A detail of the ConnectedDrive High Guiding and 3D City modeling. © BMW USA

BMW ConnectedDrive's other features include handwriting recognition


Of course, that’s in addition to more music storage, extended radio features and high speed Internet, among other aspects.

In part one, we brought you up to date on the new navigation features, including High Guiding, 3D Cities, (a detail of the display is at right) the interactive map and advanced real time traffic data, plus dual phone simultaneous synching.

Multimedia
Now a 20 GB hard drive allows for onboard music storage, while the track search function has been upgraded to provide faster song retrieval than ever before. An extended toolbar is employed to speed access to additional sub-menus, along with even greater simplicity and ease of operation.

New playback functions allow the driver to hear more songs like what’s currently playing by activating the More like this function to generate a new playlist of similar tracks from the onboard collection. An Add to favorites feature is a star icon displayed during playback facilitating the collection of your best-loved tunes into another playlists.

Radio+: displaying what’s on
For the first time, FM radio is accompanied by central information display graphics, just like digital radio. When FM radio stations broadcast the data (via radio text or radio text+), the artist, album and genre cover will be displayed just as when listening to HD radio or using an external device. And even if no data is transmitted by the station, a generic genre cover and the station name will be displayed for a neat, high-quality effect.

BMW iDrive Touch Controller
BMW’s iDrive Touch will bring a touch-pad into the system’s central control functions for the very first time. At two inches across, the multi-purpose sensor makes some controls, such as the map functions, more intuitive, faster and easier to use.

The iDrive Controller is ergonomically positioned and easy to reach. Entry, selection and verification are as usual using the well-known knob’s rotate-and-press procedure. The touchpad’s proximity makes data entry elementary, adding numerous easily-accessed functions to the iDrive Controller, including handwriting recognition.

Handwriting recognition
The handwriting recognition function enables alphabetic characters to be entered with a fingertip by delineating them on the surface of the touchpad. Normally, navigators use touchscreens or a wheel selection device to spell out streets and cities in destinations. Now you can quickly switch from menu selection to data input using the touchpad. You sketch an E on the touchpad and the navigator will call out that letter to confirm. Before you know it, you’ve input Elm St. as simply as finger painting.

Map navigation
The new touchpad also makes navigating freely within the route map a snap using the two-finger pinch gesture used on smartphones and digital notepads. For example, traffic jams can easily be expanded to display the gridlock and suggested alternative route. Points of interest on the map can be activated by the touchpad and with a click of the control knob bring up a display of more detailed information.

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