Will iOS 9 update cause car Bluetooth iPhone issues like 8.4.1 does?

CarPlayWith every update of iOS on iPhones there seems to be problems with Bluetooth connectivity, especially with in-car infotainment systems. Last year, the update to iOS 8.0 wreaked havoc Bluetooth connections in cars. With each generation of iOS updates there was a new batch of glitches for automotive users. So what will happen with iOS 9.0 when in comes out sometime in September?

iOS 8.4.1 was released there were more reports of users unable to pair Bluetooth in cars. There are also reports that different iPhone models with the same iOS work differently in the same car.

Our readers commented:

  • “Upgraded my iPhone 6 to IOS 8.4.1. It no longer connected via USB connection to my BMW Z4. Then I upgraded to latest BMW AUX/USB firmware, playback is now possible but music gets dropped every so often.”
  • “I got a VW Golf TSI 2013 in June. I have 3 iPhones. One iPhone 5C that works perfectly. One more is a 5C that never worked which connects and disconnects several time and then gives up. One is an iPhone 5S that works perfectly.”
  • “2008 Infiniti G35X -the Bluetooth phone connection still works for iPhone 5, but the infotainment system no longer responds to my iPhone when I plug in the cable. When I finally gave in an upgraded to iOS 8.3, the car simply didn’t recognize my phone anymore.”
  • “I lost the iPhone and audio connection via Bluetooth and my 2016 Mazda CX-5 after updating to 8.4. I can control music and get playlists through USB only.

iOS 9 Test Findings So Far

The good news is that now Apple iOS updates spend more time in beta testing than previous updates and there are reports from a public beta tester that it corrected disconnecting problems with Bluetooth devices. iOS 9 beta 5 was released, last week, to testers.

With iOS 9, there is new option to disconnect Bluetooth from the iPhone easily. In previous versions of iOS  to disconnect your iPhone from a Bluetooth device you have to either temporarily disable Bluetooth on or remove it  with “Forget this device” in Bluetooth settings. In iOS 9 to disconnect from a Bluetooth device, launch the iOS Settings app and select Bluetooth from the list, then tap on ‘i’ next the device name, then tap on Disconnect.

This Bluetooth “Disconnect” could be helpful for Bluetooth problems since previous glitches seemed to have been caused by saved Bluetooth settings from previous versions of iOS that responded to the “nuke-it-fixes” of deleting everything, from the car (even disconnecting the battery) as well as the iPhone and starting Bluetooth pairing from scratch.

iOS 9 will have wireless CarPlay and support for auto manufacturers to develop apps within CarPlay. Because the connection to the car is wireless for CarPlay, most likely upon entering the vehicle, you won’t have to plug in the iPhone to connect to CarPlay. CarPlay also plays audio messages. iOS 9 allows for the use of car’s knobs to control CarPlay. In the future, we may see connected car apps from automakers. So far very few cars have CarPlay working, therefore the rest of us, we will still need Bluetooth.

Siri gives contextual reminders, based on usage patterns, and notifying user when to leave for appointments, taking into account traffic conditions in iOS 9. The software on iPhones will even learn what someone typically listens to in a certain location or at a particular time of day such as s/he  gets in the car before work, it can automatically display playback control for music.

One of our readers reported that he has an Phone 6 Plus running the iOS 9 beta in a 2015 Ram 1500 with UConnect. It seems to be working well except for one problem. He used to be able to listen to or at least be notified of incoming texts on UConnect.

Beta testers in forums have reported when they connect iPhones to cars via Bluetooth, iOS 9 automatically offers suggestions related to what the driver usually does. If the driver usually listens to music while driving, it is likely that playback controls or a suggested a playlist will be displayed on the Lock screen.

Commuters who want to get to their destination in the fastest way possible report that iOS 9 displays real-time traffic updates and an approximate time it will take to reach the usual destination through Apple Maps notifications on the Lock screen.

Battery optimization for better battery life in iOS 9 will allow drivers to not have to charge their iPhones as often. Software updates require less space to install and an Install Later feature can perform updates to your device when it’s not in use.

The “Nuke-it-fix” and its variations of the “off your Handoff,” continue to work for some Bluetooth fixes.

If you have updated to iOS 8.4.1 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.

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.

Previously, after talking to many automakers we asked Why Bluetooth iOS 8-8.1 & iPhone 6-6+ issues persist in cars? It seemed like the 8.1 update helped with a few new model cars. Here is a summary of Bluetooth issues and fixes and checkout the most popular nuke-it fixes.

We received good and bad news about iOS 8.2 when it was first launched.

You are welcome to sign up for our newsletter for daily news, weekly news or just Bluetooth iOS 8+ news to keep informed. Note: if you subscribe to email when published, you will get everything and don’t have to subscribe to other lists.

15 thoughts on “Will iOS 9 update cause car Bluetooth iPhone issues like 8.4.1 does?”

  1. I have a iPhone 6 with the last IOS version 9.3.3 (July/2016) and a KIA Rio 2016 with navigation system.
    The iPhone 6 connects with the car system and transfers the phone list, last calls, etc, but when I make a call or receive a call, no sound at all. Do not works.
    The Music plays ok via BT.
    It is very frustrating.
    I think Apple is very incompetent with this issue. There are YEARS with this and the problem is still actual.
    What to do?

