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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 06-25-2012, 07:55 PM
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BMW Smartphone Snap-In Adapters - Do I Need Them?

My order is being placed tomorrow and there's confusion over whether or not I need the snap-in adapter for iPhone.

I read an older thread between you folks regarding Pandora but it didn't answer the simple question of....

If I have a 2013 with the Technology Package (now includes nav, BMW apps, and enhanced Bluetooth) and I skip the snap-in adapter, what exactly am I losing in the process?

I've read that it's just the roof antenna and video out that I lose. Then I've read that it's charging and album art that I lose. I'm confused. Help.

TIA

BJ
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2012, 08:54 PM
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No. Nothing but a use limiting waste of money.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
No. Nothing but a use limiting waste of money.
So all the apps will work properly (Pandora, Facebook, Google send-to Maps, etc.)? Without this dock, will I be able to charge my iPhone while driving?

BJ
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:16 PM
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snapin's are neat though- you dont have to rely only on bluetooth to talk to it.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigugly fab View Post
snapin's are neat though- you dont have to rely only on bluetooth to talk to it.
I am good with Bluetooth to have phone conversations, and I live in an area with very strong cellphone signal strength. My main concern is losing functionality for some (all?) of the apps or some iDrive functionality for iPhone playlists or something.

If I don't have the snap-in adapters, how does the iPhone connect to iDrive for apps and audio? Via a standard USB? Do I lose any app functionality or iDrive functionality? My setup will be an iPhone for calls/apps and a beater iPod for music. Just trying to make sure that I can have two devices sync'd to the iDrive. Clearly a USB port for the iPod will work and the Bluetooth for the iPhone calls will work. Question is, in that setup with two devices, do I need the snap-in dock for some reason? Or are there two ports for this sort of thing and the adapter is just some gimmick to get better signal strength?

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 06-25-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:44 PM
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All the Apps work over the USB cable.

You have to buy the cradle as an accessory anyway, so get it later if you think you want to drop another $250 on it.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2012, 11:41 PM
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As mentioned, all the apps work with the USB cable. Pandora, Twitter, Facebook, etc... The USB also charges the phone. You can even listen to YouTube videos with the USB (audio only, no video). You still get cover art, a good iPod interface (not as good as with the cradle), Pandora interface (thumb up/thumb down, etc).

Basically, you only lose video out and the better car antenna reception (there was even some debate about that).

To get the apps to work, you download the BMW connected drive app first. Plug the phone via USB and run the connected drive app from the phone. Then you go to connected drive in the idrive and all the apps will pop up. You have to scroll down to the apps subsection. For pandora, just run it on the phone and go to either the radio section of idrive or apps section under connected drive and you will see the icon for it.

Only thing I don't like about it is once you exit the connected drive screen or pandora screen on the phone, you lose all the apps or pandora on idrive. You have to keep them running on the phone so checking a text (at a red light of course) would exit the program you are running. Can't wait for MAP in iOS6. Hope it fixes that.

Last edited by Itinj6; 06-25-2012 at 11:49 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itinj6 View Post
As mentioned, all the apps work with the USB cable. Pandora, Twitter, Facebook, etc... The USB also charges the phone. You can even listen to YouTube videos with the USB (audio only, no video). You still get cover art, a good iPod interface (not as good as with the cradle), Pandora interface (thumb up/thumb down, etc).

Basically, you only lose video out and the better car antenna reception (there was even some debate about that).

To get the apps to work, you download the BMW connected drive app first. Plug the phone via USB and run the connected drive app from the phone. Then you go to connected drive in the idrive and all the apps will pop up. You have to scroll down to the apps subsection. For pandora, just run it on the phone and go to either the radio section of idrive or apps section under connected drive and you will see the icon for it.

Only thing I don't like about it is once you exit the connected drive screen or pandora screen on the phone, you lose all the apps or pandora on idrive. You have to keep them running on the phone so checking a text (at a red light of course) would exit the program you are running. Can't wait for MAP in iOS6. Hope it fixes that.
Thanks!

