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BMW Tech Queries

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Ok, should probably RTFM, but why do that when I can ask the Internet? Would like some opinions please +++

 

Auto Full Beam Thingy

How do I turn this off? I'm sure it's great if you live in the boonies, but I don't, so all I seem to be doing is blinding Tracey taking Tarquin to Waitrose. Seems really sensitive - wasn't anything like as sensitive on my M3. On that I only really noticed it out of town, on this it seems to high-beam at every bloody opportunity. 

 

Wait, is there a sensitivity setting maybe?

 

Traffic Information

The Real Time Traffic info. How reliable is it? I've gotten very used to traffic alerts on TomTom on my iPhone, and I've learned how it works, so I trust it. The colour representation thing with separate alerts I'm struggling a bit with, but if it's accurate and good then I'll put the effort in to learn it.

 

Any opinions please?

 

SatNav Usage

A billion times better than the E92 - OMG FULL POSTCODES - but finding it a bit unintuitive. Any hints please? On TomTom I just bang in the post code, then a house number, and off I go. Often I'll then search for POI for a hotel for example and select that explicitly. What's the simple way to do that? 

 

For example, I enter a post code, then try and select a road, but the roads it's showing me are from all over the bloody place, and not local to the postcode. Just occurred to me I should ignore the roads, and just do post code/number?

 

Alerts seem a little lax - I get warned about traffic events as I'm practically on them? Perhaps unfair here, I tend to specifically look on TomTom rather than wait for the alerts.

 

Auto-Stop Thing

For the love of god, can I turn this off permanently? Kill it with fire?

 

Suspension Setup

I start the car, it defaults in to Comfort mode, which is fine, but the suspension adaptive thing seems to be set in sport when 'Comfort' is selected? I assume you can change it in the profiles somewhere, but I'll be ****ed if I can find it. No real drama, sport doesn't seem bad as it's still more supple than the M3 was in comfort.

 

Music

I saw mentioned there's a 40Gb hard disk in the unit - can I upload music to it? I know I can stream over Bluetooth - and that works brilliantly - but there's some weird interactions with my alerting and UC apps on my phone, meaning I get full on billion decibel alerts that causes a shart. Can't turn that stuff off, so wondered if I can stick music on it directly and not bluetooth stream?

 

Online Stuff

They've given me a free internet subscription - not sure for how long - is it worth continuing? Pissed around with browsing for a bit then realised it was pointless.

 

Like the widgets and stuff - any other apps/cool stuff I should think about?

 

Thanks

 

 

 

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there's some weird interactions with my alerting and UC apps on my phone, meaning I get full on billion decibel alerts that causes a shart.

 

:roflmao: :roflmao:

 

We need the in-car video of this +++

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Mine does exactly the opposite of that, if the phone rings, it rings through the system just as you'd expect, plays whatever ring tone I've got set, works just fine, however, if I get any messages or alerts, it doesn't play them at all.

 

In some ways it doesn't really bother me, as I'm not tempted to look at my phone if I don't know there is a message, but it just seems odd that it doesn't play the alert or message tones.

 

Re real time traffic info, I've yet to find anything to better TomTom, the Ford system uses TomTom so the info is identical whether I'm using TomTom on my phone or the cars built in nav.

 

I don't know where the BMW system gets it's traffic info from but there are only a couple of providers in the UK, most built in systems use the same one, (hence why I changed to TomTom in mine, the Ford system allows 3rd party mapping and traffic info), personally I find it poor, in Mrs T's Prius it's never particularly accurate or helpful and I've found it to be the same in pretty much anything I've driven.

 

Don't know if you can replace the disc/SD card in a BMW with a TomTom one but it's worth looking in to, I paid £110 for a 2015 SD card for mine.

Edited by Tipex

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Mac - should have stuck to your old car................  :lol:

 

My mate has the auto full-beam.  He loves it, but then again is in the 'boonies', so is quite handy.  He is sure it is set right as it will drop the beam before a car comes round the corner etc etc.

