As our readers all too well know, there have been “issues” with Bluetooth in-car connections with iPhones since the release of iOS 8, last September. There are now reports in Apple forums that Apple Watch owners are experiencing in-car connections problems too.
“After pairing my Apple Watch with my iPhone 6+, my car’s (2013 BMW 328i) Bluetooth audio became problematic with music skipping all the time. It was perfect before the pairing,” reported one forum member.
The music skipping is an issue that was previously reported with iOS 8.3.
There are new reports that there seems to be conflicts with the Apple Watch, iPhone 6 (iOS 8.3) Bluetooth and car connectivity.
For example, a Toyota RAV4 EV owner reported, he had no problem at first connecting the iPhone 6 via Bluetooth to his car. However, when he paired an Apple Watch to the iPhone, it worked fine until he entered his car.
The car Bluetooth would no longer automatically pair with the iPhone, and when he forced a connection, the Apple Watch would no longer receive calls.
He left the settings alone. A few days later, he realized that his Apple Watch stopped working it would no longer charge on the dock, send taps, heartbeats and on-watch texts.
He had to remove the car Bluetooth connection from the iPhone 6 and reset the Apple Watch before it worked again. Currently, he cannot connect the iPhone to the car via Bluetooth without impacting the watch. He pleads “Apple Watch Developer, give us a software fix, please!”
Other reported Apple Watch problems include the watch feeling extremely hot, overheating batteries and inability for watches to be fully charged. Apple store Geniuses suggested to some Apple Watch owners that the units be returned.
Developer Marco Arment noted that WatchKit load times are inconsistent and problematic, “Every time the interface loads or changes, the Watch and iPhone communicate round-trip over Bluetooth. Whether due to wireless flakiness, 1.0 OS bugs, or (most likely) both, WatchKit is frustratingly unreliable. ”
Ahah! The update to iOS 8.3 added the Bluetooth functionality for the Apple Watch, because there’s so much Bluetooth going on it could be affecting the iPhone’s Bluetooth connection with cars!
A few companies have launched car apps for Apple Watches, so far. It will be interesting to see if in-car Bluetooth incapability will affect Apple Watch functions in cars. A no-textng reminder Apple Watch app works with Bluetooth. An Apple Watch lawsuit alleges that smartwatches distract drivers.
Some Apple Watch owners have been able to stream audio from their watches to Bluetooth car system.
Here are some fixes that seem work sometimes, from the easiest to the most complicated for Bluetooth connectivity issues with iOS 8-8.3 and in-car connections.
1. Toggle/Turn Bluetooth On/Off
Turn Bluetooth on/off – go to Settings > Bluetooth.
2. Reboot iPhone /Re-Pair Bluetooth
Shut down and reboot your iPhone and re-pair. It may help to forget the device and then reconnect.
3. Reset the Network – Go to Settings > General > Reset and tap on Reset Network Settings.
4. Delete, Fresh Start All Over:
- Delete all Bluetooth devices on the iPhone.
- Deleted the phone from the car’s Bluetooth paired device.
- Switch car off.
- Switch Bluetooth off on iPhone.
- Reboot iPhone using home and lock simultaneously.
- Turn Bluetooth back on.
- Start the car and pair the two to again.
- Note: sometimes renaming the car or the phone helps.
5. Factory Reset & Restore
Factory reset the iPhone 5s and re-install iOS 8.3 from scratch. Restore apps and more from iTunes. This has worked for few.
6. Clear Out Everything Even Car Settings – The Ultimate Nuke-it Fix
- Disconnect car battery to remove all settings from car.
- Make a backup of your iPhone/iPod with iCloud backup.
- Restore updated iPhone to new.
- Once restored it should connect.
- Restore apps, calendar, music from iCloud backup.
7. Update software from automaker:
Some automakers have updated their in-car software. You can check with your dealer or online.
- BMW has updates for models from 2012 or later online.
- Ford SYNC updates can found online, they can be loaded to a USB drive and updated from there.
- GM for Chevy, Buick and Cadillac has a toll-free number to call for tech support.
- Honda offers subscription services and app updates online.
- Toyota has toll-free number and website for tech support.
- Hyundai has a Bluetooth support page.
If you have Apple Watch Bluetooth problems with your in-car system or updated to iOS 8.3 for iPhone 5/5S/5c 6-6+ and it fixed or fried your Bluetooth issues or music streaming with your in-car infotainment system, please let us know in the comments below, be sure to note your make, model and year of your vehicle. We also welcome any solutions you have found worked with your car or Apple Watch.
There are other problems with iOS 8.3 and in-car systems such as the USB or lightning connections in cars with iPhones don’t play music correctly, especially Hyundai.
We have comments from readers that there are still Bluetooth problems reported with BMW, Audi, Acura, MINI, GM(Chevy, GMC, Cadillac, Buick), Honda, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Lexus, Fiat, Hyundai, Chrysler, Acura, Mazda and more.
Our latest comments show Bluetooth connection glicthes with iOS 8.3 for:
- 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe – no contact list.
- 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe – no Bluetooth pairing.
- Mazda3 2015 – constantly have to re-pair Bluetooth.
- Caddy DTS 2010 – audio doesn’t automatically mute during a call.
- Honda CRV 2012 – calls constantly drop, USB no longer supported.
- 2015 Honda Fit – will not connect Bluetooth on iPhone 6 Plus.
- 2015 Subaru Forester Touring Edition – iPhone 6+ calls dropped and stopped working completely.
- 2012 Honda CR-V EX – plays music but doesn’t recognize iPhone.
- 2010 Hyundai i30 – with an iPhone 5S updated to iOS 8.3 phone it did not connect to the stereo. With a hard reset it only worked once. Owner rolled back to iOS 8.2.
- 2011 Nissan Maxima – unable to connect for phone calls.
- 2008 Acura MDX – no Bluetooth phone connectivity after 8.3 release.
- 2015 Acura RDX – Bluetooth repeatedly drops connections during calls and then reestablishes connection.
- 2006 BMW 650i – iPhone 5 with iOS 8.3 won’t pair.
- 2012 Kia Sorento – unable to pair.
- CRV honda 2014 – unable to pair.
- 2012 BMW 328 / 2013 BMW X3- unable to pair iPhone 6 with iOS 8.3.
- 2012 Honda CRV-EXL – no Bluetooth connection.
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