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      12-09-2011, 12:54 AM   #1
ffejk
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iPhone

What is the device that cools the iphone, charges it and connects it to the idrive? Is there a charge for it on the 2012's?
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      12-09-2011, 01:02 AM   #2
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Are you referring to the dock in the center arm rest.
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      12-09-2011, 01:08 AM   #3
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Yes...Do I really need to buy it to connect my iPhone to the idrive or can I just a USB cable?

Like is it really worth it?
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      12-09-2011, 02:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ffejk View Post
Yes...Do I really need to buy it to connect my iPhone to the idrive or can I just a USB cable?

Like is it really worth it?
Personally, I connect with Bluetooth, and plug it into the USB. I had to download and install the app BMW Connected, but that's it. It works great. I don't think the very expensive dock station is worth it... IMO anyways.
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      12-09-2011, 07:56 AM   #5
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I have the iPhone cradle adapter and rarely use it because I have a case on my iPhone4s. It's a pain to remove the case each time I need to use the cradle. I just use the USB port. If you use a case on your phone, save yourself $250 and just use the USB port.
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      12-09-2011, 09:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffejk View Post
Yes...Do I really need to buy it to connect my iPhone to the idrive or can I just a USB cable?

Like is it really worth it?
I picked up my 2012 M3 last month and the iPhone was synchronized with the iDrive via Bluetooth. My complete address book was uploaded to the iDrive when this was done.

The centre council under my arm rest has the iPhone dock and I can connect it for charging. I've not used the dock station as of yet since I only would use it if I go on long drives.
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      12-09-2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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I agree with the posts above. I have a docking station and have only used on long drives when I need my phone to charge. Most times I get in the car, my phone stays in my pocket. I would order the apps package if I were you.
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      12-09-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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If you do NOT have BMW Apps, the only real benefit to the dock is that it keeps your USB port free to charge and/or play music from another device, like your passenger's iPhone. It also keeps your phone more securely mounted if you're going to be driving hard, but that's pretty minor. Some have claimed improved antenna reception using the dock, which the 6NR/6NF option supports, but the iPhone doesn't have an external antenna pin connector in the dock, so at best it would be an improvement from signal induction through the baseplate. And lastly the new iPhone 4/4S cradle has a fan to address thermal concerns, though I actually managed to have my phone overheat even while it was in the cradle with the fan running. When I first took delivery of my car and heard the fan buzzing I thought something was wrong with the stereo; took me a while to figure out it was the cradle since the fan runs even while the car is off.

If you DO have BMW Apps, then buying the Media cradle (NOT the Music cradle) will allow you to use PlugIn and play videos from your device (the latter only while the car is stopped). All other BMW Apps features (BMW Connected, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, etc) are available with the standard USB connection. I have both BMW Apps and the Media cradle and honestly it's not a big deal. PlugIn is kind of cool to see once and show off to friends, but honestly iDrive's iPod/iPhone navigation is so good that I never use it. I don't care about video playback and I DEFINITELY don't care about Twitter and Facebook. Unless you really like Genius Playlists, you probably won't either. And actually the PlugIn and video features are no longer working, I think because of my rearview camera, but I haven't bothered to test that theory by disconnecting the camera because even if that turns out to be the reason, I'd still rather have the camera. Everything else works fine though.

