BoltEV
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:40 pm

Background:

I wanted an installed Navigator in my Bolt EV, just like I had in my Chevy Volt, but it is just not offered.

Interestingly enough, I read on these forums much criticism of the concept of paying for this option by people who are not interested in the option of an internal Nav. An opinion rendered useless by their lack of interest in having an internal Nav.

Nevertheless, for two years now, I have encountered these problems:

• Getting in the car with my iPhone in my pocket and while driving wanting to use the Nav.

I then have to work my hand down through my pants pocket that is being held down by my seat belt, so that I can wiggle it out, then take my eyes off the road while I connect the USB cable. Of course, I could pull over and do this more safely, but typically this comes up when I am already driving on the freeway.

• Getting ready to go to sleep and remembering that my iPhone is still in the car and having to go retrieve it from my outdoor detached garage.

The fact of the matter is that I hailed the introduction of Bluetooth as the wireless revolution it was and has become.

I used to connect my iPod by an FM transmitter device from Griffin Technologies, which operated at less than full optimum performance, to be able to hear it through my vehicle's audio system.

Finally radios had an "AUX" jack, but still was clunky and did not support hands free cell usage.

Bluetooth took care of all these problems with the iPhone remaining in my pocket from entering the vehicle, driving and departing the vehicle.

The Bolt EV's insistence on "wired" Apple CarPlay and no internal Nav took all that away for the last two years!

Solution:

So now I just purchased a refurbished iPhone SE from Apple ($249 - 32Gb; or $299 - 128Gb), without a SIM and use it as a pure WiFi Device.

Setting it up with the same Apple ID as my primary iPhone, turning on Family Sharing, having both iPhones connect to the OnStar WiFi (or alternatively having the WiFi iPhone connected to the WiFi Personal Hotspot of my primary iPhone) now allows me get in and out of my Bolt EV, with my primary iPhone in my pocket at all times and:

• Receive and make telephone calls hands free

• Send and receive iMessages hands free

• Utilize my choice of map (Waze) for an always available Navigator

I am once again a Happy Camper! :)

The only downside that I can see is that I cannot use CarPlay to make or receive SMS texts that do not work through iMessage. However, I only use these types of texts about 5% of the time (1 out of 20), and if one of these text messages comes in while I am driving, I will hear its tone from my pocket. I will then know to go read and respond to it from my principal iPhone when it is safe.

Next, I am going to research how to jailbreak the iPhone SE so that I can use "car driver" on it which opens up most all of the Apps to Apple CarPlay.

In my case I want to use Plex to be able to view movies on the Bolt EV's display while I am parked. I will then be able to have installed the infotainment upgrade that removes that capability I now have utilizing a separately created flash drive, instead of just on my iPhone's library.

SeanNelson
Posts: 1438
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:42 am

BoltEV wrote:...Setting it up ... allows me get in and out of my Bolt EV, with my primary iPhone in my pocket at all times and:

• Receive and make telephone calls hands free

• Send and receive iMessages hands free

• Utilize my choice of map (Waze) for an always available Navigator

You didn't mention music, but being able to play my Spotify music in the car is another benefit I get from the Bolt's ability to use CarPlay and Android Auto. I'm also a frequent user of the Google Assistant to answer weather and other general questions - it lets us settle arguments instantly without anyone having to yank out their phones ;-).

These are precisely the kinds of reasons why many of us have no interest in a built-in navigation option. CarPlay and Android Auto have so many more features that it seems pointless to pay for something with far fewer options.

I use my primary phone with Android Auto. I've just gotten into the habit of always sliding it into its slot when I get into the car and retrieving it when I leave. I have a short 6" USB cable that's adopted a shape over time where the plug hangs right next to the phone's socket - it only takes me a couple of seconds to mount the phone and plug it in.

cwerdna
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:20 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:37 am

Yeah, oddly, the discontinued iPhone SE has shown up multiple times in the past month or two in the Apple clearance store: https://www.macrumors.com/2019/02/19/ip ... e-restock/.

I'm an iPhone guy and I have no issue w/two bullet points the OP mentioned.

I normally carry at least 2 phones (personal iPhone 8, work Android phone (Pixel 3)), usually 3 (3rd is some other iOS test device as I work on iOS software for a living). I've sometimes tried using the pocket/slot to charge my Pixel 3 and often end up leaving my car only to discover I left the phone in the pocket. Fortunately, I haven't walked very far when that happens.

SparkE
Moderator
Posts: 1086
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:55 pm

So you bought a map option for less than Chevy would have offered it (if they offered it at the same price as the Volt nav), which can be carried with you into any car you want, with free map upgrades.

BoltEV
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:31 pm

SparkE wrote:So you bought a map option for less than Chevy would have offered it (if they offered it at the same price as the Volt nav), which can be carried with you into any car you want, with free map upgrades.

Any Nav in a Nav-less storm!! :lol:

The key was getting it to make/answer phone calls and iMessages from the same number/account as my primary phone.

Now I am never without a Nav when I commence driving - my criticism of the existing “no-Nav option offered by Chevy” situation.

BoltEV
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:28 pm

Not ready for prime time :(

After a few days the SE without a SIM stopped working in making phone calls cloned over to my other iPhone. It still receives calls and sends and receives text through Apple CarPlay.

