Apple iOS 4 upgrade breaks car stereo connectivity

Over on the Apple Support forums, we've noticed a large amount of users saying that their car stereos are no longer working with Apples iOS 4. update. Users report that after updating an iPhone (or iPod) to iOS 4, plugging the phone into the cars integrated stereo create errors indicating the device is "Not compatible".

The thread, which is just under 400 replies as of writing, has hundreds of disgruntled users. Apparently, devices using iOS 4 are not compatible unless the manufacturers bother to update the firmware on the head units, which seems highly irregular.

Users write on the forums:

"My 2010 Land Cruiser stereo will also not work with my i-phone now after upgrading to OS4.....when I have the USB plugged in and the phone rings...the i-brick locks up and takes forever to hard reset!!!"

"I'm having the same issue with my JVC KD-A605. Plays for like 10 seconds if that and then cuts out on me. I deleted all my images and the phone started playing again for a full day or so and then when i re synced my phone again the next day it wouldn't read it again."

"my iphone 4 does not charge, does not show warnings, does not show anything. it just sits there. the radio screen reads -unreadable-"

The problem affects many types of stereos, with some sites even warning against iOS 4 on their websites now before buying. Some users on the Apple forums have found various fixes involving restarting their phones and the stereos at the same time, hard resetting both the stereo and the iPhone, reducing the functionality of the stereo, or even buying a whole new stereo. Apple is yet to officially comment on the matter.

Have you had trouble with your car stereo and iOS 4? Let us know in the comments!

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Works fine with new Mazda's which is something that can't be said for android devices. only work iphone connects, my evo4g which is my personal phone wont. really annoying since my music is on my personal phone. stuck streaming internet radio on my iphone.

apple= greedy and dont play nice with others, next thing you know the only headphones youll be able to use with your apple product have to be apple certified and at a insane price, apple can kiss my @$$ thats why i got on the google band wagon yeehaw love my droid even if it doesnt play my music over the usb alot more freedom then crapple

iPhone 3GS, 3.1.3 works great with Pioneer DEH-510UB, and my BlueAnt ST3 Visor. All version of iOS4 simply break it all. I have been able to get it to work if i reboot my phone each time. However not worth it. I talked to Pioneer and they stated they are having tons of issues and they have submitted the requirements for iPhones. According to Pioneer it is up to Apple to approve or not approve it.

Would be nice to have it work again with iOS 4, hopefully 4.1 will fix, but i seem to doubt it...

I guess Apple is going to need to build an auto testing facility if they pay attention to this huge number of complaints. Come on people! Everyone knows that if something you bought goes wrong, you are way more vocal about it than if it works as it should. Add that to the fact that anything Apple does gets hyped up so much and this should be taken with a grain of salt. Where are the support forums on Apple's website for satisfied customers? Get the point.

First you are denied flash, you say you never use flash and don't need it anyway.
Then they design a defective antenna for their new phone, you say a bandaid fix is just fine.
Now they break the music playback feature for docking in cars.... let me guess, you don't use it for that anyway, and always hated how it performed in a car as well? I gotta hear the defenders of this.

shakey said,
First you are denied flash, you say you never use flash and don't need it anyway.
I never do use Flash. I've been anti-Flash well before the iPhone was first released back in '07.
shakey said,
Then they design a defective antenna for their new phone, you say a bandaid fix is just fine.
Uh, because it was just fine? I don't even have the issue (because I naturally don't hold my phone that way), but I got a free case out of it anyway. I'm happy.
shakey said,
Now they break the music playback feature for docking in cars.... let me guess, you don't use it for that anyway, and always hated how it performed in a car as well? I gotta hear the defenders of this.
I see a few people defending it (and those people are idiots), but for the most part, people are annoyed. However, I imagine there will be a fix for this soon. I know Apple added some pretty neat new features (I think it's called iPod Out?) for car connectivity in iOS 4. They may have accidentally broken some old APIs. It's not like this has never happened before in the tech industry (new operating system comes out, old hardware/software stops working because of a lack of drivers or some API change).

