Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 597 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Talking Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override

Hi all, this is my first post on the subaruoutback.net message board. I've actually been quite active on several other popular message boards, but I recently discovered this site and have found it to be a nice community of practical Subaru fans and owners, not full of raging angry die hard enthusiasts!

So, I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of my new 2010 Outback 3.6R with nav, and it is set to arrive around the beginning of October. While I have obsessively researched it for many months, it seems that I overestimated some of the capabilities of the nav system.

While I knew that it does not have a 3D view, I was disappointed to find out it does it offer text-to-speech for street names. And while I knew it locked out some functions while driving, I am learning that it locks out almost everything (supposedly even changing playlists from an iPod). And even worse, I understand it even locks out some of the functions of the voice activation.

So here are my questions... I'd love to get a nice discussion thread going on this.

1) Can any current owners who are using the system provide a review of the system? Likes and dislikes? Tips and tricks? Pro/con comparisons to handhelds like Garmin?

2) Please expound on what is locked out when driving. To what extent can you program it using the voice activation while driving? Does it understand free text like addresses and street names or does it just have a fixed vocabulary? Can you do things like change albums for music on a USB stick while driving? Does it show album art?

3) Has anyone found a source or technique for hacking or unlocking the lockouts while driving? There are many stores on the Internet that sell plug-and-play harnesses for doing just this, but I haven't found anything for the Outback?Legacy. I recently contacted www.CoastalEtech.com who specializes in Toyota overrides and others, and they said they have no current plans to support Subaru but could in the future. I understand that the Subaru software is very similar to Toyota's, so I'm hopefully something will come out soon.

Thanks!

Elliot

EDIT 20-DEC-2009: IF YOU ARE READING THIS THREAD FOR THE FIRST TIME, SAVE SOME TIME AND SKIP TO THIS POST -- I have just posted a 9 page comprehensive illustrated guide on modding the nav on the 2010 Outback/Legacy to override the navigation lockouts while in motion, and also to add a trick mod to view the rear camera even if you are not in reverse:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...308#post209308


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post #2 of 597 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 02:39 PM
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I can tell you that I am considering an aftermarket NAVI system just for those reasons. I am waiting for my limited (god knows when it will ship) but they have a limited on the floor without navi I may just take, and then put in a better system....

edit: In fact there is a company called Rosen Entertainment Systems that make perfectly matched systems for existing models. Rosen's have 2d, 3d view, text to speech, not sure about live traffic maps... I e-mailed them.

They only work with dealerships but my dealer (Subaru of Ramsey, NJ) tells me they are top of the line.
They do not have 2010 outrback models listed yet though...if I have to use my portable navagon (which has all of the above mentioned features) I may just wait the few months for Rosen to come out with the 2010 model.
They can sell you a camera for the rear too in order to have the back up looky thingy.

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post #3 of 597 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 08:25 PM
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Re: Subaru navigation system -- tips, tricks, lockout override

Quote:
Originally posted by eps105

1) Can any current owners who are using the system provide a review of the system? Likes and dislikes? Tips and tricks? Pro/con comparisons to handhelds like Garmin?

2) Please expound on what is locked out when driving. To what extent can you program it using the voice activation while driving? Does it understand free text like addresses and street names or does it just have a fixed vocabulary? Can you do things like change albums for music on a USB stick while driving? Does it show album art?

3) Has anyone found a source or technique for hacking or unlocking the lockouts while driving? There are many stores on the Internet that sell plug-and-play harnesses for doing just this, but I haven't found anything for the Outback?Legacy. I recently contacted www.CoastalEtech.com who specializes in Toyota overrides and others, and they said they have no current plans to support Subaru but could in the future. I understand that the Subaru software is very similar to Toyota's, so I'm hopefully something will come out soon.
1) I will stick with Pro's on this one since the biggest con is #2.. The bluetooth hooks up with my iPhone 3Gs and my wife's 3G fine.. Both the phone and audio are able to remember 2 devices paired to the system (obviously only 1 can be used at a time, however audio and phone are independent.. i.e. I can use my phone as the "phone" and my wife's phone for audio at the same time.. Ok, not at the EXACT same time.) Using the USB cable with the iPhone and iPod works great.
You can burn a DVD full of MP3's and it will play on the system.

