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      05-16-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
awwwyeah206
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Phone Cradle Owners

I'm pretty torn on purchasing the phone cradle. I do have both the assist and apps options. The iphone/USB seems to work fine for me as long as I create a Playlist for every album so I don't have to use the clunky search option. And I can't find any use cases for taking advantage of the video. Reception enhancement is intriguing but I'm rarely otp in the car.

The biggest issue I see? I know this is bad but I'm always monitoring emails and texts when I drive. Do you guys miss this using the cradle? Also, in heavy traffic situations especially using local streets I use the Waze application instead of the bimmer's GPS. It navigates much better around traffic.

Anything I'm missing trying to justify the $250 price tag on the cradle?
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      05-16-2012, 12:49 PM   #2
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It also gives faster charging. As for the improved reception...how much better can it be? I have never had an issue with phone reception in the car so unless BMW have done something to purporsely make reception worse without the cradle (which we'd have heard about by now if it was an issue), you'll be fine.

Don't read text and email in the phone....or if you do, get the option BMW offers that reads them to you.
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      05-16-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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My cradle provides at least two extra bars when phone is attached. it charges super fast as well. I also like the integration of Pandora and MOG radio. the price tag hurt initially but is has since been forgotten
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      05-16-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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Don't read text and email in the phone....or if you do, get the option BMW offers that reads them to you.
Can you elaborate on this one? I didn't know that there was an app to have iDrive read texts to you....
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      05-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awwwyeah206
I'm pretty torn on purchasing the phone cradle. I do have both the assist and apps options. The iphone/USB seems to work fine for me as long as I create a Playlist for every album so I don't have to use the clunky search option. And I can't find any use cases for taking advantage of the video. Reception enhancement is intriguing but I'm rarely otp in the car.

The biggest issue I see? I know this is bad but I'm always monitoring emails and texts when I drive. Do you guys miss this using the cradle? Also, in heavy traffic situations especially using local streets I use the Waze application instead of the bimmer's GPS. It navigates much better around traffic.

Anything I'm missing trying to justify the $250 price tag on the cradle?
Hi, I just received my AW 328i today and I was a little surprised to find that BMW apps worked without the need for the cradle. All i did was connect the standard iPhone cable to the USB port in the centre console, it prompted me to download the BMW Connect App from the app store and if by magic I had the apps section appear in iDrive. Now I am in the UK but would be interested to see if any other of the guys in the US have had similar experiences.

Thanks
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      05-16-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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Hi, I just received my AW 328i today and I was a little surprised to find that BMW apps worked without the need for the cradle. All i did was connect the standard iPhone cable to the USB port in the centre console, it prompted me to download the BMW Connect App from the app store and if by magic I had the apps section appear in iDrive. Now I am in the UK but would be interested to see if any other of the guys in the US have had similar experiences.

Thanks
That would definitely be my preferred mode of operation as I have an iPhone cover that is painful to separate every time one enters/exits the vehicle.
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      05-16-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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That would definitely be my preferred mode of operation as I have an iPhone cover that is painful to separate every time one enters/exits the vehicle.
Just on that - does anyone know how snug a fit the cradle is with an iPhone 4?

Could I ram it into place with a "barely there" cover still on the phone for example?
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      05-16-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnsbrae
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoptb View Post
That would definitely be my preferred mode of operation as I have an iPhone cover that is painful to separate every time one enters/exits the vehicle.
Just on that - does anyone know how snug a fit the cradle is with an iPhone 4?

Could I ram it into place with a "barely there" cover still on the phone for example?
it's super snug without a case. I forgot this is one of the drawbacks....abandonment of my protective case. I just left it off
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      05-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #9
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This probably means it won't fit the iPhone 5....sure would hate to pay another quarter...
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      05-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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it charges the phone fast as all holy hell

and that HORRIBLE search that is used w/ the cable, is replaced by a much nicer way of doing things

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      05-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddssc121
it charges the phone fast as all holy hell

and that HORRIBLE search that is used w/ the cable, is replaced by a much nicer way of doing things

So the cradle provides a different search method?
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      05-16-2012, 10:31 PM   #12
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Video playback with cradle

I bought the cradle today. I have been unable to play a video from the iphone. Even though I am parked with the parking brake up, I only get the audio from the movie when I choose a video file and click play. The screen remains blank. When I lower the parking brake, the screen displays the message that for my safety, video is disabled when driving. Raising the parking brake takes it to blank screen again.

Do any of you with the cradle know how to make the iphone video playback work?
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      05-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #13
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So the cradle provides a different search method?
Yes. and it is a billion times easier to use




Last edited by jddssc121; 05-16-2012 at 10:46 PM.
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      05-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FormerZ3owner View Post
I bought the cradle today. I have been unable to play a video from the iphone. Even though I am parked with the parking brake up, I only get the audio from the movie when I choose a video file and click play. The screen remains blank. When I lower the parking brake, the screen displays the message that for my safety, video is disabled when driving. Raising the parking brake takes it to blank screen again.