Elliott said,
I never do use Flash. I've been anti-Flash well before the iPhone was first released back in '07.
Uh, because it was just fine? I don't even have the issue (because I naturally don't hold my phone that way), but I got a free case out of it anyway. I'm happy.

You don't hold your phone in a natural way, but in a naturally unnatural one The problem was happening by those who held the phone in a natural way with their hand.

Elliott said,
...I imagine there will be a fix for this soon. I know Apple added some pretty neat new features (I think it's called iPod Out?) for car connectivity in iOS 4. They may have accidentally broken some old APIs. It's not like this has never happened before in the tech industry (new operating system comes out, old hardware/software stops working because of a lack of drivers or some API change).
How can there by a "fix" if they intentionally broke the connection to anything non-Apple that can't authenticate with their stupid chip? Take a look at the other posts above yours. It's becoming clear this was deliberate so Jobs can keep coming back with his hand out saying "give me more". I realize there are a few people who seem to have working units but there's no denying that the vast majority are now not working. This claim that this was done intentionally hasn't been founded yet but it seems believable and has at least one major manufacturer telling you it's because of Apple wanting royalties.

shakey said,

You don't hold your phone in a natural way, but in a naturally unnatural one The problem was happening by those who held the phone in a natural way with their hand.

He was holding the phone the way Steve Jobs told him to. Steve is GOD, he can't be wrong

Another example on how Apple is ****ing up. Seriously, how many screw ups is this this year so far? You never use to hear this about Apple. I guess all they money they are getting is just making them spit out more products without proper testing so they can cash in more.

im so glad i really hate apple products when u keep hearing about there latest stuff breaking
i think ill just stick with my phone and bluetooth =]

zerokool316 - For some reason I can't reply to your post directly.

You are absolutely right. Apple is definitely to blame. I have a iSimple Gateway and started having the same problem. It turns out that Apple now requires authentication through a chip, which I guess they sell. The iSImple manufacturer is selling a small daughter board that costs 30.00. You install this daughter board with the authentication chip, along with a firmware update and voilá your iOS4 enabled device (and iPads) miraculously works again. I don't know about charging the iPad as I have not received the daughter board yet.

That is possibly the reason Apple has not answered the questions yet. They will propbably tell their cutomers: " does it have the Design for iPod Logo?" (which means it is Apple certified) and if you answer No to question number one you are pretty much screwed.
----------------------------------------
Product description for daughter board for the iSimple GateWay (IC stands for Integrated Circuit)
PXAMG-IC Apple Authentication IC Jumper Replacement for GateWay Devices. Price 29.95 + 5.00 Shipping to U.S.

I have a Kenwood DNX9140 in my car now. There are several things I've noticed between iOS3 and iOS4 with it. With iOS3, I would always get issues with my radio saying "Reading..." when I plugged the phone in, and it wouldn't play the music. Restarting the phone would fix this issue, but it'd creep up randomly. With iOS4 I do not have this problem nearly as often as I did before. However, on the flip side, navigating my music is now MUCH slower than it was on iOS3.

Another issue that has remained though is that for whatever reason, it doesn't like album art. It hangs up while the album art is loading before it will do the next action. I'd say 99% of the music on my phone has album art, and removing it is NOT an option. Would be nice if Apple and Kenwood would straighten these issues out. Of course Kenwood will probably be dropping support for last year's flagship model, because that's what they do.

Apple wants royalty fees from cable manufacturers to anything that deals with their products, has any of you ever bought a cable from a company to hook up the iPhone to your tv? Well after you update that cable no longer works but the cable from Apple which you pay double the price for still does, they want every car manufacturer to pay them for every single stereo they sell that has a usb connection, and even if you upgrade the firmware on your stereo Apple will just put out another update to make sure it doesn't work.