 

Keep the auto-stop thing on.  Many people get used to it after a while.

 

 

That's as much as I can help with.  (if you call that help............. :P )

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Even NNMM got used to start/stop. If he can do it, so can you. :P

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Auto-Stop Thing

For the love of god, can I turn this off permanently? Kill it with fire?

 

 

This is beyond awful. So much for getting used to it. 6 months later it is still the most god awful piece of cr*p I've ever come across in a car.

 

Mac you have two options as ridiculously it can't be permanently switched off, it resets every time the car starts. So either you remember to press the little button above the start button every time you start (switches off the stop start), or you put the car in Sport every time you drive as this also disables the stop start.

 

A hideous, invasive bit of tech.

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Gah. Must be able to code it out, surely?! Meh.

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Yes if you're willing to do that, It can be coded out.

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Mac,

 

Have you got the BMW remote app?

 

If you haven't, get it pronto. Its what I use to send addresses to the car for destination input as like you, I find it unintuitive sometimes. 

 

Yes, you can upload music to the hard drive. Even videos I think, though don't quote me on that.

 

Traffic info is a bit meh. Sometimes its quick but not always spot on.

 

Never used the internet on mine as I think its just pointless really. I think the only app I've mostly used is Spotify which works well with the system.

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On mine the auto full beam has three sensitivity settings, even on the highest sensitivity I still don't really like it, rather than blinding people like it does on the lowest setting, it appears to flash people coming the other way.

Maybe I'll get used to it as I use it more in the winter when it's actually dark, but I don't venture out much after dark during the summer months these days.

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I gave up on my (Land Rover) auto high beam settings and now use a custom sensitivity control based around my Mk1 eyeball and left index finger.

 

My E60's auto high beam worked well iirc, though.  I think it came on if you set the light stalk to high beam and the headlights to auto on/off.  To kill it you either took the headlights off auto or brought the stalk back to dipped beam. 

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It would be ironic if you actually removed them rather than just waiting til the next time you knocked them off... :P

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Right....

 

Auto Main Beam Wotsit - I don't have auto main beam but I do have auto lights.  They're always off.  I have them on manual although I do use the daytime running lights and that is set in the iDrive to be on.

 

RTTI - I'm amazed to see it being questioned by someone.  It is superb.  Absolutely essential to me.  It routes me around all manner of delays as I travel the UK and has saved me countless hours.  The only time you should switch it off or ignore it is if you look at the Alternative Route it is suggesting and the Current Route.  It tells you the variance in ETA.  If it is less than 5 minutes, I ignore the RTTI because it usually means a hold up is going to clear almost as quickly.

In respect of where BMW's RTTI system 'comes from', I don't understand that, Tipex.  It comes from the cellular network.  RTTI monitors movement in mobile phone signals in traffic.  It picks up when they're moving quickly, when they've not moved in a long time, where they are, if there is sudden change in movement, etc.  It is very, very accurate.  If all the traffic stops NOW - you'll be told within seconds and the RTTI will tell Nav to look at re-routing options.  It continues to monitor how long traffic is sat still or slow moving for and adjusts Nav routes and options based on this.

So my answer to RTTI is very simple - keep it on, always.

 

Nav - linked to the above answer I'm very surprised if you find you're almost on top of problem spots when it alerts you.  I don't, far from it.  In fact my biggest headache is it telling me about things 50 miles away!  Check that you have RTTI and the other traffic aids on, basically.

Start/Stop - hated it with a passion to begin with.  In fact I went a full year with it switched off.  I then decided I had to try it.  I now use it all the time.  I don't think it is perfect though.  Just this morning it cut off as I was about to pull away from a junction.  Twitching the wheel, adjusting your pressure on a pedal, it all stops it kicking in if you want to do so, but I pretty much leave it be nowadays.  My advice is to stick with it.  It will save you fuel - and a lot of it.

