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      05-04-2013, 04:21 PM   #1
Meccos
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Navigation

Are there others out there who think the navigation on the M3 (actually on all BMWs) is horrible? My wife has a lexus and the navigation is so much easier to use.

The BMW navigation never labels the streets I want or need to see, nor does it allow me to move the map around easily. I basically just end up using my cell phone when i need navigation.

Is there some sort of software update to improve this???
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      05-04-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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Yeah it's called update to the most current maps and firmware
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      05-04-2013, 04:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meccos View Post
Are there others out there who think the navigation on the M3 (actually on all BMWs) is horrible? My wife has a lexus and the navigation is so much easier to use.

The BMW navigation never labels the streets I want or need to see, nor does it allow me to move the map around easily. I basically just end up using my cell phone when i need navigation.

Is there some sort of software update to improve this???
I've ranted several times about how lousy it is.

Basically, it about as backward as SatNav was in the late 2000's. I think a bit of history is helpful, too, and anyone with better knowledge is welcome to jump in and correct me: About 2004, the "Becker" Division of Harman-Kardon began making portable SatNav units. Becker is based in southwest Germany, and continues to sell a bunch of audio and info-tainment stuff to German-based OEMS. They aren't exclusive, and the OEM's aren't exclusive in return.... meaning sometimes BMW's have Harmon-Kardon speakers or head units, sometimes not. Well, the Becker line of portable SatNav was revolutionary when it came out. The screens and the durability of the units were great; but the controls pretty counter-intuitive. Concurrently, Harman's USA- based unit "JBL" made a consumer version, which had better controls, but was not durable. They blended the two styles together, but unfortunately the worst of both was retained, and so you had a unit with controls that sucked, a battery that was lousy, and a map-display that was...clunky.

I think this became the model for BMW's SatNav. They see a cash-cow with this where they charge ridiculous price for SatNav, and didn't invest anything other than 24-month map updates.

Compare that to Navigon, another German-based organization (now owned by Garmin). Navigon created portables, but found their new profitability in consumer owned smart-phones. The Navigon SatNav on the iPhone is incredibly great. I've used the USA versions, the European versions, and the Australia versions thousands of times. And they keep getting better with new functionality, etc. "Fresh Maps" updates each 3 months, and that cost...something like a one-time USD 25 charge. Overall, all the extras and updates and original cost for Navigon North America was ~$130 when it was more expensive. Compare that to the recent $220+ MAP upgrade I paid to BMW.

Almost EVERYTHING about Navigon on the iPhone is absolutely superior to the BMW SatNav. There are so many individuals features that I don't want to bore anyone further with a gigantic list.

So, I have a windshield mount for out-of-town travel where I stick the iPhone 5; and just use the built-in BMW SatNav for in-city travel to catch the traffic Triangle of Doom. (That's another single area, for example. GPS SatNav doesn't really re-route for traffic issues; Navigon absolutely handles this better.... )

A wondrous situation would be a hack that lets the video output of the iPhone in Navigon take-over the BMW Control Display.

Okay, rant off...temporarily.

Yes, BMW SatNav was great several years ago; now it's substandard.

Update 1: The most recent software update is a map update, and it does nothing for functionality.


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Last edited by VMcV3y; 05-04-2013 at 04:39 PM. Reason: Updated (1)
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      05-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMcV3y View Post
I've ranted several times about how lousy it is.......
nice post. i appreciate the background info....thanks!
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      05-04-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
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Having come from the 4:3 nav in the E46 and then upgrading to the 16:9 display and the upgrading to the DVD-based Mk4 computer, I'd say the E9x CIC nav is significantly better. Yes, most of the Japanese car navigation systems will beat the pants off the BMW nav, but this is a measurable improvement over the navs of past and the first generation of iDrive-based navs.
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      05-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #6
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I love the display and functionality of the iDrive, however, whenever
I need to find a point of interest I always use my iPhone because the car nav is
way to convoluted and confusing.

Most of the time I use Google maps on my laptop and send it to the car.

Overall I am very satisfied with it.
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      05-04-2013, 06:33 PM   #7
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it's alright, it gets the job done, especially if you know the voice commands. moving around on the map, agreed, the Acura and Lexus systems are a lot easier to use.
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      05-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiesback View Post
I love the display and functionality of the iDrive, however, whenever
I need to find a point of interest I always use my iPhone because the car nav is
way to convoluted and confusing.
.
Same for me. I never use the nav, so much easier to just pull up directions in the iPhone.
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      05-04-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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To me navigation is navigation. It gets the job done regardless. Just keep it updated. I am not in my M3 enough to complain about it. It is a non-issue for a lot of us.
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      05-04-2013, 07:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alee0729
Having come from the 4:3 nav in the E46 and then upgrading to the 16:9 display and the upgrading to the DVD-based Mk4 computer, I'd say the E9x CIC nav is significantly better. Yes, most of the Japanese car navigation systems will beat the pants off the BMW nav, but this is a measurable improvement over the navs of past and the first generation of iDrive-based navs.
I was going to say this. Try the 4:3 CD based nav from yesteryear. Or any Honda nav.
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      05-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiesback View Post
I love the display and functionality of the iDrive, however, whenever
I need to find a point of interest I always use my iPhone because the car nav is
way to convoluted and confusing.

