With the evolution of infotainment systems, cars have become rolling computers and more of them are connected to the owner’s smartphone than ever before. The BMW Group is happy to report in excess of 10 million people are using the My BMW and MINI apps. About two million owners are using an app on a daily basis, with “tens of thousands” leaving a five-star rating in the Apple App Store.
While some apps are more useful than others, there’s no denying at least a few of them do make the ownership more pleasant. For example, you can send a destination address from your smartphone to the car’s navigation system and you can also remotely turn on the climate control system. Locking and unlocking the doors is also possible, as is checking the vehicle’s surroundings thanks to the Remote 3D View functionality.
In the case of high-end models such as the BMW 7 Series / i7, the owner can remotely park the car by standing outside of the vehicle from a distance no greater than six meters. Speaking of EVs, digital authentication is supported at more than 400,000 charging points across Europe. For both electric and gasoline/diesel/plug-in hybrid vehicles, taking care of service and maintenance can be done straight from a smartphone by making an appointment after a push notification is sent to the owner’s smartphone.
Both the My BMW and MINI apps were launched back in July 2020 to replace the Connected apps. They’re usually updated once every two months, with new features planned. To that end, automatic parking payments are already supported in Germany and Austria since last December. The apps are not just for smartphones as customers can also access information on an Apple Watch.
In the near future, BMW owners will get a smartphone-like experience for the car’s infotainment system as the compact models will gradually switch to iDrive 9 based on the Android Automotive operating system.