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      11-13-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
rtcage
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iPhone 4 - 3 Ways to connect. Confused.

So I just ordered an X5 with the tech package and smartphone integration. From my understanding, there are three ways to connect an iPhone 4:
  1. Bluetooth
  2. iPod USB connection
  3. Smartphone Integration

I am also aware of the new Mobile Office features with the 2011s and have seen conflicting information about iPhone 4 compatibility.

Can anyone explain the current and expected compatibility (via firmware updates) of the iPhone 4 with the 2011 cars and which of the 3 connections will be utilized?
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      11-13-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Good point and I am interested to hear this answer also
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      11-14-2010, 01:41 PM   #3
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I was about to post the same question. I'm in the process of ordering a new 2011 X6 but I can't find a clear answer as to what features each of those methods gives you. BMW's website is confusing as it just send you to the bluetooth page when you want to know about the smartphone integration. That stupid option makes you upgrade to the Premium Sound Package for $1,800 and I don't even know what it really does vs Bluetooth vs iPod USB connection.

The sales guy I spoke to was useless as he didn't even know that the smartphone integration lets you listen to your music from the iPhone.

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      11-14-2010, 04:03 PM   #4
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So after my last post I did a bunch of research and came up with some answers. Here are the fruits of my labor:

1.Bluetooth
Bluetooth gives you basic handsfree functionality including contact list access through the car. It alone does not let you play music from your iPod/iPhone.

2.iPod and USB adapter (available exclusively through the Premium Sound Package)
This puts a USB port in your center console next to your Aux port. It allows for you to use a special Y-cable to connect your iPod/iPhone to both your aux and USB port at the same time. This allows for you to gain access to your device through the BMW idrive interface. It allows you full access to your library and playlists as well as genres, and you can even do a genius playlist from the car. You still use bluetooth for calls.


3. iPod Interface Adapter (available as accessory from BMW)
This does the same things as above except that its located in your glove box. Also it might not be compatible with newer iPhones as the website does not explicty mention anything other than just iPhone.

4. Smartphone integration (requires Premium Sound Package)
This allows for a snap-in dock in your center console that does the same things as the above two + uses the cars external antenna for calls (supposedly better reception) + charges your phone. The snap-in takes up about half the compartment and a different snap in is required for each phone. Since this option requires the Premium Sound Package, you still have your USB and AUX ports from the iPod and USB adapter free while streaming music from your docked iPhone. This means that you can hook up another device to the USB port (which takes priority) and/or AUX and listen to music on that instead.

In terms of the whole mobile office thing, I'm pretty sure that just requires Bluetooth, but its only supported on some new blackberrys and not the iPhone (atleast not yet).

I think option 2 also charges your phone through the usb but its explicity stated anywhere, so I could be wrong. Option 3 probably charges most iPod, but probably not all iPhones.

Hope this helps clarifies things. Feel free to add information.
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      11-15-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nate55 View Post
So after my last post I did a bunch of research and came up with some answers. Here are the fruits of my labor:

1.Bluetooth
Bluetooth gives you basic handsfree functionality including contact list access through the car. It alone does not let you play music from your iPod/iPhone.

2.iPod and USB adapter (available exclusively through the Premium Sound Package)
This puts a USB port in your center console next to your Aux port. It allows for you to use a special Y-cable to connect your iPod/iPhone to both your aux and USB port at the same time. This allows for you to gain access to your device through the BMW idrive interface. It allows you full access to your library and playlists as well as genres, and you can even do a genius playlist from the car. You still use bluetooth for calls.


3. iPod Interface Adapter (available as accessory from BMW)
This does the same things as above except that its located in your glove box. Also it might not be compatible with newer iPhones as the website does not explicty mention anything other than just iPhone.

4. Smartphone integration (requires Premium Sound Package)
This allows for a snap-in dock in your center console that does the same things as the above two + uses the cars external antenna for calls (supposedly better reception) + charges your phone. The snap-in takes up about half the compartment and a different snap in is required for each phone. Since this option requires the Premium Sound Package, you still have your USB and AUX ports from the iPod and USB adapter free while streaming music from your docked iPhone. This means that you can hook up another device to the USB port (which takes priority) and/or AUX and listen to music on that instead.

In terms of the whole mobile office thing, I'm pretty sure that just requires Bluetooth, but its only supported on some new blackberrys and not the iPhone (atleast not yet).

I think option 2 also charges your phone through the usb but its explicity stated anywhere, so I could be wrong. Option 3 probably charges most iPod, but probably not all iPhones.

Hope this helps clarifies things. Feel free to add information.
I have one thing to add that you may not be happy with. i just recieved my
X5M with smartphone integration, and i use an i phone 4. the problem is that they havent made the i phone 4 snap in peice yet. they only have for iphone 3 and 3g. one of the people in the parts department told me that it should be around another year before it comes out.
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      11-15-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtcage View Post
So I just ordered an X5 with the tech package and smartphone integration. From my understanding, there are three ways to connect an iPhone 4:
  1. Bluetooth
  2. iPod USB connection
  3. Smartphone Integration
I am also aware of the new Mobile Office features with the 2011s and have seen conflicting information about iPhone 4 compatibility.

