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BMW announces Android app integration

BMW has announced that it is to start integrating Android apps into its in-car iDrive system.

The German auto maker was one of the first to iPhone app integration back in 2011, and now it’s finally doing the same thing for Android.

At the New York International Auto Show, BMW has announced the first three Android apps to get the official seal of approval.  iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify will all work with the iDrive system of the 2016 BMW 7 Series.

It means that owners of the aforementioned car can safely access these three music streaming apps through their iDrive controller whilst driving. Track information will appear on the in-car screen accordingly, and you’ll even be able to do things like ‘Thumbs-up’ tracks in the iHeartRadio app.

All Android users will need is version 4.2 or later of Google’s mobile OS and the free BMW Connected app. It’s then a simple matter of hooking up your phone to your BMW over Bluetooth.

Related: Best self-driving tech from the Geneva Motor Show

It’s a limited rollout, for sure, but it’s a start. BMW promises that “App integration for all other vehicles equipped with BMW Apps and MINI Connected will follow at a later date.”

Check out our CES 2016 interview with Don Butler, Executive Director for Connected Vehicles and Services at Ford:

Presumably the list of partnering apps will also expand fairly rapidly over the coming months and years, although tBMW clearly places a high priority on safety and convenience, so expect a stringent app curation process from the German car maker.

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