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Pandora Media Inc. has announced that its online radio service has reached 2.5 million U.S. listeners in cars.
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.
GM’s MyLink, available starting with the 2012 Chevrolet Volt and Equinox, will offer smartphone charging, Pandora radio streaming, GraceNote music identification, Bluetooth, XM satellite radio, voice activation, OnStar, and USB inputs, in case listening to drive-time radio is too crushing for commuters.
The MyLink comes hot on the heels of Ford’s SYNC as an inevitable comparison. But unlike the SYNC, MyLink includes the full power of GM’s OnStar behind it, for starters. It will also come with Powermat charging for the smartphones that you won’t need to fiddle with once behind the wheel. And, uh, that’s about it. Functionality between the two infotainment systems is remarkably similar otherwise, which makes you wish that GM had introduced this earlier.
The MyLink includes a 7″ full-color touchscreen standard, which controls climate control and navigation operations. The first GM cars that will be equipped with it later this year will be the Chevrolet Volt and the Equinox, before the rest of the General Motors lineup.