I checked with Apple and they said they were surprised it actually sent calls those initial days. So I obtained a refund for now.

The answer should have been the iPod Touch, which they recommended and initially swapped for the SE.

However, at this time, only iPhones will work with Apple CarPlay, so I refunded that unit the same day (luckily I tried it out in the parking lot!).

I'll keep searching...

JayHorn
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:03 am

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:56 am

If you are willing to make your calls using your existing phone via Bluetooth, then a 7" Android tablet or cheap Android phone can do the trick for the rest. Either can be had for under $40 anywhere (Walmart, etc.). Connect via Android Auto for maps and music. iTunes can be pulled over to Google Music or other solutions for free. WiFi via the in car option or use your iPhone as a hotspot.

I have a dedicated phone mounted below the center display and controls with a magnet mount placed right next to the hazard and sport mode buttons. Gives a low profile but good view of the screen, which will show the turn by turn directions in text, just below the map that is on the large in car screen.

Finally, if you are going to have that $40 dedicated tablet or phone in there, why not spend an additional $15 on an OBD2 Bluetooth code scanner. Plug in the OBD2 just to the left of the driver's left knee (below and under the headlight controls), and leave it in there. It can stay connected via Bluetooth to the tablet. That lets you tap into the info from the Bolt's own monitoring. With an app like Torque Pro, you can create a dashboard of that info for the tablet. I made a dashboard today for my extra Android phone...it provides different perspectives on the battery charge status, has a view of outside temperature and average battery temperature, which is good in winter to make sure the battery is not too cold, and it shows the average, high and low battery cell voltage, which can help you see if any individual battery cells are damaged, or if the BMS is messing up (there are 96 cells, and you can see the current voltage of each with the OBD2) . They should all have very similar voltage if things are working right.

So, when I turn on my Bolt, I also login on the Android that stays in the car. The phone display looks just like the link below, unless I switch it to Google Maps for directions, or music.

https://imgur.com/cwSNsPq

All the info is continuously refreshed while I drive. Cost $60 for the phone, OBD2 scanner and the magnet mount, and $5 for the Torque Pro app at the PlayStore. Setting it up required an upload of the Bolt specific codes into Torque Pro, but once I figured out how to do it (which took a little time), it ended up taking less than 2 minutes to upload. Explained in the "Notes" tab of file attached at the top of this thread:

https://www.chevybolt.org/forum/10-tech ... -pids.html

BoltEV
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:36 pm

JayHorn wrote:If you are willing to make your calls using your existing phone via Bluetooth, then a 7" Android tablet or cheap Android phone can do the trick for the rest...

Interesting alternative!

I find that once I connect my iPhone by USB for Apple CarPlay, that Bluetooth connectivity to any other iPhone is disabled. That is not true for Android, or how are you able to have Andriod Auto and Bluetooth?

Actually with 19,000 miles left on my lease due to expire at the turn of the year, I have decided to return to part time Uber driving, like I enjoyed doing in my Volt.

For this Uber setup, I installed a $10 Vent Smartphone holder, which works perfectly and since it is at eye-level, it always reminds me to connect/disconnect the phone; my largest grievance!

When Jailbreak comes to iOS 12.1.4, I look forward to using CarBridge, which activates most any iOS app on the CarPlay display! :)

JayHorn
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:03 am

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:52 pm

I think you are right about the Bluetooth connectivity. It appears clunky. Interestingly, I can USB connect my permanent in car Android phone to the car, and connect that same phone to the OBD2 reader via Bluetooth (meaning it's Bluetooth is NOT connected to the car (MyLink)). That allows me to apparently use maps and phone calling via the USB connection for that phone, while still getting the car statistics for my custom dashboard that I shared in my previous post.

But, even though that phone is not connected to the car (MyLink) via Bluetooth, it seems to shut down the ability to connect my main phone (iPhone) to the car via Bluetooth. It just seems like a goofy software decision, because the MyLink Bluetooth is not connected to anything, but it is blocked from my iPhone when the USB is connected to the other phone.

So, I am left to keep fidgeting with it to see if there is a trick that works with the connections. If not, I may consider setting up delayed call forwarding on my iPhone to a free WhatsApp number on the in car Android. So, if I am in the car and the iPhone rings, I could just let it ring 3 or 4 times until the call forwarding kicks in, and then pick up the call hands free via the Android with WhatsApp. Doesn't help for dialing out on the normal line hands free, and voicemails would all get funneled to be captured on the WhatsApp line, which is not ideal. So might not be worth it.

Congrats to you on using the Bolt for Uber! You are making something like 15%-20% more that your gas burning co-workers, I believe. Bolt is the perfect Uber car.

BoltEV
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:58 am

Re: Finally! For $249 I have a permanent Nav and no longer have to plug/unplug my iPhone for CarPlay!

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:28 am

JayHorn wrote:Congrats to you on using the Bolt for Uber! You are making something like 15%-20% more that your gas burning co-workers, I believe. Bolt is the perfect Uber car.

I am averaging about $1/mile income with a cost of about 4 cents per mile for electricity.

I have 19,000 miles left on my lease and I figure I can drive 5 hours per day, 5 days per week for the remainder of the lease and burn up 18,000 of those miles.

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