A year after announcing it had signed on as a future partner of Apple’s Siri EyesFree program, BMW is making good on its word. This week the automaker said that the in-car voice-control mode for iPhone will be a standard feature for its 2014 models, which are set to arrive later this year.
The feature will be part of BMW’s iDrive car software. For those worried about the car becoming yet another place where we have to pick sides in the platform wars: BMW isn’t playing favorites — at least when it comes to the Apple/Samsung battle for global mobile supremacy. The iDrive software will come equipped with both Siri and Samsung’s S-Voice, its own version of voice control software.
With the latest update to BMW iDrive, both Apple Siri and Samsung SVoice can be accessed through the vehicle’s voice command controls. With a paired device, pressing and holding the steering wheel voice command button will engage the device’s voice access. Pressing the steering wheel voice button without holding it will continue to access the vehicle’s voice command functions.
BMW is just the fourth carmaker to announce actual plans to implement the software — along with General Motors, Mercedes, Honda and Ferrari — out of the nine partners that were part of Apple’s announcement at WWDC in June 2012.