Regarding the iPod interface, I'll be using my beater iPod (never my iPhone) for music.....will that have the 'lesser' interface too (because of no cradle) or will it have the better interface because it's not multitasking as a phone would?

Any screenshots out there of both iPod interfaces for comparison purposes?

I will always have both my iPhone (apps) and my beater iPod (music) sync'd to iDrive.....any complications that you foresee? If no cradle is purchased do I need a special cord or does the car have multiple USB ports in the armrest?

BJ
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Last edited by boltjaM3s; 06-26-2012 at 04:52 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2012, 05:12 AM
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Dock has a fan so your iPhone doesn't overheat. I know the iPhone will get really hot when you plug it in via the white cable and just leave it.
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:21 AM
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Dock has a fan so your iPhone doesn't overheat. I know the iPhone will get really hot when you plug it in via the white cable and just leave it.
Good call on the fans. Totally forgot about that, however, I never had a problem with my phone overheating. I just jinxed myself, I'm sure lol
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:25 AM
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Good call on the fans. Totally forgot about that, however, I never had a problem with my phone overheating. I just jinxed myself, I'm sure lol
Haha, probably. The iPhone (especially the 4/4S) produces ridiculous amounts of heat when you're streaming data, like Pandora. It would have been nice if BMW put the USB port somewhere near the cupholders, instead of in the center console, especially for heat reasons.
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Thanks!

Regarding the iPod interface, I'll be using my beater iPod (never my iPhone) for music.....will that have the 'lesser' interface too (because of no cradle) or will it have the better interface because it's not multitasking as a phone would?

Any screenshots out there of both iPod interfaces for comparison purposes?

I will always have both my iPhone (apps) and my beater iPod (music) sync'd to iDrive.....any complications that you foresee? If no cradle is purchased do I need a special cord or does the car have multiple USB ports in the armrest?

BJ
I have never used an iPod in the car so I cannot reply intelligently about that.

The interface is not bad at all with the cable. I just know that the cradle provides a more traditional iPod type interface on the idrive screen. You can still go to your playlists, search by any type, etc. with the cable.

The white Apple USB cord provided with your phone will suffice.

Last edited by Itinj6; 06-26-2012 at 07:26 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itinj6 View Post
I have never used an iPod in the car so I cannot reply intelligently about that.

The interface is not bad at all with the cable. I just know that the cradle provides a more traditional iPod type interface on the idrive screen. You can still go to your playlists, search by any type, etc. with the cable.

The white Apple USB cord provided with your phone will suffice.


I want the playing of iPod songs to look like this image.....do I need the snap in adapter for the interface to look like this?

BJ
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2012, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post


I want the playing of iPod songs to look like this image.....do I need the snap in adapter for the interface to look like this?
BJ
You will not get that screen (split view or not) as that is iPod Out. iPod Out is only available with the snap in adapter (full view shown):



However, the standard 6FL USB screen when the iPod is connected will look like this (full view shown):

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Old 06-26-2012, 08:15 AM
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Snap in adapter provide the following additional features to BMW Apps:

- iPod Out
- Video from iPod/iPhone
- iPod cooling
- connection to external cell antenna
- secondary USB port
- full charging capability via separate high current power supply (standard USB port uses its own, low current USB native power supply)
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:16 AM
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My car didn't come with the iPhone adapter but when I got home in the glove box was an adapter with USB on one end and iPhone plug on the other end.
I don't know what it's for since I don't have an iPhone but will when the iPhone 5 comes out.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
You will not get that screen (split view or not) as that is iPod Out. iPod Out is only available with the snap in adapter (full view shown):



However, the standard 6FL USB screen when the iPod is connected will look like this (full view shown):

Thank you Technic! Really, really appreciate it. Follow up questions if you don't mind:

My setup will be a beater iPod Touch always in the car (music only, 25,000 songs) and my iPhone 4 in the car (apps only, Bluetooth for voice etc.).

