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BMW to support Apple's new iPod Out feature of iOS 4

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
A new feature of iOS 4 that enables iPhone and iPod touch devices to present a full featured control panel on an external display for use in automotive integration is getting official support from BMW.

The new "iPod Out" feature was originally profiled in April after developers noted support for the extended new "iPod Accessory Protocol" in pre-release betas of iOS 4.

At the time, it was speculated that the feature would enable the integration of a "video screen to show the menus and custom physical buttons that would produce the notifications to allow the user to move through those menus and select from them," presenting a simplified display nearly identical to the iPod classic and nano.

According to a YouTube video posted by BMW, the car maker will be adding support for the new feature in its BMW and Mini cars starting next year.

The video notes that unlike existing iPod car integration systems that provide basic playback controls, the iOS iPod Out feature exposes more advanced features such as Genius Mixes and presents a familiar Apple interface, "which is one of the main advantages of the system," the company notes.

The company says it hosts the new iOS feature in a "BMW automotive experience," which includes a navigation dial and buttons placed near the driver's right hand and the car's dash-integrated video display.

The video notes that engineers at BMW's Palo Alto technology office in "Silicone Valley" have been working on the project for three years in tight integration with German engineers in the BMW Research and Innovation Centre's Project House in Munich.
post #2 of 34
That's really cool. Some companies ( Volvo, Mercedes ) put a lot of effort into to placing the information where you can see it and be safe driving. And it's always a pain trying to get a car's systems and a 3rd party's systems to place nicely together. It's a factor when I buy a new car.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #3 of 34
Here's to hoping BMW will be able to do a software upgrade on compatible models when this feature becomes available early next year, but I'm not holding my breath. Regardless, it's nice to see vehicle manufacturers embracing external 3rd party technology in this manner. Personally, I think it would be awesome if Apple designed BMWs next iDrive system. Not that the current one is bad, it's a significant improvement over the 1st generation iDrive system, but an Apple designed iDrive system would be sweet.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

That's really cool. Some companies ( Volvo, Mercedes ) put a lot of effort into to placing the information where you can see it and be safe driving. And it's always a pain trying to get a car's systems and a 3rd party's systems to place nicely together. It's a factor when I buy a new car.

Common guys its 2010!!! all this stuff should be part of the HUD system.
HUD + augmented reality is where its at!!!
I should never have to take my eyes off the road. When I'm looking at the car in front of me i should see snoop dog on that car via HUD and hit play or pause or rewind.
Common Cadillac show these fools how its done!
lol
post #5 of 34
This is going to be what all cars will goto eventually. Why do you need multiple devices in a car when we are quickily getting to the point that a portable device can handle everything you need? Google Earth on the iPad is the best GPS I have used to date.
I am very happy BMW is taking the lead on this. It means it will be done right!
post #6 of 34
Well great for those who can afford a band spanking new Bimmer. How about something for the rest of the vagabonds?
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post #7 of 34
Wait - is this the same BMW that earlier settled on Windows CE for their automotive technology platform? How did that work out for them?
post #8 of 34
i can't wait for a better auto-audio system, and apple will no-doubt have the best out there. the music box in my infiniti is great AFTER you take about a hundred hours to import and categorize cd's... and there's no genius feature, just "play by category" with four poorly named categories.

off-topic, but the infiniti nav gets outdated FAST and the software updates cost as much as a flagship garmin does.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Wait - is this the same BMW that earlier settled on Windows CE for their automotive technology platform? How did that work out for them?

BMW stopped using Windows CE when they switched to VxWorks in 2003. I can't comment on how bad it was as I didn't get an iDrive equipped vehicle until 2007. That system, though still based on the 1st generation iDrive layout, was quite stable, never crashing for me. In 2008, BMW switched to QNX and I can say that the current iDrive system is a marked improvement over the previous one. Still, an Apple-designed iDrive system would be pretty sweet.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i can't wait for a better auto-audio system, and apple will no-doubt have the best out there. the music box in my infiniti is great AFTER you take about a hundred hours to import and categorize cd's... and there's no genius feature, just "play by category" with four poorly named categories.

off-topic, but the infiniti nav gets outdated FAST and the software updates cost as much as a flagship garmin does.

