MINI Connected with Pandora

MINI Connected with Pandora

Like their MINI cousins before them, the 2011 BMW lineup will have access to Pandora, the music-streaming app that's colonizing car audio systems from Ford to Toyota.

Bringing Pandora service into the cars is as simple as downloading it to its host iPhone. Once it's installed and configured--and the phone is plugged into the USB port--drivers can use existing controls on the dash and steering wheel to navigate to Pandora as one of their music choices.

The integration will also allow users to shuffle through music, choose custom channels and bookmark certain tracks, all via the same car controls.

BMW also offers its own BMW Connected app for the iPhone, which will be a gateway for its integration of other apps into the existing controls--all to keep driver distraction to a minimum, BMW says.

Pandora is offered through Ford's SYNC service, and it's one of five apps that will make their on-screen debut in Toyota's Entune service, which arrives first in the 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon later this year.

Pandora will be the first app approved by BMW for use in its cars. The app service itself can be fitted to any 2011 or 2012 BMW built after March 2011, at a cost of $250.