If the words MINI Connected sound alien to you, you’re probably not a heavy smartphone user… or a MINI fan. MINI Connected is MINI's latest smartphone-controlling, Internet-enabled connectivity system, paralleling parent BMW's system of the same name.

This week MINI has announced that it’s working with Pandora, the Internet radio specialist, to develop the first third party app for MINI Connected. Upon completion, Pandora Internet radio will be available at no charge and allow customers to access and control Pandora through the existing MINI Connected system.

All 2011 MINIs equipped with MINI Connected will be able to stream Pandora, enabling access to personalized Internet radio across the entire vehicle lineup. Unique features to the MINI Connected app will include popular Pandora features, such as: easy access to existing stations, the ability to create new ones using the car interface and high-resolution, color display of album art.

Once development is complete, MINI customers will be able to download Pandora, which will immediately work with their existing MINI Connected systems.

Already available is a MINI Connected iPhone app, which is available for free right now from the Apple App store and offers drivers access to Web Radio, News, Twitter, Google Send to Car, Google Local Search, and MINIMALISM Analyser.

[MINI, Pandora]