Forgive me for asking, but didn't your Infiniti come with an iPod/MP3 adaptor? My car lets me import songs onto the internal HDD as well, but what's the point when I can dock my 160GB iPod Classic and have my entire music library with me wherever I drive?
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i can't wait for a better auto-audio system, and apple will no-doubt have the best out there. the music box in my infiniti is great AFTER you take about a hundred hours to import and categorize cd's... and there's no genius feature, just "play by category" with four poorly named categories.

On my Lexus, I simply plug my iPod into the USB port and then the controls appear on screen. I can choose by playlist, artist, etc. With the HUD option, I can see the songs without taking my eyes off the road.
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post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Forgive me for asking, but didn't your Infiniti come with an iPod/MP3 adaptor? My car lets me import songs onto the internal HDD as well, but what's the point when I can dock my 160GB iPod Classic and have my entire music library with me wherever I drive?

I don't have the Nav or HDD system, but I do have the iPod connector on my 2008 G37. I hate it. Navigating the playlists is slow. I have this big display area, but for some reason Infiniti decided to squeeze everything in the top third of the display. And the worse is that the car keeps the iPod from sleeping, which drains the iPod's battery. Then when you turn on the car, the radio starts playing and when the iPod finally boots back up from a dead battery, the iPod suddenly takes control of the audio.

I would SO love to have an Apple designed audio/display system.
post #13 of 34
Not sure how much this differs from current technology. I mean great you can see album covers and have better control, but I want to see my apps in the screen, be able to watch video (when stopped of course ; ) ) be able to see maps or Navigation app, or IM. I want full integration and show no evidence that thats where its going in the video. It was more like full integration of your iPod music player, woopee!
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judgegavel View Post

I want full integration and show no evidence that thats where its going in the video. It was more like full integration of your iPod music player, woopee!

The article is about the "iPod Out" feature. It is not about total integration of an iPhone/Touch.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Here's to hoping BMW will be able to do a software upgrade on compatible models when this feature becomes available early next year, but I'm not holding my breath. Regardless, it's nice to see vehicle manufacturers embracing external 3rd party technology in this manner. Personally, I think it would be awesome if Apple designed BMWs next iDrive system. Not that the current one is bad, it's a significant improvement over the 1st generation iDrive system, but an Apple designed iDrive system would be sweet.

Do you remember when Apple worked with Motorola to create the ROKR?
Apple used the collaboration to gain knowledge and expertise in cellphone design.
A short while later, the iPhone was introduced.

Here's hoping that Apple has it's own parallel project in the works.
Personally, I would love to see an iPad sized touchscreen integrated into the dash.
post #16 of 34
It’s too bad these features take so long to add to their cars.
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post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The video notes that engineers at BMW's Palo Alto technology office in "Silicone Valley" have been working on the project for three years in tight integration with German engineers in the BMW Research and Innovation Centre's Project House in Munich.

Unless there is a lesser-known area between San Francisco and San Jose that produces breast implants... I think you might have meant SILICON Valley. Given the readership, I'm surprised I'm the first person to point this out.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judgegavel View Post

Not sure how much this differs from current technology. I mean great you can see album covers and have better control, but I want to see my apps in the screen, be able to watch video (when stopped of course ; ) ) be able to see maps or Navigation app, or IM. I want full integration and show no evidence that thats where its going in the video. It was more like full integration of your iPod music player, woopee!

The system in my car can play DVDs when I'm stopped. To be honest, I haven't tried to access a music video from my iPod Classic to see if it would play on the iDrive screen like the DVDs do. Hmm, seeing IMs appear on the screen would be kinda neat, but I think it might prove to be too much of a distraction.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Do you remember when Apple worked with Motorola to create the ROKR?
Apple used the collaboration to gain knowledge and expertise in cellphone design.
A short while later, the iPhone was introduced.

Here's hoping that Apple has it's own parallel project in the works.
Personally, I would love to see an iPad sized touchscreen integrated into the dash.

Now that would be sweet indeed.
post #20 of 34
I personally am not a fan of the IDrive system but I think its a perfect companion for iPod integration. It is somewhat reminiscent of the click wheel from the original iPod.
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by super8sean View Post

Common guys its 2010!!! all this stuff should be part of the HUD system.
HUD + augmented reality is where its at!!!
I should never have to take my eyes off the road. When I'm looking at the car in front of me i should see snoop dog on that car via HUD and hit play or pause or rewind.
Common Cadillac show these fools how its done!
lol

I'm sure HUD is on the radars of many car companies. However, I'm betting that the holdup is the DOT. Their safety standards require years of testing before such things are granted approval for use on cars. They're like the FDA of cars.
post #22 of 34
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...technology office in "Silicone Valley"

Otherwise known as Hollywood.

