We’re not saying our story was completely wrong Monday about iPhone 4 compatibility with car radios, but it turns out there are plenty of glitches being reported by users of iPhones running iOS 4 who try to link up with their car radio.
Over 200 consumer complaints are posted on the Apple discussion boards from users who find their car radio fails to work properly once they plug in an iPhone updated to iOS 4.
Radios from Pioneer, JVC, Alpine, Kenwood, Clarion, Panasonic, Honda, Nissan and Mercedes Benz were cited among others. Users are getting “device incompatible” messages when connected to an updated iPhone in some cases. Some Alpine radios are said to scroll too slowly. A user complained a JVC radio stops playing music after an initial few seconds, and another said a JVC radio produced an error message, “Cannot Play.” Another user said a Pioneer radio stops playing after 5 seconds. All worked fine before the user upgraded his phone.
A user named Mikesnow wrote: ‘It’s the iOS 4.0 that is messing it up, I have a 3GS and work at a Car Audio Shop and 100% of every model of every manufacturer does not work with the iOS 4. Some of these radios were just released less then a month ago built specifically for iPhones, and after the update to OS4 they no longer function. Same phone, same radio, different OS different results. Sony’s will just sit there frozen with iPod displayed on the screen. Pioneer radios will display “searching” then after a few mins give Error-19. Kenwood’s flash “Searching”….forever. Alpine’s display “Device Error:” the Alpine that’s made for iPhone and Pandora never recognizes the phone or iPod even if you have the Pandora Alpine link app running. JVC displays “Searching” forever…’
A second user named biggjerry wrote ‘upgraded to iOS 4 a few hours ago. Went to my car and plugged it into the USB port of my Pioneer stereo and it says ‘Not compatible.’’
JVC, Pioneer and Alpine all said performing a hard reset on the phone solves the problem in many cases. “As you know, Apple tests our units before it confirms them to be Made for iPod or Works with iPhone – so any issues that consumers may experience are on the side of Apple since they updated their OS system…” said Chad Vogelsong, JVC’s GM of marketing.
Pioneer director of marketing for car electronics Ted Cardenas, said, “Currently issues seem to be related primarily to the automatic pairing of the Bluetooth A2DP profile with various manufacturer’s products including Pioneer. Apple is aware of the issue. Regarding the USB error message, this is simply a communication error that is resolved by fully shutting down the iPhone (v4 or older running iOS4) and re-starting. Once completed, the USB connection functions fine from that point forward.”
Alpine also said the problem is with Apple software and not authentication chips in the radio. Alpine gave us this statement: “We have received some calls about some Alpine units having glitches when used with the iOS4. Since each user has his or her own set-up, each case needs to be evaluated separately so a “blanket” solution is not applicable. However in some cases, we have found that performing a “hard” reset on the iPhone alleviates the problem. This is done by pressing and holding the top and Home buttons simultaneously for 8-10 seconds, ignoring the red slider bar that pop up on the screen, until the screen goes black. Then, the iPhone can be turned back on by pressing and holding the top button.”
One vendor noted that the iPhone 3G also created buggy car stereo connections and an update was issued by Apple within a month, which solved the problem.
It was not clear if the new iPhone 4 creates car radio glitches or only iPhones upgraded iPhones to iOS 4.
Next time we’ll check the Apple forums first.