The 2012 Apple WWDC (developers conference) keynote presentation has just wrapped up, during which Apple unveiled the new iOS 6 for all iOS devices. One of iOS6's new features is one which will have implications for BMW models.
A new feature called "Eyes Free" will officially integrate Siri functionality into cars. BMW, together with eight other automakers, will be launching products to integrate Siri into their cars within the next 12 months (the others include GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda). Apple briefly described Eyes Free in this way: "Hands-free allows you to keep your hands on the steering wheel while you're using your phone. We want to integrate Siri even better in the car."
The photo used (posted below) to introduce Eyes Free at the WWDC keynote speech appears to be an F10 5 series steering wheel with its voice command button highlighted. Our guess is that in upcoming BMW models, Siri may be summoned via BMW's existing voice command button. How will the car know whether you are prompting the BMW built in voice commands or Siri? Perhaps it will be as easy as starting any Siri commands with "Siri" when speaking to the car's voice command system.
As for scope of functionality, expect to be able to use Siri for functions such as calling and dictation (for texts, emails, and other text inputs), music control, creating reminders, set alarms/events, and perhaps ability to control maps (iOS6 will have turn-by-turn direction navigation).
Siri integration will not only benefit English speaking BMW owners, but also those who speak other languages (covering 60 countries). Apple also announced that Siri support for Spanish, Italian, French, German and Korean is coming, as well as Mandarin for Taiwan, Cantonese for Hong Kong, and both Mandarin and Cantonese for mainland China.
We'll post more information about Siri integration into BMWs as the companies announce more details.