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Old 04-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 8900 BT issues with 2006 BMW X3

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I've been using Blackberry's for years, most recently an 8900 (OS 4.6.1.206). Recently picked up a 2006 BMW X3 with the factory GPS built in (no NAV), and I'm finding the bluetooth connection between the two somewhat flakey. Hoping somebody here has relevant experience and might be able to help.

First -- I've searched pretty extensively and read several dozen posts, articles on BMW forums and sites, BMW documentation, and the BMW lists of "approved" phones. In general, it seems that "approved phones" are known to work properly with BMW bluetooth, while others may or may not work as expected.

A number of Blackberry's are considered "officially supported" now by BMW, and if you browse the BMW literaure between the US and Canada, you'll see that a number of models made the approved list, from the 8700 and 8800 up through the 8100 Pearl and most recently the Bold.

The 8900 is not on the list (yet), but I thought I'd give it a try. I was able to pair the phone with the car easily -- not much more involved than pairing a headset. Took a bit of experimenting (and reading), but I learned that if I go through the pairing process and allow enough time, the BMW will pull the phone book from the Blackberry....sort of...

Now, when I activate the speakerphone setup in the car, I can see the entire list of names and numbers loaded into the car, and I can scroll up and down the list with the arrow buttons on the steering wheel. I can point to any name, hit the phone button the wheel and have it dial. The car dials through the blackberry 8900, and acts as a speakerphone for the blackberry -- sound quality is excellent.

The car supports voice dialing (implemented, I believe, by Nuance, the company that absorbed Voice Signal and powers voice dialing in all Blackberry's too). I can voice dial by speaking a number - and that works beautifully. I can speak a name and store it, associating a number and then voice dialing subsequently. BUT what's SUPPOSED to be possible is voice dialing any of the entries in the phone book that was copied over. THAT is the part that doesn't work. When I try voice dialing by name, despite seeing all the entries visually in the car, the response to my voice dialing request is "phonebook is empty".

Somehow, it seems that the BMW partially sync'd with the 8900, but some aspect of this simply didn't finish.

BTW: incoming calls work beautifully: whatever music I'm listening too is muted, and the radio display even shows the name of the person calling if there's an entry from the phone book (that is supposedly empty!!!) in the car, like proper called ID.

I'll be trying to follow up with BMW, but I'm already past what my sales consultant there knows, and I have to hope a service tech might know more.

Any clues, experience or suggestions to share? Thanks in advance...

- Jon
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