Do any of you with the cradle know how to make the iphone video playback work?
I'll have to mess with it tmrw to get you the exact steps, but I can get it to play video just fine on my 2012 X5 (which i believe is the exact same version of iDrive)
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      05-17-2012, 12:17 AM   #15
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The setup I have is in the USB I have a 160GB iPod classic permanently connected. Then the cradle for my iPhone which I use for Pandora and MOG mostly so far, its only been a few days. I notice that in my parking garage I get between 0 to 1 bar but with cradle I get about 3-4 bars.
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      05-17-2012, 12:56 AM   #16
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Not a fan of the cradle

I just got the cradle today. I hate, hate, hate it!

I'm a big audio book listener for my commute and I love getting into the car and continuing where I left off while my phone sits untouched in my pocket. Bluetooth audio is fantastic.

In defiance of all logic, placing the phone in the cradle brings up a message saying I can't have my phone as both a Bluetooth audio source AND an external media device at the same time. What!? It then proceeds to disable my phone as a Bluetooth audio source. As you may know, it takes several steps in some deeply buried menus to re-enable a phone as an audio source and switch to it as an external device. This alone is a HUGE pain in the butt and a deal breaker for me. The cradle goes back tomorrow.

How BMW got this so wrong is a complete mystery to me. The stereo in my last car had no problem whatsoever with my phone being an audio source via Bluetooth and USB at the same time, even when plugged in. I could easily switch back and forth between the two with the click of one button.

Yes, the search is nice via the "plugin" feature, but even that is too deeply buried to be useful. I generally have good reception in my car already and I don't plan to watch videos when parked... pretty much ever. In my opinion there is no reason to shell out $250 for this useless hunk of cheap plastic. I LOVE everything about my new car, but this is the Achilles heal.
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      05-17-2012, 01:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jddssc121
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoptb View Post
So the cradle provides a different search method?
Yes. and it is a billion times easier to use



Damn that looks so sweet!

I'm gonna have to learn to give up checking emails and texts.

Yes everyone BMW apps works but I rarely use it. Mostly listen to my own music and looking to justify the cradle. Better reception in parking garages sounds sweet as well since I'm always in them as my job has me at various buildings.

Thanks for the screen shots!
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      05-17-2012, 02:23 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jzcrna View Post
it's super snug without a case. I forgot this is one of the drawbacks....abandonment of my protective case. I just left it off
I'll probably do the same. I've had the phone a while now, so I'm not so anal about getting a scratch or two...

I note that there are some drawbacks about the cradle, but the increased signal strength will be very welcome in some of the places I drive (every day).
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      05-17-2012, 04:52 AM   #19
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does anyone know can I display the Nav function on my iPhone to the standard iDrive screen if i connect it to the cradle? I dont have the wide screen on my order.Many thanks mate!
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      05-17-2012, 05:53 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by francis_william
does anyone know can I display the Nav function on my iPhone to the standard iDrive screen if i connect it to the cradle? I dont have the wide screen on my order.Many thanks mate!
Sadly, no that isn't possible.

BMW could learn something from Mercedes - their Becker Map Pilot system is a good, affordable option that doesn't cost a fortune. It's a removable box that you plug into the glovebox and it uses the main screen in the car plus the car speakers so it feels like a fully integrated system. Very clever. To upgrade the unit or add maps you just hook it up to a PC and do the business. From memory the cost is about 500 versus 2,000 for a fully integrated Comand system. I'm not sure how much longer car makers can carry on shafting mugs like me...
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Last edited by arnsbrae; 07-22-2012 at 01:09 AM.
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      05-17-2012, 07:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by groovybits View Post
I just got the cradle today. I hate, hate, hate it!

In defiance of all logic, placing the phone in the cradle brings up a message saying I can't have my phone as both a Bluetooth audio source AND an external media device at the same time. What!? It then proceeds to disable my phone as a Bluetooth audio source..
I listen to an investment radio stream via bluetooth and I have to re-pair my phone every time I switch back and forth. Otherwise the bluetooth audio is permanently disabled. Hopefully they offer a software fix to correct this to where we do not have to re-pair the phone each time we switch.

Also, another FYI, you would have this same issue whether it is the cradle or the cable. I would just keep the cradle unless you do not use the cable either.
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      05-17-2012, 07:12 AM   #22
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Bummer, so the only way you get the album art displayed is with Enhanced USB. This is really disappointing as it was not made clear what exactly Enhanced USB got you. I probably would have sprung for the option if I knew this.
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