Ford's Sync system was about the only game in town that would interface with your phone and actually read messages from them. Until now. BMW ConnectedDrive has been upgraded, turning the automaker's vehicles into the world's best four-wheeled email client.
Using the iDrive, the owner will be able to connect to BlackBerry phones via Bluetooth and iDrive will be able to display email on its LCD screen. The new system will enable contact lists, call logs, text messages, calendar entries, memos, and of course access to incoming e-mail. A voice output function is an optional add-on that gives its vehicles the capability to read out loud incoming e-mail messages.
The system will only work with one (or a few) handsets. BMW says that only owners of a BlackBerry smartphone made by the mobile phone manufacturer RIM (Research In Motion) will be able to access the phone's e-mail function via the operating system iDrive. The German carmaker plans to support more phone models.
The new BlackBerry Pearl 3G is the first smartphone from the BlackBerry smartphone product range that supports this functionality. Ford has said that its own Sync system will adopt full BlackBerry connectivity as well this year.
The new e-mail function is available for all BMW models fitted with the navigation system Professional including mobile phone preparation and will be offered in both Europe and North American 2011 models, beginning this fall.
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