2) This is obviously the part of any integrated system. This is just not Subaru's fault, this is the legal system in action... Enough lawsuits have caused this to happen. Anyway, once driving it is easier to say what does work... The navigation system pretty much works fine (i.e. you can search for items, zoom in and zoom out, set way points, etc.). On the audio side you can control play/pause on the screen, next / previous track from the steering wheel, and you can change to a preset equalizer setting (you have "default" and 3 user pre-defined settings). That's it.. (No playlist changes, no ability to navigate the play list, you can't even scroll the list!)

3) Right now I have been waiting for someone to determine what model system is in the vehicle. I know it is Kenwood, and that is it.. I am hoping with a model number, finding any chance at hacks will come more from knowing the model.


In the end, I am still happy that I have the built in system.. I was so tired of wires hanging from GPS to power adapter, obviously you can have the bluetooth without the Nav system, and that was also bare minimum...
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post #4 of 597 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 10:12 PM
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I have the 2.5i with the Nav, now 3300 miles old...had a Garmin Nuvi in my previous car.

I would kill to somehow have the nuvi's capabilities built-in to the Subaru.

1. The lockouts are incredibly stupid and annoying. Anything you could remotely consider having locked out is locked out. All the audio controls with the limited exceptions of station presets on the radio and some very restricted setting controls are locked out. Destination setting is completely locked out. Some spoken commands are locked, those that apparently require looking at the touchscreen to read the response.

2. Programming--getting a list of POI's by location (nearest to farthest) requires 3 commands and two screens, getting POI information like phone numbers is also not easy.

3. The manual was apparently written by someone who has spoken little or no English. It's unbelievably obtuse.

4. On top of all this, sometimes when driving the system will "freeze" all the controls not on the touch screen--no buttons work. You have to turn the car off to get a rebooted, functioning system. Since the problem is intermittent, it's going to be a bear to document and have the dealer fix.

I really would like to downgrade my Outback and eliminate the nav, and buy an after-market system that doesn't treat me like an idiot or a criminal, and doesn't crash twice each day.

Love the car otherwise.
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post #5 of 597 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by phillychuck
The lockouts are incredibly stupid and annoying. Anything you could remotely consider having locked out is locked out. All the audio controls with the limited exceptions of station presets on the radio and some very restricted setting controls are locked out. Destination setting is completely locked out. Some spoken commands are locked, those that apparently require looking at the touchscreen to read the response.
Phillychuck: Thanks for the detailed information! Obviously, I'm less than thrilled to hear all the negatives after I blindly dropped $2k after repeatedly hearing the system is "much improved" over the 2009's.

I'm still Googling on a weekly basis trying to find an override hack, which is probably only a matter of time given their availability for virtually all other cars.

I'm still awaiting delivery of my new Outback (hopefully this week!), so I was wondering if you could clarify if the lockouts include the voice activation. I was under the impression you could program POI's while driving by saying things like "I'm hungry".

I plan on petitioning Subaru via their customer service line to reconsider some of their lockouts -- locking out changing playlists via USB/iPod is likened to them locking out the Load & Eject buttons on the CD player... preposterous!!

As far as the freezing up -- I'd be willing to wager there will be software upgrade in the near future. Seems that it's the way of the world now that early adopters are essentially beta testers. Let's all make waves by telling our dealers and Subaru customer service about the problems any chance we get and maybe something will happen.

Elliot
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post #6 of 597 (permalink) Old 09-30-2009, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by eps105


Phillychuck: Thanks for the detailed information! Obviously, I'm less than thrilled to hear all the negatives after I blindly dropped $2k after repeatedly hearing the system is "much improved" over the 2009's.

