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Got a Mini? Well, there's an app for that.
All new Minis feature an always-on telemetry function called Mini Connected, which means you can access your car with your phone whenever you like.
Mini Connected is the branded version of the BMW ConnectedDrive software. So if you're familiar with that, this works the same way. Simply register an account and connect it to your car. It's pretty simple, and on newer models even works wirelessly. When your car connects, it authenticates by sending a message to the car with a code and then verifies everything with base. It doesn't take too long and only needs to be done once.
The home screen of the app gives you some key information about the car. Where is it parked? Is it locked? Are the windows open? By using the app you can actually lock and unlock the car itself and even flash the headlights, which could be handy if you couldn't find it in the car park.
On a hot day, you can ventilate the car right away or even schedule it for when you need, like on your daily commute, which is pretty cool.
One of the most useful features though is the ability to search for a location or destination and send it directly to the car's navigation. But it even goes a step further.
The SIM card in the car is what powers the live traffic conditions function, and the Mini Connected app can link to your phone's diary. These work together to alert you when it's time to leave to get your next appointment in the current traffic conditions. It's a very intuitive process.
If you want to take things further, Mini Connected features support for some other apps, meaning you've got a native Spotify player and Audible for some books on the go. Of course, your car can use the Mini Connected functionality to communicate with your local Mini dealer and advise of its next service.
Also in most Mini models, if the sensors detect an impact with an object or vehicle, the car will communicate automatically with the call centre and emergency services to ensure you are given immediate attention in case of an accident. The car's GPS will guide response teams to your exact location and even note how many seatbelts are in use, so they know who is in the car. It's a potentially lifesaving technology.
Mini Connected is a big step forward in keeping your driving life and connected life expertly linked. The system is available across the current Mini model range. For more information about Mini, or the Mini Connected app, you can check out all the details on caradvice.com.
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