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post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Honig View Post

I personally am not a fan of the IDrive system but I think its a perfect companion for iPod integration.

Works better than the cup holders. Unless I need navigation I keep it turned off. Normally I don't listen to music while driving.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Do you remember when Apple worked with Motorola to create the ROKR?
Apple used the collaboration to gain knowledge and expertise in cellphone design.
A short while later, the iPhone was introduced.

So, by analogy, Apple must be working on building a CAR??

You heard it here first, folks.
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post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

So, by analogy, Apple must be working on building a CAR??

You heard it here first, folks.

Well, if you had quoted the rest of Johnny Mozzarella's comment, it went on to say;

"Here's hoping that Apple has it's own parallel project in the works. Personally, I would love to see an iPad sized touchscreen integrated into the dash.".

He wasn't exactly implying or suggesting that Apple was working on a car, merely suggesting how neat an iPad-sized touchscreen would be in the dash of a car.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

Well, if you had quoted the rest of Johnny Mozzarella's comment, it went on to say;

"Here's hoping that Apple has it's own parallel project in the works. Personally, I would love to see an iPad sized touchscreen integrated into the dash.".

He wasn't exactly implying or suggesting that Apple was working on a car, merely suggesting how neat an iPad-sized touchscreen would be in the dash of a car.

But that doesn't fit his analogy.

In the case of working with Motorola, Apple eventually released a competitive product - not just one component.

In any event, it was a joke - Apple's not going to release a car. I thought that was obvious.
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post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

But that doesn't fit his analogy.

In the case of working with Motorola, Apple eventually released a competitive product - not just one component.

In any event, it was a joke - Apple's not going to release a car. I thought that was obvious.

Hmm, I wonder what the iCar would look and be like? Sorry I didn't get the joke. I'm really tired today.
post #28 of 34
I just installed my iPad 3G & iPhone 4 in my old BMW 320D E46 model
It connects via bluetooth to my carsystem and i control everyting on the iPad and iPhone itself what is not so bad
http://glenn.eu/2010/07/13/apple-ipa...-bmw-320d-e46/
Wish that i could just put my iPad in a space in my dashboard made for the iPad
But i'm pretty happy with the setup i have now
post #29 of 34
When will these fraking German luxury car makers embrace touchscreen input? Lexus did and it was great until they replaced it with a "mouse". Trying to input an address in a BMW with a dial is like trying to find a program on a Tivo using the included remote. Let alone trying to navigate your iPod collection while driving. It is a serious pain in the ass and why as much as i want a BMW, will never buy any German car. If they so insist on sticking to their archaic input system why not then create an iPhone app that lets you input addresses and such, perhaps arm and disarm the car, operate a remote tailgate, etc. Would it kill them to include a remote tailgate on their SUV's?

Mercedes dealer told me they don't embrace touchscreen because it ruins the screen i.e oils from the skin and all. I say BS. You can buy screen protectors from various companies and i have them installed in my cars. They work really well. You can even sanitize the screen with rubbing alcohol (for u germaphobes) with one of these pretectors on and it still looks and works great.

The audio system in the car is also garbage. If you argue this point you clearly have no understanding of good audio.....no, no really you don't. I have yet to find a car with a even passable audio system and each year model they make it even harder to swap out their crappy gear with better stuff. If you come back and say BOSE or Harmon Kardon or Mark Levinson (in a Lexus) is great, i say just go stab yourself in the ears as you clearly don't need them.
post #30 of 34
really? it took 3 years to come up with a way to use the EXISTING User Interface of the iPod show up on the screen? BMW should fire their software engineers.
I tested a Mini Cooper a few months ago (yes, they are made by BMW) and found the UI of the iPod Link cable to be deplorable!!!
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

really? it took 3 years to come up with a way to use the EXISTING User Interface of the iPod show up on the screen? BMW should fire their software engineers.
I tested a Mini Cooper a few months ago (yes, they are made by BMW) and found the UI of the iPod Link cable to be deplorable!!!

