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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > Australia > Australia Classifieds Section > iOS connectivity Options



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      07-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #1
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iOS connectivity Options

Hi All,

New member and owner of a BMW 335i, i'm absolutely in love and glad i've finally come over to the Bimmer world!

I have a dilemma... My car does not have the USB Audio connectivity under the centre armrest which supports the iOS Y-cable to play music and control it.

There is a retrofit 6FL kit which will deliver this, however its a PITA to do, requires coding and is quite expensive to do.

My question is, what other alternative is there which is cost effective? My aim to is to:
  • Listen to music from the iPhone
  • Charge the iPhone
  • Control the iPhone

Anything extra is a value add which i don't need.

I am aware of Dinan, DICE, Combox options - but these are all hefty investments to deliver in my mind simple things..

If anyone has any insight on this, feel free to share!

Cheers, Ian.

**EDIT, please move to main Australian section

Last edited by _ink; 07-10-2012 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Wrong Section
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      07-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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dont bother with the iphone, turn the radio on. better to listen to allan jones live than the pod cast!
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      07-10-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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Or... buy one of those iphone/ipod radio transmitters off ebay for a few bucks.. plug it into your iphone and tune it to an unused radio station... doesn't sound as good but it's an 'alternative'
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      07-10-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikey
Or... buy one of those iphone/ipod radio transmitters off ebay for a few bucks.. plug it into your iphone and tune it to an unused radio station... doesn't sound as good but it's an 'alternative'
+1 check out options from Griffin and Belkin. IMO, cheapest option for iPhone connectivity to you car audio system.
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      07-10-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
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Problem with those units are that they come with a separate controller to which tracks etc..

It seems clear that the only real option in attempting to gain as close a possible OEM integration is to drop the coin in it!
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      07-10-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _ink View Post
Hi All,

New member and owner of a BMW 335i, i'm absolutely in love and glad i've finally come over to the Bimmer world!

I have a dilemma... My car does not have the USB Audio connectivity under the centre armrest which supports the iOS Y-cable to play music and control it.

There is a retrofit 6FL kit which will deliver this, however its a PITA to do, requires coding and is quite expensive to do.

My question is, what other alternative is there which is cost effective? My aim to is to:
  • Listen to music from the iPhone
  • Charge the iPhone
  • Control the iPhone

Anything extra is a value add which i don't need.

I am aware of Dinan, DICE, Combox options - but these are all hefty investments to deliver in my mind simple things..

If anyone has any insight on this, feel free to share!

Cheers, Ian.

**EDIT, please move to main Australian section
Hey Ian

I was in your position not too long ago trying to find out the ideal solution to play music off a large storage device. I tried the MP3 cd solution (not enough songs per CD), iPod Touch plugged into Aux (can't skip tracks) and researched the iPod interface (too buggy) as well as retrofitting the 6FL USB interface (too time consuming and needs to take trim apart and coding). Using a radio transmitter wasn't an option as the audio quality sucked big time.

In the end I settled Belkin : AirCast Auto HandsFree. It looked subtle and the sound plugs directly into the aux port. The songs are streamed from my phone in my pocket. I stuck the receiver next to the iDrive knob where I can skip or repeat songs easily. It even activates Siri on the iPhone so you can do useless things like check the weather and pick the wrong album to play.

Hope that helps
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      07-11-2012, 12:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for that Shu! The controller is putting me off because it looks so foreign though.

This product is looking promising and has good reviews:

http://www.newpotatotech.com/SPECIALS/specials.html

Can hide it in the armrest out of sight, and i plan to install the iPhone ashtray mount anyways so this is a very good option.

Con's are that i won't be able to control the iPhone.
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      07-11-2012, 01:02 AM   #8
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I have the iOS Y-cable. Is there anyway to control the IPHONE through the car audio system? Currently I have to use the IPHONE to change songs etc?
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      07-11-2012, 01:11 AM   #9
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http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8373724

You may want to check out this thread. I posted some pictures of my setup and tips for recreating it. My setup allows me to dock the iphone in the ashtray, listen to music through the AUX connection in the armrest, and charge the phone by using a usb car charger in the armrest. To control the phone's music while driving, I set it to a playlist and use this app:

http://flicktunes.com/FlickTunes/Welcome.html
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      07-11-2012, 02:14 AM   #10
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Thanks Chris! That looks great! I don't mind dropping the $150 for the ashtray mount which will include the dock and cable etc...

