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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 09-18-2010, 05:04 PM
rdlm rdlm is offline
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Location: California
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Mein Auto: 2011 535
Bluetooth issue -- and possible solution!

Summary: Bluetooth was working fine with my phone for several weeks, and then started failing horribly. It would disconnect shortly after connecting, or hang while syncing the phone book. I discovered that phone book entries that have special characters in the contact name, such as hyphens, parentheses, appear to cause Bluetooth instability! I've cleaned up [most of] the special characters in my phone book, and now bluetooth is working perfectly once again!

The details / story:

I have an HTC Incredible phone running Android 2.2 (Froyo), and it worked just fine over Bluetooth with my 2011 535 for the first several weeks of ownership.

A week ago, I had it in for some minor fixes at my BMW dealer. When I got the car back, I immediately had bluetooth issues. Usually it would drop the connection within seconds of connecting, though sometimes the connection would last a few minutes. Twice, it started the phone book sync (with the little "spin" icon showing), and just hung there, spinning forever. Basically, it was unusable.

I tried the basics, like power cycling the phone and unpairing both sides followed by re-pairing, but it was still horribly flakey. After fussing with it for a few days, I called the BMW SA to see if they had changed anything, but he stated that nothing was changed: no setting related to this, nor any software updates. He warned me that my phone isn't a "BMW approved" device, and thus they can't give me any support. He said that this sort of flaky behavior is fairly common with the unapproved devices, with them working one day, and then not the next. If you ask me, the list of approved devices is silly at best, but that should be a different thread.

Then it occurred to me: The only thing on the "phone side" that had changed is that I had entered the SA's name and number into my phone book, and I had entered it with a contact name of "BMW (SA's name)". On a whim, I thought perhaps the parentheses were causing problems, so I changed the name to "BMW - SA's name". I immediately discovered two things: a) bluetooth worked again, and b) the updated phonebook entry with the "-" was only showing "BMW" in the iDrive phone book, with the rest of the name missing. A little more hunting through the car's copy of the phone book, and I found another phonebook entry that had parentheses in the name was completely missing from the iDrive, though some entries with parens and dashes were OK.

I've cleared out most of the special symbols at this point, leaving one apostrophe, and a couple dashes in hyphenated names (with no spaces around the hyphen), and all of the entries appear to be displaying now. And more importantly, the bluetooth connection is flawless again, at least so far.

It could be complete coincidence (as my SA implied), but I don't think so. I guess time will tell. Hopefully this work-around helps others too...
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2010, 07:54 PM
Funkee Funkee is offline
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Location: Manhattan
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 211
Mein Auto: 2014 335 GT M spot
Just a suggestion.

1. Turn off the phone and take out the battery. (Can you remove the battery from a HTC phone?)
2. Wait for a minute, then insert the battery back to the phone and turn it back on.
3. Now go back to your car and pair up the bluetooth.

Hope it works.
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