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Nexus6

Would like to connect iPhone 6 please

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Hi I’ve just purchased a 2002 330Ci (Aug build date) with the business head unit and cassette ( so NOT with satnav) with 6 cd in the boot. I’ve just replaced the standard multifunction steering wheel with an M3 SMG multifunction wheel ( not sure if that’s significant or not but thought I ought to mention it in case it provides any other ICE connection improvements/ complications  with the different slip ring). 

Apologies since I expect this has been covered before but my head is spinning after trying a few searches so I’m hoping some kind soul with the technical knowledge can help to clarify and point me in the right direction please?

Ideally want to be able to make/ receive calls and use the appropriate steering wheel buttons for this if possible, or best alternative connection. If I can also access the music on my iPhone that’s a real bonus - but at least I have the 6 Cd otherwise.

I’m not especially competent with electrics although my son-in-law is and could probably do whatever is necessary but he’s very busy work wise and has my two grandkids. So if there’s a simply DIY solution that I can do do much the better.

I presume that professional ICE shops like Road Radio wouldn’t be interested in something like this as it isn’t very profitable or I’d happily pay them a reasonable fee for fitting something like this?

Thanks in advance for any solutions that you can provide👍

 

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In my humble opinion the best option is to replace the standard head unit with an aftermarket one. All the bits are available to enable you to make and recieve calls, retain all your steering wheel functionality and connect your iphone to play music. 

I'm not really familiar with the phone side of things but I've just bought an Alpine head unit, fascia adaptor and all the relevant wiring harness adaptors for £200. Not complicated electrically to fit but fitting all the extra wire behind the dash is fun.

This is the unit I bought:

https://www.dynamicsounds.co.uk/alpine-ute-93dab-mechless-digital-media-receiver-usb-dab-bluetooth-ipod-aerial.html

Pretty much does everything you need.

This is it fitted

 

20180401_185405.jpg

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Thanks for offering a solution and funnily enough my wife’s E46 saloon has an Alpine head unit in it which was in it when we bought that 6 years ago and it has a iphone/iPod connector in the glovebox ( which is useful, but too awkward a location imo); so I totally understand that it provides a straightforward solution for my own Coupe also.

Unfortunately I’m not a big fan of that look though and so i want to keep the original  oem head unit.

Since my posting I have discovered that it is reasonably easy to connect an adapter in place of the cd connection at the rear of the head unit which would sort the music side of it ( although the 6 cd facility i can easily live with anyway ). 

So I suppose what I’m really wanting more than anything else is to be able to link and integrate my iPhone 6 with the multifunction steering wheel controls.

Again, since posting, my research has shown that all slightly later models had a Bluetooth module fitted ( even if not connected up on all models) which provided such a facilty - from what I understand so far anyway?

So I’m now trying to find out if I can retrofit a BMW Bluetooth module to provide my desired iPhone hands free facilty? If this also provides access to my iPhone music as well then that would be an added bonus.

Whilst I appreciate that there are various aftermarket hands free kits available ( such as Parrot), I do really want the oem look in conjunction with the steering wheel controls.

Thanks again for offering an alternative solution nonetheless👏.

 

 

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I understand the desire to retain the oem look but in my experience trying to upgrade with BMW stuff can be pricey. I had a factory satnav in my last E46 and upgrading it to the big screen one using 2nd hand parts was a lot more expensive than I first imagined. In fact any high end oem ICE seems to be worth a few quid. I once sold a Ford in dash CD changer head unit for £70 on ebay. I was amazed that people would pay so much for a 6 year old 2nd hand head unit.

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I have OEM bluetooth..

It might still work on the iPhone as they haven't updated to the latest bluetooth stack but I don't use my iPhone with my car. I prefer my Android device - and they updated the bluetooth stack years ago rendering my car BT useless!

The iPhone 6 might work (for now) but at some point soon, an update will stop it working too.

