Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby RiaanBodenstein » Sat May 05, 2012 2:13 pm

I thought I would give my ten cents worth as well. Yesterday I managed to get the Waze navigation and voice calls to work through my bluetooth headset and music through my car's speakers. What I did was to connect the iPhone to my bluetooth and tested that Waze and voice calls works. Then I connected my dock and tested that music plays through car speakers. It worked and I was very happy because that is just what I wanted. It worked perfectly for about 80 miles and then all of a sudden switched all Waze notifications and Voice calls to the car speakers. When I got to my destination I disconnected my phone from the doc and turned off the bluetooth and tried to set it up again as I explained above but could't get it to work. Everything went through car speakers. When I got home I tried it again without ant luck.
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby abernaert » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:16 pm

You're right, most music/video apps also play to the speaker if the iPhone is on silent.
I hardly ever use my iPhone for music and/or video so I had to test is with the apps I have. :)
Because of the poor battery life of the iPhone I bought an iPod for music.

I don't use any docks or Bluetooth devices so I guess these options are irrelevant to me.
But still these options are not self explanatory and could use some explaining in the Waze app itself.

But my questions on the sound level of Waze are answered.
If I use an music app and turn up the sound before starting Waze, or adjust the volume when Waze is giving directions gets Waze to the volume level I want.
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby gettingthere » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:45 pm

abernaert wrote:"Play sound to phone speaker" and "Prefer Bluetooth" cause a lot of confusion.
Why not rename these options?
Or remove them if they don't seem to do anything (prefer bluetooth)?
Or add some text to explain the options?

"Play sound to phone speaker" sounds to me like that if this is turned of Waze sound not send any sound to phone speaker. Bur clearly that's not what it does.

What I find very strange is that Waze overrides the silent switch (on iPhone at least).
In my opinion this is very much unwanted behavior.
Silent should be silent.


Some things that may be relevant:

* In general with Navigation application the silent switch is not going to impact voice directions. You need to disable or mute the directions in the navigation application.
* Play sound to speaker seems to work if you have another option 'connected' for audio. For example if you have the iPhone in a TomTom dock with it's own speaker - if you configure Waze to use play sound to speaker it will continue to use the iPhone speaker vs. directing the sound to the TomTom speaker. I believe it works the same if you have headphones plugged into the iPhone. Waze will continue to send sound to the iPhone speaker vs. to the headphones.
* I believe Bluetooth is only relevant if the Bluetooth device has is a stereo Bluetooth A2DP compliant device. I have not tested this so I may be incorrect.

Here is some information from a competitor, MotionX-GPS Drive regarding the iPhone silent switch:

"When I enable my iPhone's ring/silent switch, should voice prompts and iPod music be muted?

As is standard for most navigation programs, voice and music will play regardless of the ring/silent switch setting. Button presses and any other sound effects will be muted, however."

http://drive.motionx.com/iphone/faq/#7
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby abernaert » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:05 am

"Play sound to phone speaker" and "Prefer Bluetooth" cause a lot of confusion.
Why not rename these options?
Or remove them if they don't seem to do anything (prefer bluetooth)?
Or add some text to explain the options?

"Play sound to phone speaker" sounds to me like that if this is turned of Waze sound not send any sound to phone speaker. Bur clearly that's not what it does.

What I find very strange is that Waze overrides the silent switch (on iPhone at least).
In my opinion this is very much unwanted behavior.
Silent should be silent.
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:10 pm

Another finding. This is not repeatable, however, so I don't know what the deal is. Using the "always prefer bluetooth" option turned ON, I was able to get ALL sounds from Waze to bluetooth INCLUDING being able to give voice commands. This was working paired with my car, so using the mic built in to my car, I was able to send Waze commands in a noisy environment just fine. The car thinks it's actually a phone call due to the type of connection.