I used to have an iPhone 3g on 3.1.3 and it worked fine over Bluetooth to my Parrot MK6000 both audio and calls. when i upgraded it to 4.0.1 it would play songs and drop the the audio every now and again. Calls were unaffected.
I got an iPhone 4 and i have the same issue.
Me thinks its a software thing. Ive read about a bug with the syncing contacts since ios4

.In case nobody has bothered to call their car stereo manufactured , pioneer told me that Apple wants to charge them a royalty fee for using apples technology, this isn't bug folks this was done intentionally by Apple

Slightly off topic, but my JVC headunit with bluetooth now refuses to sync the phonebook to the unit. However, everything else works, including new ios4 stuff like background audio from Spotify etc. No biggy in comparison to whats happened to others I guess!

<sigh> all these bugs are getting beyond a joke now

And people poke fun at companies like Microsoft for buggy things. I suspect most Apple fans will still be in denial about it however.

I for one however would really like to see these fixed so I can stop hearing about them

Teebor said,
<sigh> all these bugs are getting beyond a joke now

And people poke fun at companies like Microsoft for buggy things. I suspect most Apple fans will still be in denial about it however.

I for one however would really like to see these fixed so I can stop hearing about them

Of course they are in denial.

my ipod touch 2g works fine on my alpine most of the time but very often it gives me error 01 and says not compatible on ipod. Restarting the device makes it work again for the most, i'm very annoyed. I don't know if it's due to Alpine (which has other annoyances, god i'll never buy that brand again) or iOS4 though.

Kosh said,
Then lets keep it an Apple example.
You upgrade your OS X from 10.5 to 10.6 and some hardware doesn't work.
Wouldn't you first check if your hardware is supported by the new OS?
No go troll elsewhere.

I do not believe you understand the concept of trolling. Your first post references upgrading Windows, with the result being problems with Hardware compatibility. When you're called out for your flamebait, you modify your example and then hypocritically accuse Pam of being a troll.

Let me present you with a clear example of trolling:

"I thought that if I bought Apple products, things would 'just work'. My iPhone 3g used to work with my car stereo, what happened?"

Hopefully with the above flamebait example, you too can correctly point out comment trolls. Happy posting!

willdev said,
My iPhone 4 works fine with my alpine headunit

+1

My Alpine IVA-W505 works a champ using either the dedicated iPod connection or the USB connection. Charges the unit, connects BT, plays the call audio through the USB cable.. all works great. Not sure what the issue may be for others.

This is with an iPhone 3GS on 4.0.1.

Pam14160 said,

Now here is that silly someone that has to bring Microsoft into a thread that is based on a problem with an Apple product. Please go away, you are just showing everyone that you are just. . .

Then lets keep it an Apple example.
You upgrade your OS X from 10.5 to 10.6 and some hardware doesn't work.
Wouldn't you first check if your hardware is supported by the new OS?
No go troll elsewhere.

Then lets keep it an Apple example.
You upgrade your OS X from 10.5 to 10.6 and some hardware doesn't work.
Wouldn't you first check if your hardware is supported by the new OS?
No go troll elsewhere.

+1

Kosh said,

Then lets keep it an Apple example.
You upgrade your OS X from 10.5 to 10.6 and some hardware doesn't work.
Wouldn't you first check if your hardware is supported by the new OS?
No go troll elsewhere.

But seeing as how bluetooth has specifications on how it should work why should it cease to work in this version? Its like saying that the http protocol worked in 10.5 but not in 10.6. And can this really be a question of hardwar since they essentially have 4 devices to work with but are only updaing 3?

Kosh said,

Then lets keep it an Apple example.
You upgrade your OS X from 10.5 to 10.6 and some hardware doesn't work.
Wouldn't you first check if your hardware is supported by the new OS?
No go troll elsewhere.

Still Fail.