 

Suspension - your system will be slightly different to mine.  You sound like you have full VDC whereas I have the throttle/gear modes of Sport, Normal and EcoPro.  I run mine in Normal all the time.  Sport will change my dashboard to the full digital speedo etc and change the throttle and gearchanges massively (I have the paddleshifts too).  I never use the paddles and I can't even recall the last time I used Sport or Eco Pro.  As I understand it though, you can set a default VDC setting.  I just don't have VDC so can't confirm it.

Music HDD - yes.  If you're playing music you can save it to the HDD my going into the Media section of iDrive, selecting the source, clicking on it and you should see a "Save to car" option.

Internet - I have the internet option too.  Never use it.  The iDrive interface is too poor for mouse tracking.  It tracks the mouse movement far too slowly and text input is woeful. 

Apps and stuff...

...explore the BMW Online menu.  Configure RSS sources, your weather location, etc.  That can be useful at times.

...get the My BMW Remote app.  Cool.  Find your car, lock it, unlock it, flash the lights, sound the horn, etc.  Also get BMW Connected if you want the car to send all your car data, mpg, etc to the phone.

...Amazon Music.  Essential if you're a Prime customer.  It basically gives you 50,000+ free albums and songs that you can stream in the car.  Best music app there is and all of it is completely free to Prime members.  Works a treat in BMW's and even has a snazzy BMW icon when you plug your phone in.

...Spotify.  It works, I don't use it.

 

...GoPro.  Fully integrates with a GoPro camera and takes shots along the route as well as the live stuff etc.  I haven't used this as my camera isn't a GoPro, but I was in an M3 that had it and it was very cool indeed.

...Glympse.  It integrates fully with the car and those you choose to keep them up to date with your movements on Facebook and Twitter.  I don't use it but I know a few people who do and find it very good indeed.

...Life360.  Like Glympse but better - hence there is a subscription fee.

...Audible.  Excellent.  I use this all the time.  Books on the go, but you already knew that.

...Panaramio.  Built into iDrive anyway but very amusing.  It'll show you photo's taken near where you are or a destination.  It is highly amusing and you can abuse it.  Go to a location, take a photo, upload it to the Panaramio website with the co-ordinates of your choosing...and that's what somebody will see if they look at the iDrive Panaramio when they're passing the co-ordinates.  I may or may not have abused this to say what I thought of the rail crossing in Hemel Hempstead. :roflmao:



 

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Eeek!  I forgot a big thing that you'll love - IFTTT.

 

There are now a mass of IFTTT integration options for BMW.

 

Car Parking Email - it sends you an email the moment you've parked somewhere with a map of where you've parked. Considering the fact you've taken the tube home before because you've forgotten you had your car, that might of use. :roflmao:

 

Dash Alert - an alert is sent to the car dashboard and pops up the moment you enter a pre-programmed location.  For example, the traffic charge zone in London.  You tell IFTTT/BMW Labs what location (as many as you want) and hey presto.  Works a treat.

 

Auto Weather - you give IFTTT a time and the car will automatically display the weather forecast on your iDrive display at that time every time you're in it.  Set it for, say, the time you'll usually be getting in your car and you've got an every day forecast. 

Driving Log - IFTTT records all your driving stop and start times along with co-ordinates.

Twitter - if anyone mentions you on Twitter, IFTTT sends the mention to the car iDrive display instantly.

Hue - if you have a Phillips Hue lighting system, IFTTT picks up when you arrive at home and sends a signal to your network to switch the hue lighting on.  It does the same for when you drive away too (off).

Text Person Auto - set a predetermined location and contact in your phone.  When you arrive at the location or near it, IFTTT sends a text message to the person to tell them you're almost there.  The example of this is a cool one - if you're a parent collecting a child from school, the child will receive a text message to say you're almost there and to stop messing about with their friends and actually be where you expect them to be! :roflmao:

Gmail - any emails marked BMW in the subject line will be read out to you by the car.

Gmail - send an email to home when you get within a set mileage radius of home to say you're almost there (same as the Text Person Auto, but email).

