Mini Connected is the automaker's integrated music and navigation system, which connects to a smattering of smartphones to stream music and data to the stereo. However, the iPhone and iPod are currently more deeply integrated into the system, including the introduction of the new iPod out functionality which displays Apple's music player controls on the Mini's center-mounted screen. But that's nothing new and Mini wants to go deeper, so it's releasing the Mini Connected iPhone/iPod touch app to increase the interaction.
The headlining Dynamic Music function plays tunes that have been exclusively composed for Mini and then adjusts the rhythm based on your driving style. Additionally, a web radio function allows users to listen to local radio stations independent of their location, and the app can be programmed to read RSS news feeds, supply Google local searches and send information from your browser to the Cooper's display. Facebook and Twitter integration will also be included, while the "Minimalism Analyzer" provides advice on how to drive more efficiently.
Mini hasn't outlined a timeframe on when the new app will be released, but it's a few steps above and beyond what's on offer from Ford's Sync system – assuming it works as seamlessly as advertised. The one drawback: it's currently only for Apple users, so Android, Blackberry, PalmOS and – any day now – Windows Phone 7 users are out in the cold for the time being. Get all the details in the press blast after the break.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 7, 2010... MINI Connected, a MINI-exclusive technology provides the basis for new and unprecedented integration of smartphone functions, taking the in-car integration of modern smartphone telecommunications, entertainment and online functions to a whole new level. MINI Connected is part of the two of the MINI infotainment systems, radio MINI Visual Boost and MINI Navigation.
MINI Connected adopts the familiar MINI display and operating logic to ensure that all functions can be used comfortably, simply, safely and intuitively while minimizing driver distraction.
Apple iPhone and iPod touch Support
The system allows iPhone owners even greater access to MINI Connected functionality, and uses new technology, specially developed for the MINI, to integrate the entertainment and online functions of the iPhone into the car.
MINI-specific functions can be integrated via an app for the iPhone and operated using the vehicle's joystick, steering wheel buttons and on-board monitor.
The iPhone is hooked up to the car either via a cable for the USB socket, supplied with the radio MINI Visual Boost and MINI Navigation system, or via an optional snap-in adapter. The MINI Connected App will be available at www.itunes.com/appstore.
Innovative iPod integration: the MINI Connected PlugIn.
Another feature which promises to add even greater variety to the spectrum of entertainment features on board the MINI is the MINI Connected PlugIn (MINI Connected PlugIn supports Apple's iPod Out).
iPod Out enables the MINI Connected system to display the familiar iPod navigation menu in the vehicle's main center speedo display, and control the music playback features in the iPhone, the iPod touch and the latest generation iPod nano, using the vehicle's controls. This promotes a safer driving experience, as all of the vehicle's infotainment controls have been designed to minimize distraction while driving. This newly developed interface technology supports the new sixth generation iPod nano, iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or later.
In addition, the on-board monitor gives MINI drivers direct access to the latest iPod functions, such as a custom playlist and Genius Mixes, which lets you automatically create playlists from songs in your music library that go great together.
Added future-proofing with MINI-specific apps.
The functional repertoire of MINI Connected can be extended easily by dipping into the MINI Connected iPhone Apps. This will allow MINI Connected customers to continue to benefit from technical advances and creative developments in the field of in-car entertainment into the future.
The MINI Connected App will include a web radio function to allow users to pick up their preferred radio stations regardless of their location. The station database available through the app contains thousands of radio stations whose programs can be accessed online. The other functions of the MINI Connected App – such as access to the Google local search and Google Send to Car functions and reception of user-definable RSS news feeds, the content of which is displayed on the on-board monitor and can be read out using the optional voice output function.
Programmed for efficiency: the MINIMALISM Analyzer.
Another element of MINI Connected is the MINIMALISM Analyzer. This function, which likewise works in combination with the iPhone, displays advice on how to make your driving style more efficient. The technology analyses a range of data, and once the driver has reached his destination, the innovative MINI Connected app ensures the data is set out in a simple and informative manner, allowing the journey to be analyzed and compared to other MINI drivers as well, so the driver can run the MINI as efficiently as possible at all times.
Another MINI innovation is the Dynamic Music function included in the MINI Connected app. This comprises a selection of exclusively composed music which can be played on the audio system of the MINI and whose rhythm and dynamics change according to driving style. This function allows MINI drivers to use their accelerator and steering wheel to create their own personal soundtrack to that trademark go-kart feeling.
Always in touch: send and receive Facebook and Twitter posts inside the car.
Additionally, the MINI Connected app has the potential to give owners the platform to receive Facebook and Twitter posts in their car, view them on the on-board monitor and use the optional voice control to have them read out. Plus, standardized text messages can be sent out directly from the car via both services. This function enables MINI drivers to warn each other about traffic congestion or other problems on the road, for example.
Beyond MINI Connected.
The MINI Connected system includes a mount integrated into the center console for the snap-in adapter for Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices, a USB audio interface for MP3 players and smartphones, and a roof aerial. The system is also equipped with the Bluetooth hands-free facility for making telephone calls safely while on the move.
The phone and music player functions are operated in customary MINI style using a joystick on the center console and the color display in the center speedo. The same goes for audio streaming via Bluetooth, displaying album cover artwork on the on-board monitor and using innovative office functions, provided these are supported by the connected device.