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Your favourite radio station now has an Apple CarPlay app

BFM has beaten everyone to the punch and is the first Malaysian company to launch an iOS app that works with Apple CarPlay. Yep, it’s the company that owns and operates BFM 89.9. Here’s what you can do with it.

First, the BFM app can be downloaded right here and is completely free. The CarPlay version of this application will allow users to listen to a live stream of BFM radio shows as well as podcasts plus listen to your own playlists right from the application.

The big benefit of this is that you can now bring BFM in your car with you wherever you go. One of the big limitations of being tied down to the 89.9MHz FM frequency is that listeners could only access BFM through that in the Klang Valley.

This was something BFM wanted to address especially since their repeated applications to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for frequencies to transmit to other urban areas have been rejected. The CarPlay app circumvents that restriction and allows users to listen to BFM wherever they have a data connection.

But that’s not all. BFM have also worked with local telcos U Mobile and Digi so that all customers on the orange telco and those who are on Digi’s Prepaid LIVE and Digi Broadband plan can listen to the CarPlay app without incurring any data charges. BFM are also working with Maxis to offer the same benefit to customers on the green telco. There’s no word about Celcom subscribers, though.

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The app was developed for BFM by local iOS and Android app development company Snappymob and both parties have worked together since 2016. When asked about Android Auto support, BFM managing director Malek Ali said that they will be in touch with Google soon.

Malek also said that the idea behind developing BFM’s CarPlay app started since last year. When the company first heard, in October of last year, that CarPlay was being launched locally, they sent a formal application to Apple for development specs just two months later.

However, they didn’t hear back from Apple until March of this year. When they did, though, the team put their foot down and in just one month had gone from ideation to development. Two weeks later, they had a minimum viable product and finally integrated the playlist feature just in time for the launch today.

For those who are unfamiliar with Apple’s CarPlay, the short description is that it’s a function that lets you push selected apps from your iPhone directly to your car’s built-in display. This is designed to keep you off your phone while allowing you to access functions like calls, music and navigation.

Users can also control CarPlay with Siri voice commands as well as your car’s built-in knobs, buttons, touchpad or touch screen. If you want to learn more, you can head on over to the Apple CarPlay site.

Currently there are over 200 models that support CarPlay globally, while Malaysians have these selected models:

Honda Civic 2016/2017, Accord 2017
BMW (add-on option) for 1 Series, 2 Series Coupé and Convertible, 3 Series, 4 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, X3, X4, X5, X6, M2, M3, M4, X5M, X6M and M6
Mercedes Benz all models (add-on option)
Volkswagen Passat and Tiguan (add-on option)
Volvo XC90 and V90 (add-on option)
Chevrolet (selected models)

If your car isn’t listed there, you can also add them to your vehicle via aftermarket systems by Alpine, Clarion, Kenwood, Pioneer and Sony.

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CarPlay is supported on iPhone devices from the iPhone 5 and above.