Most of the time I use Google maps on my laptop and send it to the car.

Overall I am very satisfied with it.
I have never tried this. Actually didnt know we could do this...
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      05-04-2013, 07:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spr View Post
Yeah it's called update to the most current maps and firmware
and then?
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      05-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
odiesback
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meccos View Post
I have never tried this. Actually didnt know we could do this...
It's a neat feature from BMW Assist.

http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...AssistFAQ.aspx
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      05-04-2013, 09:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spr View Post
Yeah it's called update to the most current maps and firmware
I'm not sure what you mean by a firmware update but I have updated to 2013a Maps and it still sucks. Like others, I just use Google Maps with my iphone via bluetooth. Works much better.
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      05-04-2013, 09:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meccos
Are there others out there who think the navigation on the M3 (actually on all BMWs) is horrible? My wife has a lexus and the navigation is so much easier to use.

The BMW navigation never labels the streets I want or need to see, nor does it allow me to move the map around easily. I basically just end up using my cell phone when i need navigation.

Is there some sort of software update to improve this???
+1

My wife also has a lexus and its nav is much more intuitive & useful. I hardly ever use mine.
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      05-05-2013, 08:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meccos View Post
Are there others out there who think the navigation on the M3 (actually on all BMWs) is horrible? My wife has a lexus and the navigation is so much easier to use.

The BMW navigation never labels the streets I want or need to see, nor does it allow me to move the map around easily. I basically just end up using my cell phone when i need navigation.

Is there some sort of software update to improve this???
The navigation system on my 09 E90 M3 is the worst I have seen in any car. My Acura MDX is the best.

The BMW system does NOT tell you the name of the street you are on!!--You have to try to twist your head to read the name in small print off the map. This can get you killed. It should have the name of the street you are driving on displayed horizontally in big letters across the bottom of the screen, as in my MDX.

BTW, a software upgrade will just add new streets to the system. The design of the screen is unchanged. I confirmed this a few days ago from my BMW service manager, so I did not order the $500 update.
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      05-05-2013, 08:47 PM   #17
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agree...good for local driving, but not for points of interest or long trips...
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      05-05-2013, 08:50 PM   #18
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I'm confused by the complaints regarding lack of street names. Are you guys using the "arrow display" map view with the directional arrows and street names or are you trying to follow navigation instructions while using one of the other map views? - which I could understand to be difficult (but user error).
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      05-09-2013, 09:38 PM   #19
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Big pro of sucky nav system is that it's a blast to be lost or directed to wrong address in an M3.
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      05-25-2013, 12:48 PM   #20
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I do require a reliable NAV system for my work - yes I know, a M3 "business car". Yes - it's fun and starts a lot of profitable conversations with clients and prospects.

I have a 2011 E92 with NAV system. Agree overall BMW NAV system is inferior to far cheaper and more reliable mobile map apps but I just accepted that - but expect a minimum level of utility and reliability for what I paid.

2 BIG rants :

1. When I input a far away destination and engage from a familiar area, the system is many time sending me - from my local point of departure - in opposite directions and/or unbelievably circuitous routes on surface streets when a major freeway onramp is nearby. Solution has been to turn off NAV and re-engage when I am closer to the unfamiliar destination area. Just a real inconvenience however.

2. In downtown high rise areas the map display (without NAV directions engaged) is showing me literally on streets that are blocks away from where I really am - traveling in direction not related to where I am actually headed. This can literally go on for blocks until I am out of the downtown area and - shazam - the cursor suddenly clicks on to my real location. Interesting Google maps doesn't have this signal problem in downtown high rise areas. Thought this was an antennae problem but BMW service says it is not (Hmmm).

I discussed both of these issues with my BMW service advisor and he essentially said "hardware" is working correctly - I probably have a "software" problem that I need to discuss directly with software provider.

I just love computer technology (which now includes every automobile out there) - the hardware people throw the software people under the bus and vice versa.

The BMW NAV system is truly an expensive, high profit margin "toy" when compared to much cheaper, higher tech and more reliable alternatives. I just have a tough time balancing my iPhone or iPad in may lap, not being able to see the screen clearly due to sun glare and bad eyesight - and also enduring the driving distraction (a real safety issue in my mind).
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      06-08-2013, 10:55 AM   #21
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Hey, how do you turn the sound up on the Nav? Example: When I'm playing music through my phone or anything, the music mutes a bit but her voice is low..

(I know I could probably go to the manual to find this but I got to get my first post out of the way.)

Thanks in Advance!
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      06-08-2013, 02:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd3 View Post
Hey, how do you turn the sound up on the Nav? Example: When I'm playing music through my phone or anything, the music mutes a bit but her voice is low..

(I know I could probably go to the manual to find this but I got to get my first post out of the way.)

Thanks in Advance!
Turn the volume knob while the Nav is talking. Then save it to your memory/key Fob as I believe it will o back to the original volume you had it set at.
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