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Limitations of subaru/iphone pairing

Please no flaming of iPhones, but two limitations (at least) seem to exist with the Subaru and the iPhone 6/iOS 8 that don’t with Android/Subaru connections:

  1. You can’t upload your contacts/address book from the phone to the car’s system.
  2. AHA Radio can only be played through USB, not Bluetooth.

Are these more the responsibility of Apple or Subaru?

Apple didn’t design the iPhone for Subaru’s convenience.

Yes…good luck getting either to take ‘responsibility’.
You might get on a Subaru owner site, see if they have any hints.

And thanks for mentioning that, I’ll need to check out compatibility before my next new phone.

Until car manufacturers and phone manufacturers get smart and get together to design the modern equivalent of a dumb terminal in the car (which would connect via a set protocol and do nothing but mirror the phone’s output, and also mirror your input back to the phone) then problems like this are going to be common place, and placing the blame is going to involve deep technical investigation of how both the car’s systems and the phone’s system operates.

That said, if Android works fine with your Subaru, it is reasonable to assume that Apple has gone with some non-standard, proprietary protocol implementation (they’re kinda famous for this - hell, they insert a special circuit in all of their desktop chips that does nothing except tell OSX that the chip (which otherwise is identical to the one in normal PC’s) is authorized to run OSX so that people don’t go out and buy a computer from Dell and then use Apple’s OS).

Since your car is looking for a universal standard, and your phone isn’t supplying it, problems arise.

That said, another common source of problems is simply developing technology. My 1 year old Galaxy Note 3 works just fine with the bluetooth pairing in my '07 Acura as far as phone functionality goes, but it does not work as far as music functionality goes because they weren’t building that protocol into cars back when they designed the car. On the flip side, my mother’s brand new BMW’s computer crashes and knocks out the entire center console when she tries to hook her ancient Motorola Razr into the bluetooth because the Razr is very old, and BMW doesn’t believe in backwards compatibility or redundant error handling.

In short, until what I said needs to happen above actually happens, it’s somewhat of a crapshoot whether a specific phone will work perfectly with a specific car.

I only wish my biggest problem was that my I phone wouldn’t download my address to my car…

Texases, the only car “compatibility” I care about is that my new cellphone will fit through the door. I guess I’m living in the past… but I like it here.

My 1999 Honda has a special safety feature: the complete absence of iPhone/Android devices.

Old fart. :wink:

1. You can't upload your contacts/address book from the phone to the car's system. 2. AHA Radio can only be played through USB, not Bluetooth.

Are these more the responsibility of Apple or Subaru?

I think this is just hilarious, do you really think either was designed specifically with the other in mind.

I will say that if you can get a phone that does Mirror Link, and that’s an option on your Subaru AND it’s enabled in the US (all of which I’m not entirely sure could even be true) - then you could display the phone on the car with the car being a Dumb Terminal.

Now, I have a 2015 Subaru Legacy with the nav system, but only a Galaxy Note 2 and the app for mirror link on my phone just crashes out. So it’s always greyed out in my car. I tried the Subaru Starlink, and that “works” but the phone bluetooth works better IMO.

Android does download the contacts which is nice, but really, I’m not sure how much integration makes sense. Is it better to be staring at your car console when driving vs your phone? Either is not paying attention to the road.

More amaing is this Aha service, which I have to remember to check out sometime. I figure the Legacy technically, with Aha, Pandora, Satallite Radio, Regular Radio (AM / FM), USB, Bluetooth from the phone with Songza, TuneIn Radio, Podkicker, Music app - there has to be at least 31,000 different possible entertainment sources. Oh, and I forgot the CD player. How can you possibly operate this while driving? Heck, how can you possibly operate this at all?

It’s stupid, but I have 6 radio stations, from FM and XM, one USB stick, and my phone with Podkicker and google Music - and that’s still close to too much to actually use. I’m tempted to go back to just the USB stick as one source, but I feel a tiny bit like I’m wasting my money / not getting my money’s worth if I don’t try and take advantage of more of the features. Oh, and the manual says while I’m stopped, I can watch a video on it.

