We have all seen the commercial from BMW showing off the man pulling up to the driveway in his F30 and receiving a text message from his wife being read by the car. If you haven't seen the video then, you can quick take a peek now.
Well, with iOS 6, iPhone users can finally take advantage of this feature in the car over bluetooth. The set up is mostly straight forward but I have to admit that I'm not 100% sure what I did to get it working in the end. I think the solution was getting the settings right then walking away from the car for a while and returning to the scene. It wasn't very scientific but it ended up working. The only problem we seem to be having now is that the notifications are only working with text messages and not emails. We'll keep working on it to see if it is something simple like needing all your email addresses set up to send notifications over bluetooth.
The quick and easy way to get this set up on your car is to do the following:
- Upgrade your phone to iOS 6
- If you have paired your phone previous, remove the pairing from your phone and the iDrive system just to start fresh.
- In iDrive go to Telephone -> Bluetooth -> Your Phone and the push the iDrive controller to the right to get to the main configuration screen
- Scroll down to Configure Bluetooth and make sure that the check box for "Office" is checked
- On your iPhone, go to Settings -> Bluetooth -> Your BMW and touch the blue arrow to go to the settings. Make sure that the Show Notifications slider is set to "ON"
- On your iPhone, go to Settings -> Notifications -> Messages. Make sure the following sections are "ON": Notification Center, Show Preview and View in Lock Screen. We also changed the alert style to Alerts in this section.
- After getting it all set up and testing by letting the phone lock itself (not pushing the lock button) and sending a text message from another device, it still did not work for us initially. This is the part about shutting off the car and walking away for at least 5 or 10 minutes. Maybe there is a bug that needs the connection to be severed and re-connected to make things work. It is sort of a mystery right now. After coming back and having a message sent the system worked and the notifications came through to the iDrive and were read aloud by the car.
We should have more information on this as we go but we wanted to get a quick report out to show you that it at least sort of works!
BMW's official statement about iOS 6 compatibility
During the past several months, BMW has done extensive Apps, Bluetooth, and USB / audio testing with "pre-release" versions of iOS 6 running primarily on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S devices. This testing has occurred in collaboration with Apple, and we are confident that the final production version for the devices listed above will work well with our vehicles.
The BMW Group continues to work closely with Apple on the validation of the iPhone 5 for BMW vehicles and will be able to announce relevant developments in the future. It is expected that all app compatibility will continue as will the ability to access one's song library using the BMW and MINI controls and screen. The specific feature, Plug-in, which works through BMW Apps and MINI Connected to replicate the look of the iPhone interface will not be available at launch. The full scope of compatibility between the iPhone 5 and BMW Group vehicles will be known once the validation process is completed. Since 2004 the company has established a history of finding solutions for iPod and smartphone integration where none had previously existed.
Have an iPhone 5? Check out the Official iPhone 5 F30 Integration Thread
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