Can anyone explain the current and expected compatibility (via firmware updates) of the iPhone 4 with the 2011 cars and which of the 3 connections will be utilized?
  1. Bluetooth - wireless
  2. iPod USB connection -hardwired
  3. Smartphone Integration - hardwired cradle
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      11-15-2010, 05:02 PM   #7
rtcage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyM3>UrCar View Post
I have one thing to add that you may not be happy with. i just recieved my
X5M with smartphone integration, and i use an i phone 4. the problem is that they havent made the i phone 4 snap in peice yet. they only have for iphone 3 and 3g. one of the people in the parts department told me that it should be around another year before it comes out.

The cradle is not required in order for the integration to work, correct? How does the phone connect (via the standard Apple iPhone cable?). Also, does this mean that the phone will work hardwired without bluetooth, or does bluetooth still need to be on?
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      11-15-2010, 06:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtcage View Post
The cradle is not required in order for the integration to work, correct? How does the phone connect (via the standard Apple iPhone cable?). Also, does this mean that the phone will work hardwired without bluetooth, or does bluetooth still need to be on?
  1. Bluetooth - wireless (no music, only phone)
  2. iPod USB connection -hardwired (music and phone)
  3. Smartphone Integration - hardwired cradle (music, phone, and uses car's built-in antenna instead of iPhone's entenna)
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      11-15-2010, 08:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtcage View Post
So I just ordered an X5 with the tech package and smartphone integration. From my understanding, there are three ways to connect an iPhone 4:
  1. Bluetooth
  2. iPod USB connection
  3. Smartphone Integration

I am also aware of the new Mobile Office features with the 2011s and have seen conflicting information about iPhone 4 compatibility.

Can anyone explain the current and expected compatibility (via firmware updates) of the iPhone 4 with the 2011 cars and which of the 3 connections will be utilized?
For iPhone 4 and 2011 MY

1. Bluetooth is used in two ways:

a) Standard bluetooth profile to allow iPhone voice calls, signal strength, phone book transfer, missed calls, etc to work via iDrive
b) A2DP bluetooth profile to allow audio stored on the phone to be "streamed" to iDrive. Some control is also possible .. next track, previous track.

2. iPod USB connection

Hard wired connection between iPhone and BMW for audio playback. Now only requires single standard USB to iPhone connector. Also now shows art work if embedded into AAC or Mp3. Charges iPhone. Not used at all for Phone voice features.

3. Smartphone Connection

Similar to 2. However iPhone 4 snaps into a cradle that currently does not exist. (suppose to be coming soon). Will also provide a link to the cars external cellphone antenna (sharkfin) on roof for improved handset signal reception.

4. Mobile Office features

Not supported with iPhone 4.

5. BMW Car Hotspot

Provides Wifi connection to any devices inside the car. BMW after market Accessory that plugs into the cars existing phone cradle

Can be used in two ways. Either plug your phone's SIM card directly into accessory, or use a Phone that supports SAP. Phone will then interface to Car Hotspot via bluetooth.

Iphone 4 currently does not support SAP.

Note, iPhone 4 can connect to multiple devices via bluetooth at the same time. So in theory, one day it could connect to your car 3 ways. 1. For regular audio calls. 2. For A2DP music Streaming. 3. For a SAP connection.
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      11-15-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
rtcage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apw2607 View Post
For iPhone 4 and 2011 MY

3. Smartphone Connection

Similar to 2. However iPhone 4 snaps into a cradle that currently does not exist. (suppose to be coming soon). Will also provide a link to the cars external cellphone antenna (sharkfin) on roof for improved handset signal reception.
Thanks for the thorough response. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I have a couple more questions:

Is this connection used for voice transmission, or is it only for power and the external antenna (i.e. you still have to use bluetooth)? In that case the smartphone integration seems massively overrated for an iPhone 4 as I have seen posts that suggest that the anntena feature doesn't work on an iphone 4 making it nothing more than a glorified charger.
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      11-15-2010, 08:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtcage View Post
Thanks for the thorough response. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I have a couple more questions:

Is this connection used for voice transmission, or is it only for power and the external antenna (i.e. you still have to use bluetooth)? In that case the smartphone integration seems massively overrated for an iPhone 4 as I have seen posts that suggest that the anntena feature doesn't work on an iphone 4 making it nothing more than a glorified charger.
None of the cradles make sense to me. They are so 1980's.

The whole idea of bluetooth is to get in and out of the car with the phone in your pocket much like the comfort access fob. If you need to charge the phone then fine, plug in the cigarette adapter. But if you would rather use a cradle, I bet a dollar to a donut you forget your phone most of the time since it is hidden.
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      11-16-2010, 12:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtcage View Post
Thanks for the thorough response. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I have a couple more questions:

Is this connection used for voice transmission, or is it only for power and the external antenna (i.e. you still have to use bluetooth)? In that case the smartphone integration seems massively overrated for an iPhone 4 as I have seen posts that suggest that the anntena feature doesn't work on an iphone 4 making it nothing more than a glorified charger.
The connection via the iPhone connector is for audio playback, control and of course power/charging only. The phone still connects to the car via bluetooth for voice.

Well the iPhone doesn't offer any external connection for antenna unlike other manufacturers. Therefore the only way to do this is use inductive coupling. Many people have found the iPhones antenna strength increased when using the cradle ...

Remember the cradle just gives you another connection option. Its not one way or the other. Bear in mind the smartphone integration cannot be added afterwards.
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