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      12-19-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
Moonstone
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Google Maps voice guidance over bluetooth

I just tried using the recently released Google Maps for iPhone in my '06 E90 with factory bluetooth (phone call only, not music streaming capabilities) and somehow the Google app. pauses the music and announces the guidance instructions. How good is that! Not sure how it does it but seeing as it can why can't other apps do this to provide music streaming? Just thought I would share this to see if anyone else has come accross this and know how it is possible.

Looking forward to any responses.

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      12-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
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I've been streaming Tune-In Radio and Pandora for over a year now
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      12-19-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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Kolyan2k, are you doing this with only phone bluetooth capabilities in your car? If so I will need to try it with those apps. as the native apple music player will only do it through an A2DP connection which my car isn't capable of doing with music.
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      12-19-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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A2DP provides for higher bitrate, stereo sound and thus requires a more recent Bluetooth hardware revision (which supports higher bandwidth) than what's required to handle lower bitrate mono audio like that used for phone calls and Google Maps. Theoretically you could send music over that type of channel, but it would sound pretty terrible. You'd also have "presentation" issues with a hack solution like that. For example, when Siri is responding to you, currently the iPhone fools iDrive into thinking a phone call to nobody just started in order to get the audio channel open, which isn't an ideal way to be managing music.
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      12-19-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
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Thanks jphughan for explaining things so well. Pretty happy that I now have voice guidance over the car speakers without having to resort to plugging into the Aux. port or using my Belkin Bluetooth to Aux. device.
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      12-19-2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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Yeah, I noticed this as well - even cooler than that, if the phone's plugged in (via Y cable or plain aux), google maps sends audio out over the normal stereo channel, so lowers the music volume and talks over the aux connection rather than using bluetooth. It's tremendously convenient.
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      12-21-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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The downside when plugged is it doesn't seem to know when iPod isn't selected, so if its plugged in while you listen to the radio, it fails to be audible.

I was surprised at it too, since apple maps doesn't do it.. kind of an obvious oversight unless there is more to the story.

So, on post-holiday sales, I'm going to get a lightening USB for power and a bluetooth music to line level streaming system and see if they all work together. My phone is usually charged so if I don't need the juice, I'll leave it in unplugged.
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      12-21-2012, 10:32 PM   #8
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Not sure what you mean, if the iphone is plugged in only by USB it'll charge but audio won't route through the ligntning connector, only to the 3.5mm or Bluetooth. So if you use a ligntning->USB converter, you won't need to unplug it to get what you want, only if you have the ligntning->30 pin installed.

That said, I wouldn't rely on the 6FL USB port for charging. In a pinch it'll help, but it'll always charge at between 150-250mA (if its >200mA, it'll say charging, <200mA it'll say charging not supported), but 250mA is less than full device draw. So with GPS and LTE and screen all cranking, you may well be draining your battery while plugged in.

So if you're going to get a USB->lightning cord, get a cigarette lighter USB power jack too
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      12-21-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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Yeah, that's what I meant. Use the lightening cord + 12v high current adapter for charging only. It shouldn't affect the BT audio output at all.

I have the 30 pin adapter on my y cable now. It's... weird. It does odd things that the iphone 4 didn't on the same y cable, like playing the rings and dings of the phone, even when on a call, over the BT or the iPod audio.

Ideally, we could use the Y cable MINUS the audio output. So, y cable for song selection, BT adapter to line for audio and BT to car for phone. I might just hack a cheap Y cable to see if I can lift the load of the audio input from the adapter's circuit, probably tricking the phone into sending the audio via an alternative route, but the car wouldn't know the difference since the audio comes in on the line cable as usual.

Yeah, I've thought about this too much, I have a long commute.
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      12-21-2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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That seems kind of silly - the only reason to use bluetooth at all is for the option of wireless audio. If you're going to have the phone plugged in - ever - you're better off routing the audio through the Y cable, just based on quality.

One thing I HAVE seriously considered is designing a high quality A2DP streaming dongle specifically designed to forward all the iPod Accessory Protocol commands the car uses over AVRCP to the phone. In theory, it'd be possible to implement everything like track name, play/pause, skip commands, track listing, etc etc etc over AVRCP to satisfy the car in the way current AVRCP-enabled BT dongles don't. And for things unsupported by AVRCP, just transmit default dummy values to keep the car happy.

But then that'd take a LOT of reverse engineering, testing, time, and prototyping money (although probably under $200) and there wouldn't be a huge market. It'd qualify as a huge hobby project. Still seriously entertaining the idea though.
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      12-21-2012, 11:32 PM   #11
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Very entertaining idea!

The above might seem silly (well, ok, it is, a little) but it avoids the problem of BT audio like Siri and Google Maps from being improperly directed when using the 30 pin adapter. I get NO Siri functionality over BT when using the 30 pin adapter due to the way the iPhone5 outputs *everything* via the lighting port when in use with the adapter. So I hear Siri over line, not BT, and there is no mic input.

The Google Maps app simply is silent when the 30 pin adapter is plugged in. Not even connected to the car, just plug in the adapter and Google no longer outputs over BT. Boo. So my proposed solution avoids the audio portion (the DAC) of the 30 pin adapter from being detected by the phone.
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      12-22-2012, 12:25 AM   #12
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Hell yeah man I was stoked when I found out Apple had GoogleMaps now cause the iPhone 5's map system isn't nearly as good. I turned off voice guidance but not till I head it through my speakers like you. I definitely wish Pandora and Songza could be played the same way.
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