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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This posting moved from X5 land to X3 land. My bifocals got in the way - sorry


Bought my wife an 2010 X3 at her insistence last August. She drives it and loves the speed, handling, and feel of the vehicle. On the other hand, the voice actuated phone system is a real stinker! I would never have bought it because the highly experienced sales staff could not show me how to program the voice activated phone system. One told me that he used the manual from his wife's Honda to figure it out. But my wife insisted - and no one's happy unless Momma's happy!

This is the most expensive car I have ever bought and the one I am the least happy with.

I have received a minimum of 5 satisfaction surveys, included JDPower, BMW and a host of others. All seem astonished that I don't like the human interface system. JDPower even had a representative call me to ask about the "negative" responses I gave to their survey. He did his best to get me to change my comments to positive from negative. It only goes to show that JDPower is a manufacturer's shill. To keep within the forum guidelines I use shill rather than a word that rhymes with imp.

The manual states that I have the voice-activated feature and refers me to the "separate" telephone owner's manual which refers back to the main manual which sends me back to the "separate" telephone manual. (Even I at my advanced age I can remember the definition of a circular reference.)

I just spent two hours sitting in the car in the driveway attempting to program the voice-actuation feature by trying all the possible options. I was successful in getting the names into the phone book by entering them one at a time followed by turning the whole system including the car off and starting all over again for each number. I gave up after 5 names.

I have not been successful in figuring out how to make a call using tthe phone book. I accidentally made a call using voice entry of the number which shows that it will work - but I haven't been able to repeat the experience.

I made the incorrect assumption that BMW would have fixed some of the glitches in the human interface system near the end of the model run - all the changes would be simple programming changes, not hardware.

For those who read this, don't tell me that I should have waited for 1911 models, because "everyone knows" that this system stinks. I am sure they are ever sooo much better.

Incidentally, I am not a particularly demanding sort. I have happily driven US made cars for nearly 50 years with fewer hassles than I have had with this example of German arrogance.

Is there anyone out there who knows the correct incantations to make the phone work? And could you share them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

Legalfee, Thanks for a very precise and prompt reply to my post. I will read it carefully and see if it fixes my problems.

DT^4
 

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I personally find it easier to pair your phone with the X3. Then it downloads the phonebook from your phone.

That way you depress the R/T button to get your phone book, scroll with the up or down arrow, then use the talky face button to place the call.

The voice activated system is kind of slow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again

The manual looks quite good. It is dated March 2000 and the features don't look quite the same but I will give it a try in the morning and report back.

dt^4
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To Madurodave

Since I haven't been able to use the voice-actuated system I can't say one way or the other. My hope is to have the 5 key people I need available by voice with the rest on the nav system screen.

Thanks for the thought though.
 

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Since I haven't been able to use the voice-actuated system I can't say one way or the other. My hope is to have the 5 key people I need available by voice with the rest on the nav system screen.

Thanks for the thought though.
I thought you said you had put in some already?

Yours may be different, but on my X3 I believe you can hold the talky face down, then get the voice command list available. I put a couple in on my X3 that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
To Madurodave

Yes, I was able to get the 5 names (and presumably the numbers into the on-board memory. As noted in my initial note, I have not yet been successful in making a call using them.

When I next have time, I will sit with the manual in hand and get them properly entered and see if I can make it work.

I am certain that I did something simple but wrong since I was working without either a manual or an understanding of the computer program being used. It is my experience that what seems logical and straightforward to a software developer is rarely intuitive or logical to a user like me.

I think I gave the computer a bit of a nervous breakdown by linking it to two cell phones. I had both in the car at the same time turned on. According to the manual, it is supposed to link to the last phone used if more than one linked phone is in the car. It did that but when I turned off that phone it didn't want to link to the second phone (now the only signal it should have recognized.) I turned the system off, the car off, removed the key and restarted. The car did not properly link to the second phone. I presume I did something wrong.

I will report in when/if I am successful.
 

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Depending on phone makes/models, you can have good or bad success. My iPhone and my wife's Nokia pair nicely with the BMW Bluetooth. If I switch my phone off, my wife's connects fine.
 

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keep in mind the bluetooth system in the 2004-2010 X3 is based on the last generation 3er. meaning from 1999. It's old tech and hardly works very well, but it works.

Try this. hold down the "face" button and say, READ PHONEBOOK, if the numbers you put in saved, it will read them back to you. To dial one, hold down the face, wait for the beep, and say (it's either, can't remember) DIAL *name* or CALL *name*. it should dial. as for the paired phones, yeah, that's a pain. IF both phone are in the car, it kinda freaks out and has a hard time knowing which on to pair too. and while it shouldn't matter, are both phones on the approved phone list? it does make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
to kyboyd

I understand that it is older technology than in the new ones. My real gripe is that the software apparently hadn't been upgraded to later versions since at least 2004 when the X3 was brought out.

Probably what really set me off was the lack of any manual covering the voice activated phone system at all. Given that I would grumble about the antiquated NAV / Phone system but would be OK with it as I rarely use all the features the shiny new toys have anyway. I just want it to work and allow me to make the few calls I need to make.

Would you be happy with your shiny new iphone running on an operating system dated 1999. How many "upgrades to software" has BMW done to improve the performance of the hardware? What firmware updates have taken place? etc. If those occurred shouldn't a late production 2010 model have those upgrades as a default.

I guess I should be angry at myself for not doing enough due diligence on purchasing the car when I did.

Thanks for the comment, you are all teaching me a lot about the system and I appreciate it.

DAVE
 

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Do a search for the voice codes. They are shown in some threads. It might help.
 

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That's quite odd. I haven't had any problems entering names and numbers via voice onto my 06 x3. It is rather slow and I can't input names that sound similar, but other than that it works fine for me. I only have a few of the ones I call the most in there. All else I just dial from my phone interface as it is quite a bit faster than scrolling through the radio lcd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Success at last, thanks to input from Legalfee, Madurodave, and the rest of you who made helpful comments!!!

The manual legalfee attached was extraordinarily helpful. It turns out that only the voice phone feature of the voice-actuated system works.
The manual describes a voice-note pad and voice actuation of the GPS - neither work on our X3. See the link below for the manual.

http://www.carnationsoftware.com/car...Control-en.pdf

Comments regarding entering names and numbers..

YOU CAN ONLY PUT IN ONE NAME IN A SESSION. YOU HAVE TO TURN OFF THE VOICE SYSTEM AND RESTART IT EACH NUMBER.

Making a call:

YOU MUST FOLLOW THE "LONG-FORM SCRIPT FROM THE MANUAL EXACTLY!!!

The short-form doesn't work at all.

LINKING:

Linking to more than one cell phone at a time does work OK - once the computer has time to wipe its memory and start over.
If both are in the car it links to the one linked to singly most recently. (Convoluted sentence - interpretation follows.)

Car last driven by wife, her phone linked. This trip both phones in car - links to wife's phone over my phone.
Turn off wife's phone and it links to mine. Voice actuated with numbers stored in the car's memory work with both.

By the way, my nickname is GRUMPY 2!

Dave
 

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Just a quick note to add/clarify on pairing to multiple phones... you can store pairing information for up to 4 phones, and the vehicle will attempt to connect to them in the order they were paired to the vehicle (not based on which phone was last paired to the car).
 
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