Aftermarket is the only way to go. They use the latest bluetooth bits so it'll work for much longer. If you want OEM look - buy an Eonon/Dynavin type HU and get SatNav too.

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No idea what you’re talking about and in any case I’m not interested in aftermarket stuff, just want to know if and how I can connect an iPhone 6 - mostly for hands free and using existing HU and steering wheel controls. 

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I think the point momo is making that you may be able to get the bits to connect your iphone 6 now but at some point soon it will stop working. I rarely use bluetooth to be honest though. 

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2 hours ago, Dr Evil said:

I think the point momo is making that you may be able to get the bits to connect your iphone 6 now but at some point soon it will stop working. I rarely use bluetooth to be honest though. 

Thanks for trying to clarify that a little,  but I’d still like to assess the technical details of that option so that I can decide whether it’s worthwhile to me personally. Cost and complexity are both aspects for me to consider but I can’t do that without knowing what’s involved. As for BT obsolescence through what momo and yourself allude to presumably being future Apple software updates (?) then that’s an unknown quantity of course, although still a risk factor I myself may well be prepared to accept. 

So in short, I’d like to know what’s involved in installing such an option in terms of what BT module type/s and connection method if anyone can provide that? 

Also id simply like to know if this BT option is the only OEM-type solution open, as seems to be the case now I think 🤔. i.e. is there no hard wire solution for physically plugging an iPhone in to connect up to the steering wheel controls?

 

Edited by Nexus6
Typo

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6 hours ago, Nexus6 said:

Thanks for trying to clarify that a little,  but I’d still like to assess the technical details of that option so that I can decide whether it’s worthwhile to me personally. Cost and complexity are both aspects for me to consider but I can’t do that without knowing what’s involved. As for BT obsolescence through what momo and yourself allude to presumably being future Apple software updates (?) then that’s an unknown quantity of course, although still a risk factor I myself may well be prepared to accept...

 

But yet you can't figure out what I was talking about? :huh:

Good luck! I'll look forward to your "OEM is too expensive, what aftermarket options are there" post in a few weeks, like everyone else who has asked the same question..

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20 minutes ago, momo said:

But yet you can't figure out what I was talking about? :huh:

Good luck! I'll look forward to your "OEM is too expensive, what aftermarket options are there" post in a few weeks, like everyone else who has asked the same question..

I didn’t ask or want your opinion on what I wanted, just whether what I wanted could be achieved - plain and simple - now, and in view of your attitude, I think your comments are unwarranted and unwanted so please leave this thread to those willing to provide what I’m actually asking for okay?

Edited by Nexus6
Typo

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On 23/04/2018 at 03:19, Nexus6 said:

...

Thanks in advance for any solutions that you can provide👍

 

 You asked for a solution - I gave you one! If you don't like it - move on! Have you never used a public forum before?

I basically reiterated what Dr Evil said. I don't see you giving him grief. The first response I gave you is the very same response given on this forum HUNDREDS of times! You are NOT the first person to ask this question. If you really want to progress getting OEM retrofitted - go ahead and spunk £1k plus getting it done! More fool you! An Android HU can be bought for £200 and give you everything AND MORE.

In light of your attitude - you are now on my blocked list. Good luck getting help from other members on this forum. Continue being a tool to someone else.

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harry hills just entered the room...FIIIIGGGGGHHHHHTTTTT!

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😂 He’d lose - really  I promise - but seriously all I wanted was some positive advice and info and then an a******e with an attitude like that comes along and tries to sidetrack the issue entirely and just doesn’t offer anything useful, just abuse 🙄. 