I cannot get it to do this reliably. :(

But Waze really does need to be revamped in order to allow users the most flexibility in terms of exactly how they want the audio to work.
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:10 am

Okay, I did a lot of testing on the way home today. Now, I do not know if these features are operating as expected, but this is how I find it works:

  1. In general, I could not find any effect of the "prefer bluetooth" option
  2. Most all streaming/audio apps have a selector to choose the output method, such is iPhone, bluetooth devices, etc.
  3. When there is another app outputting audio, Waze will default to using the same output method
  4. iOS appears to restrict all audio to one output at a time; all apps must use the same output method
  5. More than one app can output sound at a time
  6. When the "always output to speaker" option is turned ON, any sound from Waze will fade out and stop any other playing/streaming audio, regardless of what output method the other app is using
  7. When the "always output to speaker" option is turned ON, Waze does not play any audio when in the background
  8. When the "always output to speaker" option is turned OFF, Waze will partially fade out any other playing/streaming audio
  9. When the "always output to speaker" option is turned OFF, Waze does play any audio when in the background
  10. If the other audio app does not put the "playing" triangle in the top status bar of the iOS device, it will not restart the audio when the "always output to speaker" option is turned ON. This is because this app doesn't use the proper method for playing audio. If the other app is programmed properly and puts that triangle up there, Waze will be able to restart the audio stream.
In my quick testing, well-known apps like Music, iHeartRadio and Pandora, do work correctly and Waze is able to restart them if the "always output to speaker" option is turned ON. Other specific radio-station apps I tested did NOT work properly due to their poor programming.

Now that I know how the options work, I find that Waze behaves pretty well most of the time. However, when turn announcements are just a bit too close together, Waze will do one or two things;
  1. Stop the other audio stream completely, even if it is a properly programmed app, and continue to give turn instructions
  2. Stop playing the other app, and stop giving turn instructions
  3. The other app continues playing, but Waze stops giving turn instructions
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby WeeeZer14 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:19 pm

AlanOfTheBerg wrote:My take, given testing with the audio options so far, is that iOS restricts output to one subsystem at a time, for all apps.


I didn't phrase my original question very well. This is exactly what I was trying to get at.
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:00 pm

dmwierz wrote:Alan, thanks for the clarification, but in providing it, you've confused me. The way I've read it in other threads, this is how things work:

Prefer Bluetooth on: Music fades out. Music pauses. Instruction plays through audio connection. Music resumes. Music fades in.

Prefer Bluetooth off: Music fades out but continues to play. Instruction plays over music through audio connection. Music fades in.

These scenarios assume that music is playing through a USB audio connection and that a Bluetooth handsfree device is connected.


is this not correct?

In my testing, prefer BT made no difference at all. My testing was as follows:
  • Always output to phone speaker ON: <audio> fades out. <audio> pauses. Instruction plays through speaker. <audio> resumes. <audio> fades in.
  • Always output to phone speaker OFF: <audio> ducks (doesn't 100% fade out). Instruction plays over <audio> through <audio connection: headphone jack or BT>. <audio> fades in.
I may need to see if prefer BT makes any difference. I do not have a dock connector to test with.

I have also noted that most apps have the selector next to their volume control to choose where that app outputs its audio. It would be interesting to increase the scope of the tests to cover what happens when the streaming/Music app is outputting over speaker/headset.
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby dmwierz » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:50 pm

Alan, thanks for the clarification, but in providing it, you've confused me. The way I've read it in other threads, this is how things work:

Prefer Bluetooth on: Music fades out. Music pauses. Instruction plays through audio connection. Music resumes. Music fades in.

Prefer Bluetooth off: Music fades out but continues to play. Instruction plays over music through audio connection. Music fades in.

These scenarios assume that music is playing through a USB audio connection and that a Bluetooth handsfree device is connected.


is this not correct?
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Re: Bluetooth headset, dock connector, iPhone, Music

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:39 pm

dmwierz wrote:
AlanOfTheBerg wrote:
WeeeZer14 wrote:Does anyone know if the iOS API gives an app that level of control across different outputs all at the same time?

I do not believe that any app can output over multiple connections simultaneously, it can only be one. I wasn't trying to give the impression one could choose multiple simultaneous outputs.


Not sure if we'd wandered off topic, but I wasn't trying to output to multiple connections from one app - I was hoping to have several apps outputting to separate connections: Waze to the BT headset; Audible.com to the dock connector; iPhone output to the BT headset...

I think there are a lot of sub-topics here. My take, given testing with the audio options so far, is that iOS restricts output to one subsystem at a time, for all apps. This is why, when you have the Music app sending a stream to the car stereo over BT, and Waze is set to Not output audio to the speaker, that it is able to just duck the audio, but it doesn't stop the audio stream. They are, essentially, mixed together.

However, with the "send sound to speaker" option selected in Waze, the audio stream from any app is stopped during the announcement, which suggests to me that iOS is the culprit here and can only handle one discrete audio output at a time. I don't know this for a fact as I'm not a developer, but it sounds (pun intended!) reasonable to me.
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