• Jan 4th 2010 at 3:31PM
  • 17
BMW M Power app for iPhone – Click above for gallery of screen shots

The Apple iPhone has a built-in accelerometer that rather accurately detects even the slightest motions. Developers have been quick to create applications that capitalize on the iPhone's hardware, including software that helps enthusiasts obtain g-force and 0-60 times from their phone. We've tested a few ourselves and they work pretty well, although most of these apps come at a cost, ranging from $4.99 to $10 or more. If you like the idea of timing your vehicle with the aid of an iPhone but don't want to pay for an app, BMW has a free solution for you.

It's called the M Power Meter and does most things those paid apps can do, but it's free and also very easy to use. Simply download the software from the app store [iTunes link], place your phone upright in a cup holder or flat in the direction you intend to drive, hit start, accept the terms and go. The M Power Meter defaults to timing a jaunt from 0-50 km/h, but you can change that by clicking on settings and choosing from several acceleration options up to 200 km/h or distances ranging from 100 meters to 2,000 meters. We downloaded the M Power Meter app and found it worked fairly well for being free and nearly as good as those apps we spent a few bucks on in the past.

If you have an iPhone and a car, test it out for yourself (without breaking the law or doing anything that could endanger yourself or others, natch) and tell us how well it worked by heading over to the Comments section. It's free, so it couldn't hurt to give it a whirl.

[Source: BMW]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      While I was driving at 45mph it was reading 32mph. While attempting 0-60 runs i would get up to around 75mph and it would never log my speed up to 60. When I tried a 1/4 a few times it kept saying a "13.4" which I would love but know my car is nowhere near that quick. Also one time it said a 13.5 @ 72mph in the 1/4.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i pulled .63 lateral g's!
      • 5 Years Ago
      So will this work on an iPod Touch?
      (since I believe it has the same internals, minus the phone part, as an iPhone)
        • 5 Years Ago
        It should. I've had success with every app I've downloaded that wasn't specifially aimed at the iPhone, as in ones that need a camera, phone or GPS to use.

        Other than those three items, I'm under the impression that the Touch is virtually identical, including the accelerometer. I also have a 3rd-Gen Touch if it matters.

        I'll definitely be trying this app out once I get home and have some wifi.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sez it will. I just downloaded it on mine and we'll see! LOL!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I sent a link to the GF (who has an iPod Touch) and see if she can install it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man, now I really wish I had saved my money for an iPod Touch! :(

      Looks really cool!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Was cruising at 45mph and it was giving me a reading of 32mph or so. But the lateral g's and forward g's seemed on point (as the accelerometer is more accurate here than speed).

      ...and all free! great marketing tool too BMW.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now ricers with iphones driving Civics will be even more inclined to put ///M badges on their cars!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll be right back! I'm taking my Miata for a spin!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Walking around in the living room it gave me 10km/hr which seemed a bit high.
      Seems like it has potential though, especially for a free app.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do they have a non imperial version?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It defaults to metric... imperial is an option.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ha! A quick spin around the office chair (literally) gave me .29 lateral g's with a max speed of 2 km/h!

      Co-workers are probably wondering why am I spinning around in my chair ;)

        • 5 Years Ago
        My chair is faster - 7 km/h with 0.45 lateral g :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very cool to see BMW releasing a feature filled ap like this for free. I'll take it over a crappy A4 or Polo game anyday... or would if I hadn't paid for the same thing a year or so ago.
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