Ultimately it’s something that I’d like to find out about but can easily live without - it ( and he) are really not that important 😈

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Is this guy for real? Take a seat granddad.. :lol:

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......yes, shame really, but I guess some people just get the wrong end of the stick......hopefully😈....😂

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ha ha ha,,i used yo be a bad lad in my old wild west days..then i got into boxing,,then it got wilder,,but one thing ive learned is,,do not go in blind..as the op has done,,he doesnt know anyone from adam on here..but i can say one thing,,he aint the sharpest tool on the box,emphasis on "tool"....ooops i aint learned nothing ha ha ha ha ...damn i phones cause loads of trouble

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On 25/04/2018 at 20:47, momo said:

It might still work on the iPhone as they haven't updated to the latest bluetooth stack but I don't use my iPhone with my car. I prefer my Android device - and they updated the bluetooth stack years ago rendering my car BT useless!

That's not really the case. iPhones have always had a much more up to date Bluetooth stack than Android. It's the fact that the Android Bluetooth implementation has always been a bit s**te that stops it working well with the BMW system. 

Ian.

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Not quite, let me be more specific.

From what I understand it's because Android has updated sooner than Apple to use the low power mode available in the later Bluetooth stacks. It tells the phone to drop the energy consumption if Bluetooth isn't actively used. As the car BT modules are so old now they don't know how to handle that request so continually connect/disconnect/connect/disconnect etc.. Rendering them useless.

Android 7 uses the latest Bluetooth v5+. They updated to the newer BT version in Android v5 so stopped working years ago.

According to Apple's own tech specs (https://support.apple.com/en_US/specs/iphone) - My iPhone 6s uses 4.2. iPhone 7's used 4.2 too.
It's only the latest - The iPhone X and 8 use 5+ now. So they may no longer work with OEM BMW Bluetooth on our cars (a quick search shows its starting to happen: https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1437673)

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You’re confusing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) with what’s generally known as Bluetooth Classic. 

BLE was never really intended to replace Classic. It’s generally used to link things like heart rate monitors and other fitness devices. Sure, it’s used for many other applications, but the profiles required for the e46 phone system, and all audio streaming, requires profiles that are only available in Bluetooth Classic (PBAB, HFP etc). This is where Android has been massively behind the curve. It’s only with the release of Oreo that Android was able to browse media content over AVRCP. You could do this on Apple devices for years.

I don’t know exactly what Android did to break compatibility with the E46, but I’m pretty sure it’s a poor implementation of the Bluetooth Classic profiles, rather than the BLE stack.

Ian.

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Probably, but it was the introduction of BLE which broke it. Could be poor implementation, yes. Could be that these ULF's have been reclassified under these BT profiles so that they have to use LE. I don't know.

But as you can see, it's starting to effect the iPhone8/X's now too so unlikely that it's just an Android f'up! Tbh it doesn't matter who f'ed up earlier than the other - they're both broken now! :lol:

The bottom line is if you have an Android post 4.3 and an iPhone 8 or above - it's probably not going to work with your E46 BMW BT. lol

(I say probably because there's rumours the later Gen13 ULF still works! Not sure there's many people who want to pay £400 for one to find out though.. :) )

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That 'arsehole' happens to be a long standing and respected member of this club, offering help and advice to plenty of people without complaint.

 

Nevertheless, I'll break the situation down for you as simple as possible.

  • You can retrofit a bluetooth ULF. This will give you CALLS ONLY.
  • A2DP (music streaming) is NOT SUPPORTED through any E46 OEM implementation.
  • Android is NOT SUPPORTED with the ULF. This is because the bluetooth implementation in the ULF doesn't understand a feature set of the Android bluetooth stack so drops the connection. It was possible to hack this on Android 4.4 and 5.0.

 

To get music through your car speakers with the stock tape/MD/CD headunit you have to use either:

  • OEM AUX input for your factory headunit, all controls bar volume through phone
  • Aftermarket unit which uses CD changer input. Controllable through steering wheel controls, though bluetooth voice calls offered by these units will not interrupt the radio/cd/tape, you have to manually switch to the CD changer input when a call comes in.

To get everything you want, you need to go aftermarket, or live with downsides to any implementation.