But it gives a lot of insight, and i will possibly try tapping into the Cigarette lighter.
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      07-11-2012, 03:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Thanks Chris! That looks great! I don't mind dropping the $150 for the ashtray mount which will include the dock and cable etc...

But it gives a lot of insight, and i will possibly try tapping into the Cigarette lighter.
No problem. The $150 solution mentioned in the original post of that thread is this one, made by SpecDock

http://specdock.com/

I didn't want to spend $150, and I already had the necessary equipment. I was already using an AUX cable to play my music, and I had a USB charger in the armrest for emergency charging. One day, I saw a picture of the SpecDock and thought to myself... "hey, I could definitely make that" so I ripped apart my center console and went to work trying to get the apple iphone dock (another part I already had) to fit. The USB cable and audio cable simply plug into the back of the dock. There was a lot of experimentation involved, but if you're good with your hands, everything will be much easier when you actually get the parts in. There's no shame in spending $150 for a well-made solution though.

and for reference, I had to remake the dock when I got an iphone 4S, and I can tell you that the apple dock for the iphone 4/4S is smaller than the dock for the iphone 3GS, so there was more room to work with the wiring.
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      07-11-2012, 08:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bornadog335i View Post
I have the iOS Y-cable. Is there anyway to control the IPHONE through the car audio system? Currently I have to use the IPHONE to change songs etc?
I'd love to know the answer to that one too.

I am assuming the answer is NO. But it would be pretty COOL if we could.
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      07-12-2012, 02:44 AM   #13
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Do you guys have an Aux and USB port under the centre armrest?
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      07-12-2012, 10:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Do you guys have an Aux and USB port under the centre armrest?
yes
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      09-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcs335 View Post
I'd love to know the answer to that one too.

I am assuming the answer is NO. But it would be pretty COOL if we could.
You have to use the OEM cable supplied by BMW which cost like $60 the last time I check. I use that cable along with my Spec Dock and can use the steering wheel controls for my volume, and song selection. BTW, when you plug in your iphone on the dock and use your cable, does the BMW stock radio read AUX or IPOD? I used a china version of the cable before and read AUX everytime I plugged in my iPhone. Now it reads IPOD, and the songs appear as well.
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      09-10-2012, 08:16 PM   #16
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Harmon Kardon Drive and Play.

Problem solved.
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      09-11-2012, 04:03 AM   #17
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Harmon Kardon Drive and Play.

Problem solved.
Please dont tell me you have this installed? I can't imagine this looking good inside a bimmer or any car...
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      09-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rlpolo View Post
You have to use the OEM cable supplied by BMW which cost like $60 the last time I check. I use that cable along with my Spec Dock and can use the steering wheel controls for my volume, and song selection. BTW, when you plug in your iphone on the dock and use your cable, does the BMW stock radio read AUX or IPOD? I used a china version of the cable before and read AUX everytime I plugged in my iPhone. Now it reads IPOD, and the songs appear as well.
Mine says AUX, but I am using a IOS Y Cable - Hong Kong Special
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      09-11-2012, 04:24 PM   #19
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Please dont tell me you have this installed? I can't imagine this looking good inside a bimmer or any car...
Lol, was thinking about it as I'm in the same boat as you.

It's not THAT bad! Was thinking of mounting the screen over the ashtray and the knob next to the iDrive
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      09-11-2012, 06:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcs335 View Post
I'd love to know the answer to that one too.

I am assuming the answer is NO. But it would be pretty COOL if we could.
If you have iDrive then you can control the iPhone via the BMW iDrive UI. The only big problem is no shuffle play in iDrive mode.

I suppose you can get the iPhone working without iDrive in which case I assume you need to use the iPhone to control the iPhone.
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      09-11-2012, 07:32 PM   #21
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Mine says AUX, but I am using a IOS Y Cable - Hong Kong Special
Use a BMW cable if you can get one. It will switch to say IPOD for full functionality and display the songs listed if you use 3rd-apps like Pandora, play MP3's, etc. and have controls on your steering wheel & HU.
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      09-11-2012, 11:22 PM   #22
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You have to use the OEM cable supplied by BMW which cost like $60 the last time I check. I use that cable along with my Spec Dock and can use the steering wheel controls for my volume, and song selection. BTW, when you plug in your iphone on the dock and use your cable, does the BMW stock radio read AUX or IPOD? I used a china version of the cable before and read AUX everytime I plugged in my iPhone. Now it reads IPOD, and the songs appear as well.
Just to clarify, you need the USB and AUX connection points in your armrest for this to work right?

The problem here is for people that have AUX only.
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