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Discussion Starter #1
I've been missing notifications on my iPhone 5 since I switched from my totaled 2010 Outback (Limited without Nav) to my 2013 Outback (Limited with Nav) and Ijust realized why.

Apparently, when the phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth, all phone sounds are silenced. No notifications, no key clicks, no nothing.

They will play via the car's audio system, but *only* if the audio source is set to Bluetooth. When the audio source is set to the radio or something else, or if the audio system is turned off, I can't find any way to hear what my phone is trying to tell me.

Anyone find a way around this? Has to be a bug. Hard to believe this is the intended behavior.
 

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I've been missing notifications on my iPhone 5 since I switched from my totaled 2010 Outback (Limited without Nav) to my 2013 Outback (Limited with Nav) and Ijust realized why.

Apparently, when the phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth, all phone sounds are silenced. No notifications, no key clicks, no nothing.

They will play via the car's audio system, but *only* if the audio source is set to Bluetooth. When the audio source is set to the radio or something else, or if the audio system is turned off, I can't find any way to hear what my phone is trying to tell me.

Anyone find a way around this? Has to be a bug. Hard to believe this is the intended behavior.
Ring tones still play on the phone . It is just the alerts that are silenced. I believe the phone intentionally silences the alerts because it expects them to play through bluetooth. The bluetooth unit in my other car handles this fine and plays the alerts through the speaker. For some reason the alerts won't play through bluetooth in my Outback unless audio source is set to bluetooth. Being that ringtones aren't a problem it seems like it would have been a better design to just have the alerts play wherever the ringtones do.
 

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They will play via the car's audio system, but *only* if the audio source is set to Bluetooth. When the audio source is set to the radio or something else, or if the audio system is turned off, I can't find any way to hear what my phone is trying to tell me.

Anyone find a way around this? Has to be a bug. Hard to believe this is the intended behavior.
This is intended behavior. And there are ways around it.

iOS channels audio through a single output, and reroutes everything through that output. It has some logic to figure out what that should be. It's what allows everything to go through the headphones automatically when they are plugged in, including your alert noises.

When the phone connects to your car's head unit, it's automatically selecting the head unit as your sound output (A2DP). And it routes all audio through that accordingly. Calls go through, as it goes through the hands-free part of the head unit. The head unit always allows the hands-free part to override everything else, so it's all good.

The problem here is that iOS doesn't know if the bluetooth audio (A2DP) part is actually playing anything or not. Just that it's accepting audio. So it happily defaults to it on connect (assuming you mean for this to happen), and pipes all your audio into the abyss.

Now for the work-around. iOS also lets you pick which output to use. You can pick the output using the little "AirPlay" button in the various places it shows up: lock screen, near volume bars in many apps, or even next to the volume bar that's in the multitasking tray (double-tap home twice, then swipe to the right twice). Tap it and it will let you pick between the phone, and the head unit which is "CAR_M_MEDIA" in my case.

What I don't know is if it remembers this selection the next time you connect. I'd have to test it. I use my phone as the source of radio/podcasts/music in my car, so I haven't even tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
iOS channels audio through a single output
But I never had this problem on my 2010 Outback, only on my 2013. So it seems like it must have something to do with the car, not just iOS. Maybe it's because the 2013 has Nav and HK stereo, not sure. On the other hand, could possibly be iOS 6, which happened for me at roughly the same time with a new iPhone 5.

Still hard to believe this is intended, since missing audio notifications, and even key clicks, is bizarre and unwanted behavior.
 

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The problem I tink is that the 2010 w/out nav the Blutooth was a sepearte device and the 2013 w/ nav is all one integrated unit. Since the bluetooth was a seperate device, it was able to play regardless of how it was connected. In the 2013 it is differant. Only phone events (not notifications as iOS sees them) are played because they are triggering the Phone connection, not the A2DP channel.

It sounds like everything is operating as engineered and how it works on many other cars I have been in (toyota, lexus, acura, merc, bmw). Phone event and active calls are run on a seperate channel as A2DP streaming. And iOS plays event notifiers by default over A2DP, not phone connection. I am not sure if Android is the same, but I do know that Windows Phone plays all events and notifications over Phone connection not A2DP and all else over A2DP (keys, music, etc...)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
bajanut, your explanation makes some sense to me. My 2010 did not have Bluetooth audio streaming at all, so the phone simply played its usual user interface sounds, notification sounds, etc. Now, as you say, it seems that those are silenced on the phone and sent to the car via Bluetooth. But they aren't heard unless the car's audio input is specifically set to Bluetooth and turned on.

If this is correct, the fault lies in iOS, which to me should send UI sounds, notification sounds, and any other phone sounds other than audio playback to the car via the Bluetooth phone system, so they are heard no matter how the car's audio system is set. Or, maybe even better, all those other sounds should simply play through the phone's own speaker as usual.

Completely losing these important phone-to-user audio communications seems like poor engineering. I would consider this an iOS bug since I can't see any benefit to configuring it this way.

Thanks.
 

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bajanut, your explanation makes some sense to me. My 2010 did not have Bluetooth audio streaming at all, so the phone simply played its usual user interface sounds, notification sounds, etc. Now, as you say, it seems that those are silenced on the phone and sent to the car via Bluetooth. But they aren't heard unless the car's audio input is specifically set to Bluetooth and turned on.

