connected can do. I just got a 2012 S Hatch with Connected plus Nav. Admittedly I don’t know how to use any of it yet. I don’t have an iPhone (I have an HTC Android) so I was talking to my MA about switching to an iPhone and she couldn’t really tell me what I’d get out of that. And it’s not just her – no one in that dealership or the other one in my area knows. No one in my MINI club gets it either.

    MINI says you get Facebook/Twitter updates but they show as simple text on the screen? What good is that to someone who is a) driving and b) even if stopped, why wouldn’t you just look at your phone to see the whole page, pictures and all, and be able to comment, update, etc? They say it has mission control but what is that? Pandora? Well, I was told I can stream Pandora through my phone via the Bluetooth without using ConnectedIMO MINI has failed totally at marketing this feature. It’s expensive and if they want to sell it, they need to define it, market it, and educate their staff. I got the tech package with the wired armrest but my dealer can’t even tell me if there is a snap in mount for an iPhone 4S. Crazy!So why did I buy it? Well, it’s silly, but I wanted to see the album art from my iPod on the big screen. I paid a lot for that feature! I really want Connected to do something cool, enough so that I’m considering buying an iPhone without an upgrade, but I just can’t find anyone to tell me what I’m missing.

  • Anonymous

    Please drop the “Profile” thing…  I’d like the ability to have all the features (MINI apps) available or the ability to select the ones I like/use the most a la carte.


    • Frenchy2004

      Agreed. I hate having to shut on feature off just to beable to use another. I am not a fan of the dynamic music but I really like the web radio. Being in Germany I can get some home channels on the web radio but if I want the driving excitement I cannot listen to the web radio…big bummer. I have acutally started using connected less and less of the past few months because of the profiles.

  • R Burns
  • Anonymous

    My top request would be Siri integration like the A class Mercedes. This would add so many features like voice memos, adding reminders, task lists and calendar, dictated texting, dictated emails and fast hands free web searches. The next would be Slacker radio. Another would be a current stats display with clock, current temperature, weather forecast, compass, trip mileage, current mpg and range. I also am eagerly awaiting the Countryman SD and would love to see a voice driven gas station search that could select for only those that sell diesel.

  • Don

    Pointers to the third-party apps please!

    As an iOS developer, what I’d really like would be access to the SDK – I have a few ideas I’d love to be able to implement…


    • Anonymous

      They are not going to open this up. The next generation Nav/in Car infotainment for BMW/MINI will launch in the BMWi brand in 2013 and then trickle through with product refreshes. It is open sourced, Genivi based and will allow more rapid development and there should be an SDK and “app store” for BMW/MINI from within the car. LTE integration and all that- it is very slick and future proofs things a great deal. 

      The current system is closed because too many other systems can be accessed, wouldn’t want some bad code to take over the workings of the car.  

      • Dr Obnxs

        Really? If so, I’d love to see a jailbroken app that would give the OBD-II data of one’s choice…. Or have Siri so you can do things like turn on fog lights turn on defrosters. Turn Sport mode on or off. There’s a really cool JB Siri extension app that has an SDK for those that want to code to it. So now Siri can do all sorts of stuff that it shold have from Apple… Like toggle BlueTooth or WiFi or launch apps or whatever…

  • Frenchy2004

    There are a lot of things that would be nice to have. With the first update last year around March they allowed you to make you own FB messages to be able to post, which was awesome. In doing that though they took away some really good preset post. My favorite, because I have a cabrio, was “I’m topless! Driving my MINI with the roof down!” That one was so funny to me. You cannot even use the top’s position, open/closed, as a variable selection. There needs to be more cool variables like that in the mix.

  • Rene Moreau

    For Mini connected, more apps, gauge volmeter, oil pressure, take message with a iphone 4s it’s impossible just with blacberry, very desapointed, excuse my english, i’am french canadien


    • R Burns

      it already exists……

      • Greg

        You don’t know what you’re talking about.  Mini connected does not have the gauges he mentioned. If you are talking about iphone apps that use proprietary hardware and a separate connection it is not the same thing at all.Driving Excitement has HP, and engine temp, as well as some silly G-force indicators but nothing like a serious Voltmeter, Oil Pressure, Trans Temp, Engine Temp gauge cluster displayed directly through Mini Connected.

      • Rene Moreau

        Where or how does it and the name of app

  • Bilbo Baggins

    I’d like to see an app that would deactivate MINI Connected when the vehicle was moving.  There are enough distractions already, there does not need to be any more.

    • R Burns

      volume “off”……

  • Nick

    I would like a decent radio and navigation display through the center screen. Forget the MINI Connected.