Einlander said,

But seeing as how bluetooth has specifications on how it should work why should it cease to work in this version? Its like saying that the http protocol worked in 10.5 but not in 10.6. And can this really be a question of hardwar since they essentially have 4 devices to work with but are only updaing 3?

Exactly. The BT specifications have not changed at all. Its not the cars fault, its another Apple screw up. Love how people keep making excuses for Apple and their Judas phone.

Well, if you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, and suddenly your USB Headset does not work because there are no working Windows 7 drivers, do you blame Microsoft or the Hardware Vendor?
IMO you guys should go to your car seller and look for a firmware upgrade for your car stereo.

Kosh said,
Well, if you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, and suddenly your USB Headset does not work because there are no working Windows 7 drivers, do you blame Microsoft or the Hardware Vendor?
IMO you guys should go to your car seller and look for a firmware upgrade for your car stereo.

Now here is that silly someone that has to bring Microsoft into a thread that is based on a problem with an Apple product. Please go away, you are just showing everyone that you are just. . .

Pam14160 said,

Now here is that silly someone that has to bring Microsoft into a thread that is based on a problem with an Apple product. Please go away, you are just showing everyone that you are just. . .

Not to mention the fact that you can't upgrade from XP to 7 ;-)

Kosh said,
Well, if you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, and suddenly your USB Headset does not work because there are no working Windows 7 drivers, do you blame Microsoft or the Hardware Vendor?
IMO you guys should go to your car seller and look for a firmware upgrade for your car stereo.

That is a silly example. Everyone knows that when you upgrade an OS you need updated drivers. Microsoft and Apple both publish the exact specs for the new system's drive model. You may remember that the Vista drive model was finalized in 2004 and did not change when Windows 7 came out. Manufactures have ample time to prepare updated drives (not all do, but they are at least given the chance).

On the other hand, Apple has yet to publish any information about changing specs for their dock connection. I would hope that if Apple planned this change they would have told manufactures so they could start getting firmware updates ready. The fact that they did not is either a total cluster-badword on their part or an indication that it was an accidental change and will hopefully be fixed soon with a patch.

iPhone 3GS, upgraded to iOS4 user here.

My Pioneer DEH-P4100SD also broke with the upgrade.
At first, the radio detects the iPhone, plays the music, but 10 seconds later stops and says the device is not supported or something like that.

Before anyone says I'm using it wrong or my cable is fubar - I've been using my iPhone so far just fine. Also tried 3 different cables. Oh, and my iPod works fine as well.

Why does this surprise people? Gee Apple updated something and it broke. Big news. Anyone living in a hole for the past few weeks and NOT hear about the antenna issues? They denied any problem there too. Oh wait sorry, no problem, just don't hold it that way. Don't get me wrong, I have my share of Apple toys and they have some really cool products but I think they have a long way to go in their QA testing. We're only hearing more about it now due to the widespread popularity of their iPhone / iPod product line but I've been reading for years about some really big bugs in OSX that they denied ever existed (guest accounts anyone?). It's clear the hugely successful iPhone/iPod product line combined with rapid expansion and a push to get new products to market have cost them in quality.

Tim Dawg said,
Why does this surprise people? Gee Apple updated something and it broke. Big news. Anyone living in a hole for the past few weeks and NOT hear about the antenna issues? They denied any problem there too. Oh wait sorry, no problem, just don't hold it that way. Don't get me wrong, I have my share of Apple toys and they have some really cool products but I think they have a long way to go in their QA testing. We're only hearing more about it now due to the widespread popularity of their iPhone / iPod product line but I've been reading for years about some really big bugs in OSX that they denied ever existed (guest accounts anyone?). It's clear the hugely successful iPhone/iPod product line combined with rapid expansion and a push to get new products to market have cost them in quality.

When an entire market of accessories depends on this compatibility, you think Apple would be a little more caring on such issues.

Blasius said,

When an entire market of accessories depends on this compatibility, you think Apple would be a little more caring on such issues.

Who do you think they are? Microsoft?!

Ahem.

