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Hordes of iPhone-philes who can’t afford high-end cars have new reason to rejoice with the release of the Next GATE from Clarion.
Pandora is taking an aggressive stance toward promoting their product by bumping up the number of car makers carrying their product by 475 percent.
If those numbers don’t quite make sense, look at it this way: previously there were four. Now the company can boast 23 automakers with Pandora Radio. The service, which is exclusive to the U.S., is easiest thought of as a smarter approach to in-car music than normal satellite radio. You can listen to pre-made genre stations, select user-generated stations or even simply by selecting one song or artist you can let the service choose songs for you.
The company is taking a shotgun approach to business by throwing their service into any device that can accept it. For now they claim a 68 percent market share on internet radio, though that seems likely to increase given their gregarious nature.
It’s just one of many new entertainment-oriented features automakers are giving their consumers, including developments like Facebook integration and cloud-based applications.
The BMW Apps option will allow owners to pick their own Pandora stations, create new ones, skip songs and like others, all through BMW’s iDrive interface. The iPhones plug into a USB port or through a unique adapter in a BMW’s center console, which allows the iDrive center controller and steering wheel buttons to control music functions.
“We’re excited that BMW is making Pandora available to customers across its full range of vehicles and that drivers will be able to tune into their personalized radio stations from the road,” said Jessica Steel, a vice president for Pandora.
With current BMWs featuring AM/FM radio, CD changers, XM satellite radio, iPod integration, Bluetooth, USB support, and the soothing voice of mademoiselle Satellite Navigation, it’s refreshing to see BMW give its owners some long-needed variety. The BMW Apps option is $250 on all new models, and its hands-free integration capabilities will allow BMW owners no excuses for being unable to grasp the finer points of turn signal operations.