At the end of the day I usually just stream music over Bluetooth, a Combox feature which I never expected to care about due to battery drain and audio quality concerns but which has turned out to be a godsend. I was always annoyed at having to take off my iPhone case to snap it into a cradle and/or forgetting my phone in the center console, so for shorter trips Bluetooth Audio is perfect. Plus the iOS 5 update allowed the iPhone to send track information over Bluetooth, which makes it even nicer. The only thing you can't do is browse your library to switch playlists and such, which is unfortunate because iDrive supports that but the iPhone doesn't (you need AVRCP 1.4 and the iPhone only goes up to 1.3 on iOS 5).
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Last edited by jphughan; 12-09-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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      12-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #9
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I took my case off to use the dock. I love Pandora & the only way to get it with full control is with the dock. When docked there are no commercials I guess because of the BMW sponsership. I like having the album cover art which I think is only displayed when docked. Mog is also now a BMW app. Of course, BMW connected app only available when docked.
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      12-09-2011, 10:51 AM   #10
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I took my case off to use the dock. I love Pandora & the only way to get it with full control is with the dock. When docked there are no commercials I guess because of the BMW sponsership. I like having the album cover art which I think is only displayed when docked. Mog is also now a BMW app. Of course, BMW connected app only available when docked.
None of that is true. Pandora can be fully controlled and display album art through standard USB, no cradle required -- though annoyingly it won't show album art in the Entertainment Details split screen like playing local music does, only when Pandora is in the main iDrive window. BMW Connected also has full functionality through USB. And I've had Pandora commercials regardless of connection method.
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      12-09-2011, 11:20 AM   #11
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Yes, if you don't have 6NR/BMW Apps, the cradle is exactly the same as plugging it in via the usb cable. If you use a case on the iphone then definitely, don't get the cradle. In my case, I have 6NR/Apps, don't use a case, and have coded the videoinmotion so that I can play some vids on my iphone. One thing I didn't realize was that, unlike DVDs that you can zoom to full screen, you cannot zoom in with videos on your iphone. So I don't really think it was worth 200 bucks, but at least my gf can also charge her phone at the same time via the usb.
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      12-09-2011, 12:01 PM   #12
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Actually, the cradle does do a few unique things.

1. It lets you play videos
2. It lets you use iPod plugin which gives you the cover flow view
3. I believe it also connects you to the cars antenna for better reception

With that said, I don't bother using a case on my phone anymore, but I don't bother using the cradle for short trips.
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      12-09-2011, 12:42 PM   #13
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awesome thanks everyone. I do use a case and dont go on long trips (other than the typical LA commute), so you guys just save me a couple hundred bucks!!
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      12-09-2011, 01:10 PM   #14
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OK, I have a really dumb question. This mainly stems from me having an ED delivered car, and being my first BMW.

If I'm using 6NR/Media cradle/etc. with iPhone, do I still have to pair the phone and car via Bluetooth to make/receive calls? Seems like it should do this through the 30 pin cable, but of course I have no idea. And if calls/text go over Bluetooth, how does the car no not to stream the audio over BT and use the USB/dock interface for music, instead?

I pick up my car at PCD one week from today. I already have a Media cradle coming with me, along with iPhone4.
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      12-09-2011, 02:50 PM   #15
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OK, I have a really dumb question. This mainly stems from me having an ED delivered car, and being my first BMW.

If I'm using 6NR/Media cradle/etc. with iPhone, do I still have to pair the phone and car via Bluetooth to make/receive calls? Seems like it should do this through the 30 pin cable, but of course I have no idea. And if calls/text go over Bluetooth, how does the car no not to stream the audio over BT and use the USB/dock interface for music, instead?

I pick up my car at PCD one week from today. I already have a Media cradle coming with me, along with iPhone4.
If you want to make/receive calls, yes you still have to pair via Bluetooth because there's nothing in the 30-pin dock connector that supports call audio and signalling. A side benefit of always having calls over Bluetooth is that you can continue the call when you turn the car off and remove it from the cradle, or if your passenger wants to plug his/her device in. For text messages, currently only BlackBerries support sending text messages over Bluetooth and then only in Combox-equipped cars.

