BMW, Porsche Apps Add Apple Watch Functionality

Watch thing BMW - H 2015
Courtesy of BMW

Watch thing BMW - H 2015

Drivers will be able to control functions of BMW's i3 and i8 and Porsche's Panamera and Cayenne from the Apple watch.

BMW’s i Remote app will work with the Apple watch when the highly anticipated device goes on sale, the carmaker announced on Friday. Porsche announced similar capabilities for its Porsche Car Connect app. 

The i Remote app allows drivers of BMW's electric and plug-in hybrid i models to use a smart phone to remotely check charge status, turn on heat and air conditioning while the car is charging, sound the horn and perform other functions.

These same functions will be available on the Apple watch so long as it is tethered via Bluetooth to an iPhone.

The app is accessed by swiping the watch's touch-sensitive screen and selecting from a menu of icons, as on a smartphone.

The intermodal route-planning analyzes real-time traffic conditions and suggests alternative routes as well as public transportation options. When the driver parks the car the directions will continue to display on the watch until the destination is reached, and can be displayed in reverse to locate the car afterward.

Other cars offer similar remote control via smartphone — Tesla Motors' Model S app can be used to check charging status, open and close doors, windows and the sunroof, among other functions — so expect to see more carmakers porting their apps to the Apple watch as it becomes available.