  • Jake

    I would like to see the Web Radio be powered with the WunderRadio app. It appears to offer more radio stations than Web Radio.

  • Anonymous

    I’d like MINI Connected to use wifi to connect to your device (like some of the new mice starting to come out). I used MINI Connected a lot for music at first, but the ease of bluetooth ended up trumping it — even with the not-as-pretty interface and lesser audio quality, it’s just so much less of a hassle to be able to get in the car and have your music instantly start without having to even take the phone out of your pocket.

  • that.guy

    “Obviously, there’s Android support”

    Wait, there is?  I thought it only supported iPhone… ???

    • Obviously Android support is something a lot of people would like added to MINI Connected. That’s a no-brainer. I didn’t want this to turn into a hundred “Android!” comments and instead help people focus on other ideas and wants.

      • that.guy

         Ah, so you meant:  “Obviously, there’s a need for Android support.”


  • that.guy

    3 letters:  M O G

  • Anonymous

    Android support.

  • PD

    Easy – total mirror of the screen on an iphone that’s attached to the car. Then I can run Waze or whatever GPS app I want, even if I can’t control it on connected – just to see the screen mirrored would be great.

  • Mathew

    I want SEND TO CAR to work again.  It was originally the best part of mini connected because looking up an address is so, so, so much easier on a computer.  WHY IS IT GONE?  All of my apps are updated and my 2011 CountrymanS All4 just had it’s one year dealer update and Send to Car is nowhere to be found [along with a bunch of other mini connected apps that I never used]  It makes me sad just thinking about it.

  • Mathew

    I wish the mini Nav could use smartphone tech to up it’s traffic game.

    The ‘real time’ traffic on the Nav is pretty much worthless.  My girlfriend has to pull out her phone and turn on the traffic for us to find the best way through LA on almost a weekly basis.  

  • Mathew

    I wish the CD/am/fm button went straight to a CD.  Getting to play a CD that already in the deck is a pain, unless you want to end all conversation and use voice control.  

  • Mathew

    My biggest problem with the mini system is that it has very limited functionality when your phone is in the built in arm rest dock.  Besides supposedly strengthening your signal and charging your [case free] phone, that thing is worthless…

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my MINI, but connected feels like a work in progress due for a huge software update.

  • Mathew

    I’ve also never been able to get a video from my iphone to display in the screen like the manual says it can.  I can hear the Dark Knight when I’m waiting in Park in a parking lot to pick people up, but I can’t see the Dark Knight

    • Is your parking brake on?

      • Mathew

        I have now [thanks for the suggestion] and it still didn’t work.  Oddly, as we pulled away with the screen completely black a message came up saying, “video playback doesn’t work unless parked.” YET the sound continued to play as we drove off.

  • Deanne

    I’d love to see any app or MINI Connected app that would give a driver weather information — that you’re about to drive into a storm, hail, ice, snow, etc.

    • Anonymous

      I’ll second the Weather Info idea.  This would very compelling for ‘vert drivers especially if it could warn you when you’re using Navigation and your route takes you through some foul weather (and your top is down).

      BTW, this post isn’t tagged with the “MINI Connected” tag.

  • First step: fix what’s there. My hope is that Rob Passaro, the BMW/MINI tech guru that was interviewed on White Roof Radio, reads and takes to heart the issues raised in this thread from

  • guest

    Others have already covered this but heres my take (have ’12 w/connected & Nav)

    • Gauges with data from ODB II (Think Torque app for Android).  The ability to chose what gauges you want to view with default cluster available as well (boost, oil pressure, engine temp, etc…)
    • Mission control was a disappointment.  I dont need some goofy voices telling me random things.  Friends hate it
    • Better integration for ‘Office’ on more phones, ability to view(even better, read) texts that come in or ability to view emails while stuck in traffic
    • For the Nav – would be nice to have street names, thats been a feature for the last 5 years on handheld nav devices
  • Laurel

    Audible – audio books

  • MacKai

    i  like many of of the ideas already here … 

    weather, being able to have weatherbuggs live satalite and doppler radar maps on my screen would be cool ….

    screen mirror!!   even if a lot of the controlls would have to be on the phone 

    siri… and be able to turn on/off fog light open sun roof etc.

    more gauges …lots more 

    a full screen compass and several styles to choose from

    Bluetooth instead of the Y-cable

    ebooks! Audible

  • mike19

    Spotify for the UK, we have no Pandora or MOG unless you use a VPN (which constantly looses connection), AUPEO the only choice is way behind the others in terms of quality but being German BMW are sticking with it.