Android iDrive Text - if you use an Android phone, all incoming texts are sent to the iDrive display and over-ride whatever is on it at the time.

Excel Journeys - records all car journeys automatically and sends them via IFTTT to an Excel spreadsheet in a location of your choice.
 

 

There are hundreds more.  Just login to IFTTT and type "BMW".

 

BMW Labs are adding them all the time.  There are usually 5 or more new ones each week.+++

 

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Where it comes from, as in who provides the data, there are only a couple of providers in the UK, most vehicle manufacturers use the same provider so it will be the same info whether you are driving a BMW, Mercedes, Ford, Honda.

A few manufacturers use TomTom, Renault for example, and I've changed mine to TomTom by purchasing the correct SD card otherwise Ford as standard use the same info as everyone else.

When you have multiple cars often in the same area at the same, and slightly different times, you get to learn what traffic info you can trust, as you can have one car being told to avoid the M25 (for example) between junction X & X and being routed through the suburbs, while another car is merrily sailing through junctions X & X at 70mph.

Without the knowledge of what is actually happening on the route you are avoiding, you have no way of knowing what is actually happening, so while you might think your sat nav has just saved you queueing for an hour, it might have sent you 20 mins out of your way unnecessarily.

To be perfectly honest, none of them are great, we just find TomTom info slightly more reliable, I never rely on traffic info and just use my gut feeling as whether to divert or not, usually works better than religiously following the nav.

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The BMW RTTI also aggregates other data.  For example, it hooks into the data provided by local authorities on the roads.

 

I've said it is mobile data because that is the primary source, but then it tests that data against anything picked up on traffic management systems in councils, traffic centres, etc.

 

If it was shit I'd say it was shit.  It isn't, it is simply outstanding and by far the most sophisticated RTTI system of any manufacturer.  I'm not sure (and this isn't a dig) if you've looked at precisely what it does and how much they've put into it.  There's a reason the NavPro with RTTI is a £2k option and this is one of the big factors.

 

Don't take my word for it though.  Have a search on Google.  It is, if you'll pardon the pun, streets ahead of anything else.

 

It's a shame the same can't be said for the appalling lack of an oil level monitor in the 520d - or a dipstick (other than the driver).  There isn't either.  A nice way to force you to go into the dealership.  I think that is shocking.  Why can't I check my own oil level just to have peace of mind?  Oh no, they can tell you when you'll get held up for 7 seconds on the M11 at 4.13am....but they can't let you check your fecking oil! :roflmao:

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Mac,

 

Have you got the BMW remote app?

 

If you haven't, get it pronto. Its what I use to send addresses to the car for destination input as like you, I find it unintuitive sometimes. 

 

Yes, you can upload music to the hard drive. Even videos I think, though don't quote me on that.

 

Traffic info is a bit meh. Sometimes its quick but not always spot on.

 

Never used the internet on mine as I think its just pointless really. I think the only app I've mostly used is Spotify which works well with the system.

 

 

Sure have, it's pretty ace isn't it +++

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Mac, out of vague and largely selfish interest has yours got the 'BMW Icon' adaptive LEDs or the standard LEDs with high beam assist?

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Oh my - IFTTT integration! ON IT.

 

Go pro could be cool too. This is years ahead of my m3.

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Mac, out of vague and largely selfish interest has yours got the 'BMW Icon' adaptive LEDs or the standard LEDs with high beam assist?

 

How the even **** what now?

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Text Person Auto - set a predetermined location and contact in your phone.  When you arrive at the location or near it, IFTTT sends a text message to the person to tell them you're almost there.  The example of this is a cool one - if you're a parent collecting a child from school, the child will receive a text message to say you're almost there and to stop messing about with their friends and actually be where you expect them to be!

 

OK.  I'll ask the obvious one*. 

 

How do you force this to happen in your wife's BMW so that you get a text before she gets home with enough warning to let the mistress get dressed and bugger off?  :roflmao::secret:

 

 

*because I'm not the one that needs it, obvs :P

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