A BMW; the perfect iPhone accessory - Macenstein

A BMW; the perfect iPhone accessory

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

What better accessory for one of the most expensive mobile phones than one of the most expensive mobile vehicles? (OK, yes, I know all vehicles are (supposed to be) mobile, I was just trying for some literary continuity there.)

BMW has announced that all their cars since 2004 (or 2005 depending on the model) should work seamlessly with the iPhone for both iPod playback and hands-free calling.

In reality, this announcement isn’t really announcing anything, as BMW has done nothing specific to support the iPhone in particular. I think this may be a case of BMW trying to get its name out there in the iPhone web hit results, but whatever. BMW owners are likely some of the people most likely to be able to afford an iPhone, so perhaps the publicity will work both ways.

12 Responses to “A BMW; the perfect iPhone accessory”
  1. Mike says:

    Is it wrong that I want an iPhone more?

  2. Aaron H. says:

    Well, I’m not sure I agree with this 100%.

    I have a 2007 Mini Cooper S (which is made by BMW and share components with the BMW 325i). I have the bluetooth option for the car and the phone pairs perfectly. It sees my address book and I can voice dial, etc.

    HOWEVER, there is one HUGE issue that has made me stop using it with my iPhone (but I believe it’s probably iPhone problem). Once the phone has paired with the car, if I leave the car the phone still thinks it’s paired. I’ve had situations where hours later someone will call me and they can’t hear me because my phone is sending stuff via bluetooth. If you go into the bluetooth menu, it says it is still paired to the car. The only way to unpair the phone is to turn off bluetooth in the settings menu – which sort of negates the convenience.

    I don’t know if iPhones do this with all bluetooth devices (my car is the only one I use), but it definitely makes me less likely to use that feature.

  3. Rowlings says:

    Aaron, I didn’t think you could do voice dialing at all with an iPhone.
    that’s new to me!

  4. Aaron H. says:

    The car does it for you (with any Bluetooth phone, I imagine). When it pairs, it downloads the address book to the car and all of the names and numbers appear on the nav screen of the car. It also has voice recognition so you just say “Call Joe Smith” and it dials. The first time you pair it can take a while to get all the info. After that it is pretty snappy.

    Now, if it would just UNpair when I leave the car…

  5. Nick says:

    Auto-Bild Germany revealed earlier this year, that previous chasis version of 3-series BMW:s are known to have serious problem in the rear suspension – basicly it’s fixure to chasis will rotten to dust. It takes weeks to get that problem fixed. Until ths dayBMW has not commented this issue. Apple seems to have the same policy on iPhone issues.

    Yes, BMW is perfect companion for iPhone 😉

  6. Jonathan says:

    How does the iPod connect to the car? Miniplug or dock connector?

    I have an Alpine head unit in my car that connects to and controls my iPod through the dock connector, but I worry that the iPhone or newer models won’t be compatible. Anyone have any insight?

  7. Aaron H. says:

    In my Mini it has both the mini jack and an iPod connector. I’ve got a reguar 80Gb iPod in the car all the time via the dock connector, but I have used the aux 1/8″ input for connecting my iPhone or another iPod for something specific.

  8. Jonathan says:

    So Aaron, have you tried the iPhone with your dock connector? Any success?

  9. Aaron H. says:

    I hadn’t tried it until you asked this and I just did.

    It doesn’t work. The iPhone comes up with a message on the screen stating that “this accessory is not designed to work with the iPhone.” It then offers to go into airplane mode to “reduce interference.” When connected, the car does not see the iPhone as an attached iPod.

    I should note that the location of the iPod connector in the Mini (in the secret panel above the glove box) would really not be very convenient for frequent adding and removing the iPhone would require.

    Still, it’s good to know that the the current software on the 2007 Minis and iPhone do not play nicely together.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Thanks Aaron! I’ve been holding out to buy a 16GB iPod nano…but I should get on this before they all start running OS X and won’t work with my car. Cheers!

  11. Brad says:

    my iphone pairs perfectly with my BMW 7- no issues with the technology. However, my entire Address Book shows up in the car. Using the idrive to get to an address that starts with anything other than an “A” takes hours. Is there a method to see only a select group of names. My old Treo would pair with the car with only the speed dial numbers.

  12. Aaron H. says:

    I should note that at some point there was a software update on the iPhone and it now seems to pair and unpair automatically my old phone did.

    The only annoyance now is that if you have the address book on the phone set to display last name first you have to voice dial the same way “Call Smith John mobile.” It took me a while to figure that out after I’d switched that preference at some point, but it works now.

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