It's worth noting that with my experience of the Gen 8 ULF, the call sound quality was terrible, plenty of audio interference with hiss.

My preferred solution would be a Parrot MKi9000 unit connected with a Unika box for steering wheel control integration if you really must stick with the stock headunit.

My own solution was to purchase an OEM style Android headunit, which has now been in the car and working perfectly well for 2 years.

Edited by dontpannic

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7 hours ago, dontpannic said:

That 'arsehole' happens to be a long standing and respected member of this club, offering help and advice to plenty of people without complaint.

 

Nevertheless, I'll break the situation down for you as simple as possible.

  • You can retrofit a bluetooth ULF. This will give you CALLS ONLY.
  • A2DP (music streaming) is NOT SUPPORTED through any E46 OEM implementation.
  • Android is NOT SUPPORTED with the ULF. This is because the bluetooth implementation in the ULF doesn't understand a feature set of the Android bluetooth stack so drops the connection. It was possible to hack this on Android 4.4 and 5.0.

 

To get music through your car speakers with the stock tape/MD/CD headunit you have to use either:

  • OEM AUX input for your factory headunit, all controls bar volume through phone
  • Aftermarket unit which uses CD changer input. Controllable through steering wheel controls, though bluetooth voice calls offered by these units will not interrupt the radio/cd/tape, you have to manually switch to the CD changer input when a call comes in.

To get everything you want, you need to go aftermarket, or live with downsides to any implementation.

It's worth noting that with my experience of the Gen 8 ULF, the call sound quality was terrible, plenty of audio interference with hiss.

My preferred solution would be a Parrot MKi9000 unit connected with a Unika box for steering wheel control integration if you really must stick with the stock headunit.

My own solution was to purchase an OEM style Android headunit, which has now been in the car and working perfectly well for 2 years.

Thanks for most of your input.

As for your comment about momo, despite what you say about him being “ respected “, he was insulting and rude to me in his reply so I don’t find that acceptable and he is therefore still an as****e as far as I’m concerned unless he’s big enough to apologise.

Regarding your own technical explanation that has helped to clarify things to a greater extent, so thanks for that. 

Interestingly through continued researching/ shopping I’ve found a further possible solution - Grom BT3?  🤔 -although I need to find out just how good the quality is ( mostly for the phone call aspect) so I may well get shot down in flames but it does seem to provide the answer to my original question about achieving both phone and music access through existing oem HU using multifunction steering wheel controls - and basic unit is £130 via Amazon so neither expensive or cheap. 

I’m wondering of course why this hasn’t been mentioned as a viable solution so far, but perhaps its fairly new to the market?

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5 hours ago, Nexus6 said:

I’m wondering of course why this hasn’t been mentioned as a viable solution so far, but perhaps its fairly new to the market?

To be honest, the way you come across, I'm surprised you've got as much help as you have.

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11 hours ago, Nexus6 said:

Thanks for most of your input.

As for your comment about momo, despite what you say about him being “ respected “, he was insulting and rude to me in his reply so I don’t find that acceptable and he is therefore still an as****e as far as I’m concerned unless he’s big enough to apologise.

Regarding your own technical explanation that has helped to clarify things to a greater extent, so thanks for that. 

Interestingly through continued researching/ shopping I’ve found a further possible solution - Grom BT3?  🤔 -although I need to find out just how good the quality is ( mostly for the phone call aspect) so I may well get shot down in flames but it does seem to provide the answer to my original question about achieving both phone and music access through existing oem HU using multifunction steering wheel controls - and basic unit is £130 via Amazon so neither expensive or cheap. 

I’m wondering of course why this hasn’t been mentioned as a viable solution so far, but perhaps its fairly new to the market?

The Grom afaik comes under the aftermarket unit which uses cd changer input category - I don’t think these units interrupt other sources in order to make or receive calls, so if listening to FM and a call comes in you would have to switch to the cd changer input first on the radio before the steering wheel controls become active in order to answer it. 

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