The latest iDrive system in my car actually works quite well with my iPod Classic which has 92GB of music on it. Considering the sheer quantity of songs, it's actually quite speedy. The iDrive allows me to sort by Artists, Song, Genre, Playlist, etc. just like you can from the iPod. I can search by a specific letter as well. The downside to all of this is if you don't order the 3-series with the NAV option, then navigating your iPod becomes a lot harder.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLad View Post

When will these fraking German luxury car makers embrace touchscreen input? Lexus did and it was great until they replaced it with a "mouse". Trying to input an address in a BMW with a dial is like trying to find a program on a Tivo using the included remote. Let alone trying to navigate your iPod collection while driving. It is a serious pain in the ass and why as much as i want a BMW, will never buy any German car. If they so insist on sticking to their archaic input system why not then create an iPhone app that lets you input addresses and such, perhaps arm and disarm the car, operate a remote tailgate, etc. Would it kill them to include a remote tailgate on their SUV's?

Well, for starters, the screen in my car would be too far away for touch interaction. Yes, they could design the car so the screen is specifically oriented for a touch interface, but then you'd have this big honkin' screen in the middle of your dash. I find the BMW layout to be quite elegant actually. We test drove an Acura TSX and it had this huge screen in the middle of the dash. Directly beneath it, there was this enormous joystick/dial controller surrounded by about a hundred buttons. The BMW, by contrast, has a dial by the shifter with 5 buttons directly above it and 2 below. Besides the climate controls, 6 preset buttons and a volume knob, there's nothing else on the dash (except the screen of course ) Most things you might need for day-to-day driving are just 1 or 2 clicks away.

As for entering addresses via the dial, I don't find it to be all that difficult. As you probably know, when you spell out the state, city or street name, the letters disappear as you further narrow down the possibilities. Yes, I can see how a touch interface would be easier in some ways, but I really don't find it to be that bad. I actually find it easier than using a TomTomXL (granted, that's kind of a different animal). On top of that, you could also use voice input if your vehicle has the feature. I realize it doesn't always work that well, but it is another option. Perhaps that is why they seem to be moving away from touchscreen interfaces. Maybe one day they'll perfect voice control to a point where it'll be quite usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLad View Post

Mercedes dealer told me they don't embrace touchscreen because it ruins the screen i.e oils from the skin and all. I say BS. You can buy screen protectors from various companies and i have them installed in my cars. They work really well. You can even sanitize the screen with rubbing alcohol (for u germaphobes) with one of these pretectors on and it still looks and works great.

I'll give you that. An iPad grade touch interface would be sweet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iLad View Post

The audio system in the car is also garbage. If you argue this point you clearly have no understanding of good audio.....no, no really you don't. I have yet to find a car with a even passable audio system and each year model they make it even harder to swap out their crappy gear with better stuff. If you come back and say BOSE or Harmon Kardon or Mark Levinson (in a Lexus) is great, i say just go stab yourself in the ears as you clearly don't need them.

The truth is, unless you are driving a Lexus LS, S-Class Mercedes or a 7-Series BMW (and even in these vehicles), the acoustic environment of your average car is far from ideal. With interior noise levels in the upper 60dB to 80dB+ range at highway speeds in the typical car, you're going to be missing all the subtleties of the music anyway. On top of that, many drivers use iPods/MP3 players/Satellite/FM (and I didn't forget CD, I just left it out) as their primary source of music and the resolution is further lost to "lossy" compression and dynamic range compression employed by the radio stations. Yes, I'll agree that most factory car systems are crap, but I certainly wouldn't expect performance like what you'd experience at home with a nice 2-channel setup. I'm not saying you have to settle for something you find as having insufficient quality, but to a degree, it is what it is. Out of curiosity, what would you consider to be an adequate audio system and what are the key strong points you look for? I would genuinely like to know.
post #33 of 34
i thought that the 'ipod out' capability wasn't just for BMW...however, i haven't seen anyone else use it...has anyone tried hooking their iPhone 4 to a touch screen to see if that works?
post #34 of 34
i thought that the 'ipod out' capability wasn't just for BMW...however, i haven't seen anyone else use it...has anyone tried hooking their iPhone 4 to a touch screen to see if that works?
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