iPhone 2.0 update breaks BMW iDrive contact/address book syncing!

UPDATE – *FIXED* – It appears we’ve found a fix that will get all your contacts showing up on the iDrive again. You simply need to add 2000 fake contacts to your iPhone. There are detailed instructions, vCard/CSV files available to download and step by step screen shots in a new post here – Fix for Fix for iPhone and BMW iDrive address book not synchronising.

UPDATE (18th August 2008): There’s a FIX!

Looks like we’ve found a fix for this that involves creating a large number of fake contacts on your iPhone. Mine started working when I sync’d with my Exchange server and 2500 new contacts appeared on my iPhone and at the time of writing this 3 out of 3 people who tried the fix have reported back with success. Click below to jump to the relevant place in the comments and read a few above it from Vants and Rajesh too for more info:

iPhone and BMW iDrive address book sync fix

You’ll need to download this file to automatically add 2000 empty contacts to your address book:
DOWNLOAD 2000 fake contacts vCard [2000 unique names, 2000 identical numbers]


UPDATE (18th August 2008): ****FIXED***** ****NOT FIXED*****
Apple have just released iPhone 2.02 update and I’m currently downloading it. Hopeful that this update will finally fix all the iDrive address book issues, watch this space…..I’ve just got back from testing 2.02 with my iDrive and finally, it’s working again! (iPhone 2.02 fixes BMW iDrive contact syncing)Sorry guys and girls, it looks like a was a little premature on this one. My contacts DID all show up on the iDrive screen and I scrolled through, jumped from A-N-W-etc and I came in to get the camera for a few shots for this article. When I went back out, my iPhone paired but after a long wait screen there were NO contacts shown! I removed both pairings, powered off the car and the iPhone and tried again but still nothing. I then updated my friends brand new 3G to 2.02 and tried syncing that (which has never been seen by the car before) and it paired but still no contact sync.

UPDATE (6th August 2008):
If you are affected by issues relating to the iPhone pairing with your BMW bluetooth please spare 2 minutes to complete 13 questions about car year, model, iphone version, etc.:
Online Survey – BMW / iPhone pairing issues  Continue reading “iPhone 2.0 update breaks BMW iDrive contact/address book syncing!”

iPhone 3G and BMW iDrive compatibility

With the immenent launch of Apple’s iPhone 3G a week today, I’ve been searching the internet high and low to find out whether or not it’s going to be compatible with and sync with BMW’s bluetooth and iDrive. I also need to know whether it will fit in the BMW snap-in adapter I have for the original iPhone or will I have to buy another cradle from BMW?

Once I get the new iPhone 3G on 11th July I’ll update this topic with the actual answers, but for now I shall just give my preditions:

My predictions:

  1. Bluetooth & iDrive: UPDATE – Be aware that several people have reported that the iPhone 3G does not sync the contacts with the iDrive, this is also the case for people who have updated their original iPhone to 2.0, including myself (more info here). The iPhone 3G doesn’t appear to have any hardware changes in relation to its bluetooth module and since the iPhone 3G and iPhone original will both be running iPhone software v2.0 next week, other than addition coding for the GPS module and 3G connections they should be identical. So I am predicting that the iPhone 3G will work with BMW’s bluetooth and iDrive, [Note: if you have an older vehicle that the original iPhone didn’t pair with don’t expect the iPhone 3G to suddenly work, I’m only referring to vehicles that pair and sync with the original iPhone]
  2. BMW snap-in adapter: Looking at the profile of the new iPhone 3G with its more sculptured and curved back, coupled with the fact that many case manufacturers are launching new cases for the iPhone 3G lead me to believe that the iPhone 3G will not fit in the BMW snap-in adapater for the original iPhone and that BMW will bring out a new cradle for the iPhone 3G in a few months. But then part of me thinks that the iPhone 3G uses the same screen, iPod port, etc, is the same height and width and that it may fit in the snap-in cradle for the original iPhone albeit it a little loose and wobble. My final thoughts…I predict the iPhone 3G will fit in the original BMW snap-in adapter but it won’t lock down into place fully but will charge and connect to the external antenna.

The actual facts:

  1. The iPhone 3G and original iPhones updated to iPhone 2.0 appear to not work properly with lots of manufacturers factory blueotooth kits. BMW, Mercedes, Jeep, Chrysler, Land Rover, and many more are all affected.
  2. The iPhone 3G *does* fit in the original BMW iPhone cradle….just! But it’s not a comfortable fit as the iPhone 3G is a few mm longer. Prolonged forced insertion into the cradle will badly scratch and damage the back and top edge of your iPhone 3G.

Official BMW iPhone snap-in adapter / cradle [PICS]

BMW has released an official snap-in adapter for most of it’s model range. Costing £60 (~$130) it allows the iPhone to remain on charge whilst also connecting it to the car’s external antenna for a stronger boosted signal.

UPDATE (14th July 2008) – There has now been a software update for all iPhones
taking them to iPhone 2.0 which seems to cause lots of problems with iDrive integration. Read more about that and other issues with iPhone 2.0 and iPhone 3G here: iPhone 2.0 and 3G break BMW iDrive address book synchronising

I picked up the cradle this morning, BMW part number 84-10-9-182-792 costing £59.99 in UK money which was the same price I paid for the Nokia 6230i snap-in I previously bought. Installation is…well I wouldn’t even call it installation, press down on the snap-in eject button, the old Nokia 6230i cradle pops out, snap-in the the new one…I’d say 10 seconds at most!

NOTE – it seems all UK spec cars have the snap in holder (eject box) as standard, those in the USA may have a money tray here instead, in which case you need to buy two other parts to replace the money tray and other users have reported a 30 min installation time for those, see this thread, but the extra parts needed are 84 21 6 946 075 [snap in adapter / Eject box] and 51 16 7 060 175 [Eject box frame]

First impressions are good, feels heavy, solid and robust, the pop up spring mechanism when you eject also feels sturdy yet smooth. You position the lower edge of the phone in the adapter and then press on the top edge of the screen to lower the phone down until it locks in place. There is a small plastic lip that then pops out to lock the top of the phone down. To remove the iPhone simply press the eject button and the top lip slides back and the phone lifts up at an angle for easy access. At first I had to press several times and with some force to get the eject mechanism to work but it’s much easier now once it’s been used a couple of times and things have “freed up”.

The snap-in charges the phone and connects it to the external antenna of the car. I’ve NEVER noticed any signal difference on any of the phones I’ve ever owned with BMW/Nokia car kits using external aerials but this is more likely due to strong signal everywhere I go. There aren’t any areas I can think of where i’d normally have little to no reception to test if there is any gain using the external antenna.

NOTE – the snap-in does nothing other than listed above [charge and aerial], it does NOT offer a hard-wired connection to the iDrive, the connection between phone and iDrive has been and always will be bluetooth. Several people have also wandered if this would allow you to access the iPod features on the iPhone through the stereo but it DOESNT.

I’ve taken far too many photos of the adapter, to see ALL the phone click here or click on the image above.