Autoblog’s Damon Lavrinc and Robert Passaro, Senior Project Manager, BMW Technology Office, showcased some of the new features in the BMW ConnectedDrive system. Earlier this year, MINI unveiled their Connected app, a co-development with Pandora to bring the internet radio to MINI cars. Pandora internet radio is available at no charge and allow customers to access and control Pandora through the existing MINI Connected system.

BMW’s integration with its own vehicles goes to the same extend. BMW Connected app allows for listening to web radio, sending and receiving Facebook and Twitter posts. With the BMW Connected app, functions such as web radio, Facebook and Twitter can be shown on the car’s display and be operated by means of the iDrive Controller. If the iPhone is connected to the car via the USB socket or snap-in adapter, the content of the BMW Connected app appears on the display.

As with Facebook and Twitter, the web radio feature can also be operated via the Navigation display using the iDrive system.

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BMW also developed a user interface specific for the app. Called PlugIn, the new function allows the operation of functions via the familiar Apple iPod user interface that appears in the car’s display. The PlugIn feature includes Genius playlists that allow the driver to automatically generate mixes of similar tracks from the music catalog. All stored playlists are shown with their original album cover art – just as they would be on an iPhone or iPod.

Pandora is just one of the first partners BMW is seeking. For Autoblog, BMW said it’s in talks with several other companies that would like to join their program, this could mean a variety of apps in a….possible BMW App Store?

To showcase some of these functionality, BMW gave Autoblog an extensive demo.