In my opinion, it’s Subaru’s problem to keep up with changes that Apple drives. Apple just says here’s our phone and OS, these are the specs, and if we change the specs later, it’s your problem.

I just replaced my iPhone 4S with a 5S, had to buy new cables all around to replace my old 30-pins. A pain in the arse, to be sure, but I’m pretty sure Apple doesn’t care.

It’s nobody’s problem. Subaru and Apple are completely separate companies in completely different

Shadow, thank you for the compliment. {:stuck_out_tongue:

Apple’s lack of interoperability is one reason I avoid it like the plague. It seems they’ve learned nothing from the 90s and Microsoft. Network effects matter.

I guess anything’s possible, but I really doubt Apple’s going to be the tail that wags the dog of cars for the vast majority of the car buying public around the world. For me, it’s a lot easier to scrap a $700 phone than a $30,000 car…

Android already works better with the Subaru system, so I’m very likely to buy another Android phone if I care about integrating the phone and car… Car makers can’t retrofit or get people to buy a new car every year, as much as they wish they could. So they’re going to have to demand a standard, and phones will need to support that for at least 10 years as that seems to be the average lifespan for a car.

The only thing I care about is being able to answer the telephone through the system on my 2011 Toyota Sienna. I had no problem linking the two cellphones I owned from Verizon with the Bluetooth on the Sienna. I recently go an Android phone and had no problem linking it with the system on the Sienna. I am not interested in loading the address book into the car system. The voice recognition lets me make phone calls by giving the telephone number, but I rarely make outgoing calls. If I have the audio system in the car on at all, it is to listen to a PBS station. I often receive a call while I am driving and it is convenient to push the button on the steering wheel and answer the call hands free instead of fishing around for the phone and driving with one hand.

The only thing I care about is keeping from getting crashed into by the people fooling around with all this crap while they’re supposed to be driving.

Look at your phonebook on your iPhone. You may have had many of your contacts transferred from another phone that you had before you got the iPhone, if so they are not sorted as mobile, business, etc. Try changing all of them to mobile, even if they aren’t actually cell phone numbers and see if they import into the Subaru’s memory.

The only thing I care about is keeping from getting crashed into by the people fooling around with all this crap while they're supposed to be driving.

The automatic prejudice toward everything cell phone in a car is annoying. We aren’t texting and driving. We’re playing music off of it. You don’t even have to look at the thing to do that. In a bluetooth setup, you don’t even have to take it out of your pocket. There’s literally no difference in interface between playing music off of a cell phone and playing it off of a CD, except that you don’t have to change CDs every time you want to hear a different artist, so actually it’s safer because instead of digging around for the CD you’re looking for, and reading the CD to be sure it’s the right one, you just hit the “next” button, which is often on the steering wheel.

Well, I thought I’d let you know I just paired my iP6 with my '12 Odyssey without any issues. In fact, it went more smoothly than the G5 Android but that may have been because the G5 went first. The contacts in the iP6 went over seamlessly without any prompting or input. The Ody supports voice commands as well as hard buttons on the wheel. “Call home” is nice to say and have it dial automatically. It also overrides the audio system during the call. Phone can be anywhere in the van, no need to touch it at all.

TwinTurbo, that really helps. Makes me think that the iPhone is doing its job, but maybe the Subaru isn’t totally compatible with it. Thanks.

Our friends bought an Outback about 2 years ago and their only complaint was the lack of iPhone compatibility.

@shadowfax, yes, there was distracted driving before cell phones. I had a friend who caused a serious accident when she got distracted trying to change stations on her radio.

But there’s no doubt that distracted driving accidents are on the rise due to cell phones. New Jersey state police say distracted driving is now the main cause of fatal accidents in the state, most likely due to cell phone use.

I’m not “automatically prejudiced” against cell phones. But once a cell phone gets into a car, many drivers seems unable to resist being distracted by it. You may not be texting while driving, but many others are. Here’s the sad story of one young woman who was. IMO, it should be show to every teen driver. And every adult driver too, for that matter.