BMW is continuing to push the envelope in terms of how iPod/iPhones are integrated in cars, but I wonder whether they’re pushing in the wrong direction.
With support for iPod Out, they allow you to control the iPod portion of your device with support for whatever feature Apple dreams up next. For example, when Apple introduced Genius mix on their devices existing iPod integrations didn’t support it. As users you were out of luck into you got your next car of ponied up more money for a spiffier new integration solution.
This seems like a great idea, but it feels like the car makers are still forever playing catch up. Why? Because I don’t want to just listen to music from my iPod portion of my iPhone. I want to listen to Pandora and ESPN Radio's streaming app. And that's just today. Tomorrow I'll want to listen to some other streaming app, and I'll want to be able to control it too. And after that I'll want to switch to an Android device and see support for that as well.
Therefore, what I’d like to see car manufacturers provide is a universal mount that places phones just to the right of the steering wheel so I won’t have to buy one of these and one of these. Add support for simple video out if there’s a rear entertainment system and I’ll be all set.
Car manufacturers: You’ll never be able to keep up. You had 8-tracks when we wanted cassettes, cassettes when we wanted CD players, CD players when we wanted mp3 players and XM satellite radio when we wanted to be able to stream from our cell phones. Just stop the never-ending race and give me what I want- simple AUX in with a clean mount near the steering wheel.