It's quite a cool feature. It means that if you have a Bluetooth phone you
can pair it to the car and your whole phone book will automatically be
accessible from the vehicle. All of your calls are rerouted through the car
speakers and it even pauses the CD player for you to take a call. It is very
good solution being able to walk in and out of the vehicle and have to set
nothing up at all. Now you may get this with an unofficial solution but what
you probably won't get is the further integration if you are going for the
professional sat nav and voice control. If you have the sat nav then all of
your phone book is displayed on the 16:9 display along with a few other
options (like top 10 calls, calls received and the ability to jump straight
into your text messages and send and receive those too). With voice control
you can speak not only the number to dial but also any of the entries in
your phone book which is a whole lot safer than selecting numbers with the
steering or radio controls.
In short - it's more than a wiring loom! ;)
Yes, but note that not all "bluetooth" phones work. The problem is
that "there is bluetooth, and there is bluetooth". Bluetooth actually
consists of a number of "features", and not all phones support the
necessary bluetooth features.
In order for a phone to work, the phone must support the bluetooth
"handsfree profile". The bluetooth "headset profile" is not enough,
and, for full support, the bluetooth "object transfer" ("OBEX", as I
think it's called) must also be supported (this is for the phonebook
transfer to the car).
Also, note that at least one cell phone service provider has (in
the past, at least) supposedly "crippled" the bluetooth such that it
won't work with BMWs.
For more info, see:
I think the OP was talking about a new car, in which case he won't
have to retrofit it. ;-)
For older cars, it's probably better to just get one of the in-car
handsfree bluetooth kits (e.g., one that clips to the sunroof visor or
You'll have to check with your dealer. I can only tell you with any
confidence with what I already have. I would guess that you don't need the
sat nav to make it work but I'd check with the comms pack.
Enjoy your new five! :)
I can tell you what I have. 2006 330i with standard radio/CD - I think
they call it logic 7. No navigation/idrive. Verizon E815. They work
wonderfully together. The only complaint I have is when the cell looses
signal and then regains it the radio cuts out for a second. I'm not sure
Sam Smith wrote:
A hands-free bluetooth system (e.g., speakerphone or something
integrated into the car) is much nicer than a headset, at least for
in-car calls. It's especially nice if you have automatic stereo
[ Yes, headsets are usable away from the car, and so might be a better
deal because of that. However, the headsets-that-hang-from-your-ear
might go flying off if you quickly turn your head while driving. ]
I agree. It is a wonderfully elegant solution. Now what would be cool is a
direct link to your PC/music system through Bluetooth Class 1 (maybe 2) or
wi-fi so that when you park your car in your garage you can download all of
your tracks from your music system. Might need Bluetooth 2.0 to make this
fast enough to be usable though.
While this would be nice, there are issues:
* Bluetooth probably doesn't have enough range (I know nothing about
BT 2.0, though). Most people probably do not have their computer
close enough to their car.
* WiFi has the range, but it's more complicated to set up (needed for
* Speaking of which, security is a big issue.
BMW seems to have got it right/better, as they don't seem to be using
"0000" as the bluetooth pairing key (for E46's, at least, there seems
to be a different key for each car). Yay. I've heard of reports
where people have hacked into nearby (non-BMW) bluetooth-enabled cars;
can you imagine having random unexpected garbage being suddenly spewed
from your car's speakers while you are driving???
WiFi seems to be problematic. WEP is insecure, and WPA might not be a
whole lot better. Both can be difficult to set up, and I'd hate to
see what the setup UI looks like in a car ....
Of course, you can always hack together your own home-grown wireless
Another big problem with this is the useful lifetime of any
computer-related equipment. Cars tend to last 10+++ years, whereas 10
years is several lifetimes for computer technology. If a car comes with
BT or WiFi, that wireless technology could be obsolete/near-useless long
before the car is. It's kinda like being stuck with a car with an
8-track tape player.
[ It will be interesting to see how long bluetooth will survive. While
BT in cars is very nice right now, it could be non-useful (not quite
useless) in a only few years from now. ]
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