  2. Since updating to iOS9.1 I cannot hear music from my iPhone 5 in my 2014 Golf. It displays the song playing on the screen but makes no sound. I can get calls and directions from Google maps. I can even skip songs using the touch screen but no sound. It says it can’t find playlists. I created a new play list. I unpaired and re-paired.

    • hi, try – General>Accessibilty>Car Audio Routing and select “Bluetooth Headset” instead of of the default Automatic.

      Looks like there is a bug in the Automatic setting.

  3. I got iPhone 6s 128gb, it has problems with both cars I have: 2012 Toyota Sienna and 2015 BMW X3. Audio streaming is just fine, but when either someone calls me or I call the voice is distorted, sounds kinda metal and slow. It is this way on both iOS 9 and 9.1

  4. Everything on my 2016 Mazda CX-5 paired with my iPhone 5S running iOS 9.1 for the texting function is working flawlessly to RECEIVE text. My only issue is the infotainment center tells me that REPLY is not an option, even though HELP tells me it is a valid command. REPLY is also grayed out on the screen and not selectable. I would just like to be able to REPLY with the pre-selected reply options. Show notifications is ON in the MAZDA device under Bluetooth on my iPhone.

    Is there a fix for this issue?

  5. I updated my iPhone 5s to the new iOS 9, then also updated to the iOS 9.1(?) update which promptly released bug fixes for iOS nine. I have Ford sync (non-touchscreen) in my 2014 Ford Focus and I use it to play music through Pandora on my iPhone by connecting to the USB and using the USB feature, not Bluetooth connection, although I keep my phone connected to Bluetooth in case of incoming or outgoing calls. About a week after the second iOS nine update my music randomly started pausing on Pandora, not because it’s buffering but because for some reason it won’t let me continue to play. It causes approximately every 6 to 10 seconds it does not last any longer than that. I have had it since you once before, and it was of my old iPhone 4s.

    If I leave my phone charging on the USB port but she used to connect my audio through Bluetooth instead, I still have the issue. I need to unplug my phone from the USB port and then stream audio via Bluetooth for it to function properly. Of course if my phone is dying that’s not much use to me as it just sucks more battery. Are you when else have this issue, and if so do you have any solutions?

  6. My Cadillac cue will not sync with my iPhone 6s messages.
    When will a fix be available ?
    Thanks, jerry

  7. Both car and truck have lost Bluetooth connection after IOS9 update on my iPhone 5C.
    I have a 2011 Chrysler 200 and a 2013 Ram both with uConnect. I called uConnect and they said it is an Apple update issue. They cant keep up with Apple updates. I am still waiting for a fix to use Bluetooth again.
    I even plugged the phone in directly and it will not find the device any longer. No Pandora or Podcasts = nothing. Any help out there would be appreciated.


  8. 2008 Mazda CX-9. Bought my iPhone 6 in March 2015. At first there was a delay in connecting to the Bluetooth and I’d have to wait before pulling off from my home to see the connection but it worked fine. Mind you, with my 4S, there were no connection delays or problems with the Bluetooth – ever. After the update, I couldn’t (and still can’t) connect at all. I unpaired, tried to re-pair, re-set…nothing! How frustrating. I am reluctant to upgrade to the IOS 9 but after reading this article I may…though not right away.

  9. Using iphone 5C with 8.4.1 upgrade. the upgrade broke Carplay, handsfree phone(basically a BT issue) and it no longer boots up Pioneer Appmode anymore. Head unit is Pioneer NEX 4100 in an Audi A4 Quattro.

  10. BMW 2015 535i, Iphone 6, since upgrade to 8.4.1 lost both USB and bluetooth connection. It shows connected on both BMW (under Connections) and iphone, but under media neither bluetooth nor USB shows connected. Annoying! #applefixit

  11. Since September 2014 when I made the mistake of upgrading to version 8 my iPhone connects via bluetooth with my Audi 6, to disconnect a few minutes later. Nothing has changed since. I have tested every new version and I have reset all my settings every time and start from the very beginning both in my car and phone. Nothing to do. Incredible that Apple do not give any priority to solve what’s clearly a safety / security problem. Handsfree are just that a safety device but they do waste my time with all kinds of features that I value less and less when the very basics are not working. Thanks but no thanks Apple

  12. I reported a problem with my Honda Civic VTi-LN to Honda. The radio is made by panasonic. I showed them that upon entering the car, if I’m on Bluetooth audio, it will just play something in my playlist without me doing anything. If I pause the audio from the radio (which correctly shows the current song playing), it pauses, however, if I subsequently use for example Siri, or anything which initiates audio from the phone, when that has completed, the car radio again starts playing the song and disrespects the pause. The control to move to the next song, or do random does not work. The dealer tried the nuke trick, and it didn’t work. He contacted panasonic who sent their current latest radio with presumably updated firmware. No change. Therefore there are clearly still bluetooth handshake/control issues. I’m using a 6+ and OS 8.4.1
    This car is made in England of all places, and the issue gives me the sh**s

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