I'm still Googling on a weekly basis trying to find an override hack, which is probably only a matter of time given their availability for virtually all other cars.

I'm still awaiting delivery of my new Outback (hopefully this week!), so I was wondering if you could clarify if the lockouts include the voice activation. I was under the impression you could program POI's while driving by saying things like "I'm hungry".

I plan on petitioning Subaru via their customer service line to reconsider some of their lockouts -- locking out changing playlists via USB/iPod is likened to them locking out the Load & Eject buttons on the CD player... preposterous!!

As far as the freezing up -- I'd be willing to wager there will be software upgrade in the near future. Seems that it's the way of the world now that early adopters are essentially beta testers. Let's all make waves by telling our dealers and Subaru customer service about the problems any chance we get and maybe something will happen.

Elliot
So far I have had my Nav system lock twice on me.. The audio would still work, but the screen was frozen on whatever page it was on.. (i.e. if I was on the Map screen, the map stayed there no matter what button I press.. The map still updates fine, so it isn't a "total" freeze, more of a "I can't get off this screen" freeze.. (At least for me.) And both times until I could shut the car off there seemed to be no other option.. (EDIT: I have had the vehicle for almost 2 months.)

As to the lockout's... If you say "I'm hungry" (i.e. "Find restaraunts") the nav system will gladly turn on the restauraunt's "POI" mode.. However then selecting any of those restaurants via voice can not be done.

So then comes the "Find nearest restaraunt" mode, which indeed pulls up the nearest restaraunt and allows you to set it as a way point or destination via voice command... However, if you don't want that one, you want the NEXT restaraunt you can't (or at least I have yet to figure out how to do it via voice)..

So long story short, if you throw "nearest" into your phrase (i.e. "Find nearest chinese restaraunt") you can set the destination to the single nearest restaraunt, that is it..

Unless someone else has figured out something I haven't.. (Possible since I don't use the voice options much - would if it over rode things like switching playlists and such, but can't!)
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post #7 of 597 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 02:42 PM
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I just got my OB 2 days ago, and I'm having some strange issues with the navigation system. I can enter a destination, but I never get any visual or verbal prompts for turns along the way. It also does not automatically recalculate when I don't follow the route.

Basically what happens when I put in the destination, I get the voice prompt, "Please proceed to the highlighted route, and the route guidance will start." Then it seems to get stuck, and never actually "starts". I can see the blue line sowing hte route, but no voice or turn prompts. I did check the volume as shown in the manual and that wasn't the problem. The only other prompt I get is when I get to the destination and the woman announces: "You have arrived at your destination. Your route guidance is now complete." In between, nothing, though the GPS does seem to be accurately tracking my vehicle's location.

Am I do something wrong? I have a GPS system in my other car, and also 2 portable units, so I'd like to think I'm "GPS-savvy", but maybe I'm missing something obvious. Otherwise, I guess I'll need to visit the service department.
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post #8 of 597 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 04:13 PM
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newbs - Are you on a main road? Mine will do this if I am on a secondary road. However, it will say in advance that there will be no guidance for this road.
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post #9 of 597 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sir Sawgrass
newbs - Are you on a main road? Mine will do this if I am on a secondary road. However, it will say in advance that there will be no guidance for this road.
Yep, I m on main roads, including major interstate freeways. I can actually watch as my vehicle follows the blue route line, but no prompts (i.e., no voice prompts, and no split-screen upcoming turn information). It's like the system is still waiting for me to "proceed to the highlighted route" and won't do anything even though I have proceeded to the route.
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post #10 of 597 (permalink) Old 10-02-2009, 05:47 PM
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newbs - The only thing I can think of is have you pushed "Start"? ( Navigation book Page 35, No. 4). Reading your post above, my guess would be "Yes".

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