When you plug your phone into the dock or the USB connector, iDrive puts up a notification that Bluetooth Audio on that device has been disabled to make sure the audio comes over the dock (standard Bluetooth for calls continues to work though). When you disconnect it, you have to go into your phone's Bluetooth settings and re-check the Audio checkbox. Personally I think it's lame that that happens because you can choose the USB, cradle, and Bluetooth devices separately in iDrive, but who knows maybe there's a good reason for implementing it that way besides minimizing confusion for inattentive users. At the very least it'd have been nice for Bluetooth Audio to be re-enabled when the phone is disconnected, though.
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      12-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
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If you want to make/receive calls, yes you still have to pair via Bluetooth because there's nothing in the 30-pin dock connector that supports call audio and signalling. A side benefit of always having calls over Bluetooth is that you can continue the call when you turn the car off and remove it from the cradle, or if your passenger wants to plug his/her device in. Text messages are not sent over Bluetooth; currently only BlackBerries support that on Combox-equipped cars.
I appreciate the clarification there.

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When you plug your phone into the dock or the USB connector, iDrive puts up a notification that Bluetooth Audio on that device has been disabled to make sure the audio comes over the dock (standard Bluetooth for calls continues to work though). When you disconnect it, you have to go into your phone's Bluetooth settings and re-check the Audio checkbox. Personally I think it's lame that that happens because you can choose the USB, cradle, and Bluetooth devices separately in iDrive, but who knows maybe there's a good reason for implementing it that way besides minimizing confusion for inattentive users. At the very least it'd have been nice for Bluetooth Audio to be re-enabled when the phone is disconnected, though.
If I'm understanding you, you only have have to re-check BT audio if you plan on using BT audio with other devices? I don't have any need for BT audio via my phone.
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      12-09-2011, 03:10 PM   #17
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If I'm understanding you, you only have have to re-check BT audio if you plan on using BT audio with other devices? I don't have any need for BT audio via my phone.
Not quite. When you pair any device via Bluetooth, iDrive checks which functions the device supports over Bluetooth and allows you to select which ones you actually want to enable on that device: Phone, additional phone (difference detailed in the latest 6 Series manual), and Audio. Those settings are per-device, and you're not required to enable everything that the device supports if you don't care to use it. But if you enable Audio on a device and subsequently plug it into your dock/USB connector, the Audio option is unchecked automatically for that specific device. Then when you're done using the device plugged in, you just go back and re-enable it just for that device. But for example you could have your device plugged in and still use Bluetooth audio to pull music from a SEPARATE device at the same time.

Of course if you have no intention of using BT Audio ever on any device, just don't enable it when you make the initial pairing and you'll never have to worry about any of this. But I'd recommend using it, because as I mentioned above, I initially didn't bother with it but once I did just to experiment I became hooked.
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      12-09-2011, 03:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Not quite. When you pair any device via Bluetooth, iDrive checks which functions the device supports over Bluetooth and allows you to select which ones you actually want to enable on that device: Phone, additional phone (difference detailed in the latest 6 Series manual), and Audio. Those settings are per-device, and you're not required to enable everything that the device supports if you don't care to use it. But if you enable Audio on a device and subsequently plug it into your dock/USB connector, the Audio option is unchecked automatically for that specific device. Then when you're done using the device plugged in, you just go back and re-enable it just for that device. But for example you could have your device plugged in and still use Bluetooth audio to pull music from a SEPARATE device at the same time.
I see now. Doesn't look like I'll be that situation (I hope!). My car is the only place I will use BT for the iPhone, and all audio should be handled via Media cradle + 6NR.
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      12-11-2011, 10:31 PM   #19
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So I was reading over this, and have a (possibly dumb) question. I have a 2011 E92, without the iphone dock. I use an aux cable to connect my iphone to the port in the middle console. I have my phone synched for phone calls via BT. Is there a way via BT or the USB drive in the dash to have the car play the music stored on my phone??
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      12-20-2011, 01:32 AM   #20
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I usually use the USB port. Sometimes i use an aux cable to connect my iphone to the port in the middle console of car dvd
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      12-20-2011, 09:06 AM   #21
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The dock has been such a pain for me. Over half the time it's not recognized. Just a thorn in my side.
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