From a UI standpoint I want:

1. The better iPod Out user interface from my iPod Touch which is always going to be in the car anyway.

2. The ability to use my iPhone 4 for apps (Facebook, etc.).

3. I don't want to have to plug/unplug the iPod Touch.

So.....how can I have both an iPod Touch and an iPhone 4 co-exist where the iPod Touch has the iPod Out superior UI and not lose the ability for the iPhone 4 to use it's apps? Are there multiple USB ports in the armrest? A "Y" connector? Will the iPod Touch fit in the snap-in adapter at the same time the iPhone 4 goes USB into iDrive for it's app functionality?

Help.

BJ
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Thank you Technic! Really, really appreciate it. Follow up questions if you don't mind:

My setup will be a beater iPod Touch always in the car (music only, 25,000 songs) and my iPhone 4 in the car (apps only, Bluetooth for voice etc.).

From a UI standpoint I want:

1. The better iPod Out user interface from my iPod Touch which is always going to be in the car anyway. Check.

2. The ability to use my iPhone 4 for apps (Facebook, etc.). Check.

3. I don't want to have to plug/unplug the iPod Touch. Check.

So.....how can I have both an iPod Touch and an iPhone 4 co-exist where the iPod Touch has the iPod Out superior UI and not lose the ability for the iPhone 4 to use it's apps? Are there multiple USB ports in the armrest? A "Y" connector? Will the iPod Touch fit in the snap-in adapter at the same time the iPhone 4 goes USB into iDrive for it's app functionality?

Help.

BJ
The snap in adapter has its own USB port (in the Apple 31-pin connector socket). That is a secondary USB port; the primary USB port is located in the center armrest. As the name implies, functionality defaults to the primary USB device. The secondary USB device is selectable.

Therefore, for what you want to do the snap in is the solution: the iPod Touch plugs into the snap in for iPod Out and the iPhone 4 plugs into the console USB for BMW Apps. No need to take that iPod off the snap in. The current iPod Touch uses the iPhone 3GS casing
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Haha, probably. The iPhone (especially the 4/4S) produces ridiculous amounts of heat when you're streaming data, like Pandora. It would have been nice if BMW put the USB port somewhere near the cupholders, instead of in the center console, especially for heat reasons.
True... But I just have my phone clipped to my waist and run the cord out of the armrest and into my phone. Not sure if my body heat helps the overheating situation though.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post


I want the playing of iPod songs to look like this image.....do I need the snap in adapter for the interface to look like this?

BJ
I believe that image was taken while using the cradle. I may be wrong but it doesn't look like something the USB cable provides.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:41 PM
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BJ,

Do you have to order the cradle with the car or can it added later? And if so is it returnable?

CA
You can buy it after at any BMW parts department... Or even eBay

I suppose it depends on the specific return policy.

Last edited by Itinj6; 06-26-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-26-2012, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Itinj6 View Post
You can buy it after at any BMW parts department... Or even eBay

I suppose it depends on the specific return policy.
Then it would seem if you are not sure if you need one or not you could order the car without it and then if you feel you made a mistake order one later or purchase one on eBay.
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:39 PM
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Then it seems like you can't really go wrong. Order it later and return it if you don't find it worthwhile,

I have not had a lot of practice with the new iDrive but will have a chance to play with it more Fourth of July weekend.

CA
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:43 AM
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The best feature of BMW Apps so far is the integration of music apps: Pandora, AUPEO! and the best of all, Web Radio.
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  #25  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The best feature of BMW Apps so far is the integration of music apps: Pandora, AUPEO! and the best of all, Web Radio.
Just read that the next iPhone update (ios6) will allow text messages and email notifications to show up on iDrive via Bluetooth, no apps required. Will be nice to see an incoming text in large print on the LCD rather than having to squint at the handset.

BJ
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