If this is correct, the fault lies in iOS, which to me should send UI sounds, notification sounds, and any other phone sounds other than audio playback to the car via the Bluetooth phone system, so they are heard no matter how the car's audio system is set. Or, maybe even better, all those other sounds should simply play through the phone's own speaker as usual.
I would agree that it would probably be better to play them over the HFP system, although that does introduce other wonderful oddities when you are actually using the audio streaming. It's a trade-off.

Another weird oddity here is that the head unit in the 2013 Premium that I have is never "off". Which means it's always connected to my phone, even when I explicitly turn it off. It does this for the hands-free, but it also is connecting to the audio streaming.

Completely losing these important phone-to-user audio communications seems like poor engineering. I would consider this an iOS bug since I can't see any benefit to configuring it this way.

Thanks.
The issue is partly that iOS treats any audio output the same as any other, and there are good reasons for doing it this way. Say I'm playing music through my home speakers, my headphones, or my car stereo. It's a little loud, but comfortable. If the phone itself is playing the notifications, I won't hear them most likely. Unless I have the phone's speaker turned way up, which I usually don't. So I'd have to keep reminding myself to tweak the volume every time. By playing them as part of the audio and putting them out through my home speakers, headphones or car stereo, it actually makes it easier to hear the notifications in many situations.

The exception to this rule is the hands-free support, which isn't treated as an audio output.

And again, you can easily work around this using the "AirPlay" control available everywhere on the phone:



Tap that little icon on the right, and select 'iPhone' while in the car, and all audio will come out the iPhone's speakers.
 

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I tried a few different combinations and the iphone/OB combination is the only one that has an issue that requires a work around.

combo1: iphone5/2013 OB w/nav - ringtone plays on phone. alerts are silenced.
combo2: droidx/2013 OB w/nav - both ringtone and alerts play on phone.
combo3: iphone5/2010 Legacy with aftermarket BT - ringtone plays on phone. alerts play on BT speaker.
combo4: iphone5/2010 Nissan Rogue with factory BT built into radio. both ringtone and alerts play on phone.
 

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I tried a few different combinations and the iphone/OB combination is the only one that has an issue that requires a work around.

combo1: iphone5/2013 OB w/nav - ringtone plays on phone. alerts are silenced.
combo2: droidx/2013 OB w/nav - both ringtone and alerts play on phone.
combo3: iphone5/2010 Legacy with aftermarket BT - ringtone plays on phone. alerts play on BT speaker.
combo4: iphone5/2010 Nissan Rogue with factory BT built into radio. both ringtone and alerts play on phone.
So a question:

For combo 3 and 4, do you know if they support bluetooth audio playback (A2DP)? If so, does it look like they connect when you select bluetooth audio (my Kenwood X994 did this I believe)? Maybe provide a head unit model # for 3?

That might shed some more light on exactly why this happens with this combination. I suspect it is the combination of iOS playing all audio over the one user-selected output, and the head unit always connecting to A2DP even when it doesn't intend to play anything.

FWIW my '12 H/K Premium radio lowers the audio volume if I get an email or text on my iPhone when it's connected to the USB port AND my ringer is on.

If I have the ringer switch turned off on my phone I get no alert.
Are you playing music over USB in that situation? If so, that's the iPhone itself lowering the volume, playing the alert over USB and returning the volume back to where it was. The iPod mode over USB is weird since the iPod/iPhone itself does the audio decode and sends over uncompressed audio over USB.
 

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So a question:

For combo 3 and 4, do you know if they support bluetooth audio playback (A2DP)? If so, does it look like they connect when you select bluetooth audio (my Kenwood X994 did this I believe)? Maybe provide a head unit model # for 3?.
#3 isn't even a head unit. Just a portable handsfree BT device. #4 is the Nissan factory HU which does not support BT audio.
I think what this comes down to is when there is BT audio support the iphone decides to play alerts over the BT audio and silence the phone. So the receiver must be in BT audio mode to hear the alerts. The Droid doesn't silence the phone so you still hear your alerts even if the receiver is not in BT audio mode.
 

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Are you playing music over USB in that situation? If so, that's the iPhone itself lowering the volume, playing the alert over USB and returning the volume back to where it was. The iPod mode over USB is weird since the iPod/iPhone itself does the audio decode and sends over uncompressed audio over USB.
Honestly, I don't remember if it's only when playing music over USB or also when listening to the radio (FM/AM).
 

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Brilliant!...Now what about playing voice Nav through radio

To the posters:

Thanks so much for providing the work around to this very vexing iphone 5/Suby Outback '13 problem. It's hard to believe, but no one at either of the Subaru service departments, or at Subaru of America knows about this simple fix. I'm assuming they will soon (if they're paying attention)...

I've been trying to play voice navigation through my iphone, but in additon to squelching aubdible alerts for emails/texts etc, the voice navigation has been silenced. But your solution works great.

Now what about the ability to play voice navigation through the radio using either the USB jack, or an aux audio cable?

So far no luck with that, and on trips to unfamiliar destinations, it would be nice to have this play a bit louder than my iphone max volume...

TIA
 
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