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My BMW Remote App to Launch on Android

August 1, 2012

This may be the most expensive Android app yet. Yes, it’s supposed to be free. But it requires a $2,150 car add-on to work. And that does not include the actual cost of the vehicle itself, which can set you back at least $50,000, depending on model and trim.

BMW launched the My BMW app for the iPhone in 2010, which enabled European iPhone junkies with Bimmers to remotely control their cars via BMW ConnectedDrive and BMW Assist. Functions include controlling the lights and locks, turning on the heater/air conditioning, locating the car’s position through map, and sounding the horn for easy location.

The iPhone version launched in the U.S. in February 2012, and BMW had actually promised to launch an app for Android as early as 2011. However, the platform’s popularity proved to be a problem. With the myriad of screen resolutions and device specs, BMW’s app developers reportedly had a hard time building and testing the app for the best user experience.

BMW acknowledges that Android is a fast-growing platform, and that Android users out there are probably snapping up Bimmers after they sign up for a new two-year AT&T contract with a Samsung Galaxy S3. “By extending our My BMW Remote app to Android devices as well, we are responding to the recent rapid spread of this operating system,” said ConnectedDrive’s platform head, Dr. Eckhard Steinmeier.

Sure, it won’t let you start your car’s engine like some third-party add-ons, although I think being able to find the darn thing in the crowded multi-level parking lot is just as important.