BMW Online Launches Yelp in-car App

Today BMW rolls out a new feature to its online suite of offerings. Yelp is well known to most American consumers and the basic functionality is what you ‘d expect. The app allows you to tap into Yelp ‘s huge database of rated services. However one caveat is that this is not bundled with BMW Apps and only is available via BMW ‘s $99 a year Online service.

Official Release: BMW today announced that users of BMW Online in the US can now access Yelp in their vehicles. With Yelp on-board, customers can search for everything from the best local restaurants and boutiques to parking garages and banks. They are able to see ratings for those businesses while hearing reviews read out to them via the vehicle’s text-to-speech feature. With the recent update to BMW Online’s layout, BMW can seamlessly add new features (known as “applications”) as they become available. Yelp is the first such application and there will be more to follow.

Customers who subscribe to the optional BMW Assist Convenience Plan and have a navigation-equipped vehicle capable of receiving the BMW Online service will be able to add the service today, without having to make any changes to their vehicle. Yelp reviews can be accessed through the new Applications screen that is now part of BMW Online with the update which took place earlier this month.

BMW Online is just one of the many ConnectedDrive services available to BMW customers. BMW ConnectedDrive combines various elements from online applications, driver assistance, call center services and solutions for the integration of mobile devices. As a result, BMW customers are provided with an exceptional form of mobility, with more safety, more convenience, and more infotainment.

The BMW Online Yelp application has several exciting features – Category Search – Search by category for nearby restaurants, cafes, shopping, nightlife, and more. – Results Overview – Results are sorted by distance and star ratings, and also list category information and number of reviews. – Details – Selecting a particular place gives more details about it. Customers can see the rating, address, distance, phone number, and information about reviews. Additionally, they can e-mail details of the business to themselves or any other e-mail address. – Reviews – The 3 latest reviews are available for the business. The customer can select one of those reviews and have it read back automatically.

BMW Online is available exclusively to Convenience Plan subscribers on BMW Assist with on-board Navigation system on the following models:

  • 2009 and later Z4, 1, 3 and 7 Series
  • 2010 and later 5 and 6 Series
  • 2010 and later X5 and X6
  • 2011 and later X3.
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  • 03BeastCharmer

    Gabe/ Michael – These new offerings are coming out under BMW Online which looks like it’s a subscription service and uses BMW Assist for communication purposes.  Do you think they will bring out similar apps for the iPhone connectivity that utilize the phones data and processing power, which would imply there shouldn’t be any additional cost to the car owner after purchasing the overpriced cradle? 

    • Anonymous

      BMW online is global and is not tied to a specific handset, meaning it will work for people with Android phones. There will be further enhancements and offerings to the portal. BMW is working on LTE in the car as well (it is amazing). BMW has backend servers that currently lessen the need for processing power in the car. As for the additional cost- there may be a solution coming that will use the data from the users cell phone…

  • rick

    i wish stuff like this was part of BMW Apps. the $250 i spent on my car for things like twitter and facebook is useless.

    • Pat Yo

      Hi Rick,

      What other apps would you like to see made BMW Apps Ready?  Have you used Pandora or MOG?  Thanks for the feedback.


    • Joe C

      As an owner of a BMW Apps equipped x5, which cost $250, and the Media Cradle which cost another $250, I’m actually pissed off the yelp is put on the Convenience Plan, which costs hundreds extra per year.  We were told additional apps would be added.  Where are they?  

      How about Spotify?  I had to subscribe to MOG for $120/year to get on-demand music on top of the other dough I had to dish out.   How much did MOG pay BMW for the seemingly exclusive right to put it into Apps

      I love BMW, but they are screwing up this connectivity thing by turning it into a profit center.


      • rick

        yes, i feel the same.

  • Pete

    I’ve got to agree.  I forked out the additional money for the BMW Apps in my 2012 328xiT.  I guess I did not truly appreciate how BMW intended to limit the Apps in order to “encourage” participation in BMW Online.  The big splash on “3rd Party App” development feels a little hollow at this point.  The thought of connecting to BMW Online through the phone is encouraging, but my expectations are pretty low at this point.

    To be fair, Pandora on BMW Apps is well done. 

    Somehow the additional $200/yr is over my tipping point, given all the other overlapping telecommunications costs in the budget.  I’ve paid for the phone, the data plan, additional computing hardware in the Combox and the display in the Nav system.  Can’t I get a weather map without spending even more money??