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Quick Tip: Bluetooth Success In Your Car With iOS 8

iOS_8Many iOS 8 users have complained about the Bluetooth on their devices not working with their automobiles. It’s definitely a very frustrating experience, but with a little trial and error, I was able to get what looked like non-functioning Bluetooth to work in my car.

While every car maker’s implementation is different, I essentially:

  • Reset the Bluetooth settings on the car
  • Toggled Bluetooth on and off

I did that a couple times, and I saw a unique name show up on my iPhone 6 Bluetooth screen. I clicked that name, and entered the passkey I set up in my car’s Bluetooth setting. It took about 10 seconds to pair, and I was back in business. Music streamed and phone calls worked like a champ, and when I turned the car off and on again, everything paired perfectly.

I’d like to note that this is not way the way it should work. It should be a lot easier, but I’ve also had Bluetooth issues prior to iOS 8 after my phones that had worked for three years without issue suddenly ceased to pair. I took it to the dealer then, and they did a simple reset of the car’s infotainment center, and instructed me on how to restart it myself (which was in the manual, by the way). After that, the car paired perfectly. The dealer’s response on the matter: sometimes the computer system simply needs a restart like any other computer. As a computer guy, of course, that made me roll my eyes a bit, but the dealer was super friendly and helpful with their explanation. So, I cordially said thanks and went on my way.

That little restart experience then guided me on how to fix it this time. I’d recommend that if you’re going to try to restart your system, try to restart only the Bluetooth if your car’s system is capable of doing just that. As restarting the entire system pretty much wipes out all your data such as favorite stations, contacts, settings, map settings – pretty much everything and anything you’ve customized and uploaded. So that can be a pain.

So, hopefully with a little trial and error, you can get your Bluetooth going and be on your way.

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  • Alas, more complex systems, like Toyota’s Entune, don’t always respond so predictably to non-voice functions. For example, Entune provides BT music playback and will choke on a large iTunes Match library. In those instances, the “reboot” means stopping the vehicle and turning the who automobile off.

    I suspect Toyota didn’t realized the rate of change in smartphones when they came out with Entune — it’s been the sole disappointment in an otherwise excellent vehicle.

  • Happens all the time to the soda machine in our vending area.

    It’ll stop accepting coins, and I’ll scurry back, unplug, wait 10 seconds and plug back in.

    I’ve worked with computers for all of my professional career, and they never fail to delight and disappoint me.

  • I had problems on my new 6 as well. BT audio worked but handsfree sound did not (it would connect though). The issue was restoring from my old iPhone 5 backup seems to being in some bogus settings. The solution here was General->”Reset All Settings”.

  • You wrote, “… sometimes the computer system simply needs a restart like any other computer. As a computer guy, of course, that made me roll my eyes a bit …”

    Over the years I have served as software developer, software development manager, and quality assurance manager. The most important lesson learned is that developers do not always reset initial conditions properly following a change in the environment. A full restart then accomplishes what the programmer missed.

    Eye rolls are superfluous.