How to make your BMW sync with your smartphone
I’ve had emails from three readers now who were having problems syncing their BlackBerrys with their in-car Bluetooth system, and the common factor to all three cases was that the cars were BMWs.
Now I know cars can be a bit fussy about which phones they’ll pair with, but I have several RIM devices and I’ve never had problems using any of them in my own BMW. The symptom these readers were reporting is that receiving calls works just fine but in each case the reader couldn’t get their phone to sync its contacts list with the car, so making calls using the BMW iDrive system became tricky.
If you’ve been having problems sending your BlackBerry phonebook over Bluetooth, to a BMW or indeed to any other device, try turning off contact encryption
I happen to live near one of these readers (who has asked me not to print his name: I’m not sure which he’s more embarrassed about owning, a BlackBerry or a Beemer), so we met up one day to compare cars and phones. I was able to sync my phones to his car just fine, but he wasn’t able to sync his to mine, so the problem was clearly his phone rather than his car. We then spent a good hour or so going through various Bluetooth and other option screens on our phones, comparing settings, and eventually we found the culprit.
On his phone, within the security settings, he’d enabled on-device encryption and ticked the option to include contacts. I too had device encryption, but on my phone contacts wasn’t ticked. Once we unticked that option on the reader’s phone it magically started talking to his car.
I emailed the other two readers asking them to check whether this worked for them, and one replied that it did, but the other works for a government department that has a locked-down IT policy so they can’t alter the security settings.
So, if you’ve been having problems sending your BlackBerry phonebook over Bluetooth, to a BMW or indeed to any other device, try turning off contact encryption (unless you work for GCHQ, in which case it’s probably best to leave the option ticked).