Apple has always been bad about backwards compatibility. Hopefully in this case it was just a matter of not fully testing instead of a decision to drop support for something.

I have a Pioneer head unit that uses their aux bus and a converter box to connect my iPhone 4 (iOS 4.0.1) just fine. I get all the ID3 information right on the head unit and can view songs, artists, etc as well as the normal previous/next track. Granted it doesn't charge but that is due to the different pin out on the iPhone/iTouch devices. But it's not a big deal especially since the battery life on the iPhone 4 is much better. The phone does say that it is not optimized for the accessory and recommends airplane mode to prevent interference- which I don't do and almost never have any interference. I'm not too convinced Apple is to blame. Oh and everything worked on my old iPhone 3G too.

Its a pain in the but, my iPhone won't charge in my car with a factory installed connection, however all my iPod work just fine...real odd issue.

KeR said,
Its a pain in the but, my iPhone won't charge in my car with a factory installed connection, however all my iPod work just fine...real odd issue.

Not charging is a common issue, you need an adaptor piece to allow it to charge correctly.

KeR said,
Its a pain in the but, my iPhone won't charge in my car with a factory installed connection, however all my iPod work just fine...real odd issue.

Actually it's not odd at all. Apple changed the circuitry on the connector port. My original iPhone used to charge in my Pilot when connected, my 3GS never has (this is a USASpec iPod interface I installed - they did come out with a new unit for the 3GS however).

KeR said,
Its a pain in the but, my iPhone won't charge in my car with a factory installed connection, however all my iPod work just fine...real odd issue.

My brother's 2009 Mercedes CLK350 can't charge his 3GS regardless of iOS 3 or 4. At least with 3.1.3 it played music, now it just sits there. Thank god he kept his 1st gen iPhone at 3.1.2 jailbroken purely for music. My sister got lucky using auxiliary but once the battery runs out, then too bad so sad

KeR said,
Its a pain in the but, my iPhone won't charge in my car with a factory installed connection, however all my iPod work just fine...real odd issue.

This issue is not Apple's fault. Apple moved away from Firewire a very very very long time ago. Yet, 3rd parties kept using the old 12v Firewire power. So yes, 5+ years after Apple dropped Firewire support they stopped including the old voltage converters to save space. Yet even today there are devices being sold that only offer 12v power. Sad...but not Apple's fault.

My 4th gen ipod nano doesn't work in my premiere deck, yet my girl's 3gs worked before the ios 4 update (haven't tried it since, but it probably won't work either) Apple's very inconsistent with their connectivity so every new version it breaks

ncoday said,
I have the IDA-X305 and a 3GS upgraded to iOS4 and it won't work! Grr.....

You are clearly not connecting it right.

PatrynXX said,
Oh people with money.... X_X how to blow money are expensive devices. what ever happened to shopping around..

Or goto college and get a good productive job that pays well to afford the luxuries of life . Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

PatrynXX said,
Oh people with money.... X_X how to blow money are expensive devices. what ever happened to shopping around..
What are you talking about? An iPhone isn't too expensive and just about any recent car or after market stereo includes this functionality. It's not "people with money", it's just people who are tech savvy and/or into music.

Shadrack said,

Or goto college and get a good productive job that pays well to afford the luxuries of life .

Thank you for such an awesome reply to such a dummy comment! lol

Shadrack said,

Or goto college and get a good productive job that pays well to afford the luxuries of life . Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

+whatever your salary is

I was wondering why my iPod Touch (with iOS 4) wasn't working on my mother's 2010 BMW 320i with USB port, but my iPod Classic works.

I've not tried to connect the Touch to the Parrot MKi9000 on my own 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer (with USB connector too), but, I'll try tomorrow.

Hopefully a bug that will be fixed in 4.1 and not by-design.

I haven't had any problems with my Bluetooth handsfree A2DP/FM Transmitter except I have noticed that sometimes the volume seems low even if it is turned all the way up on the iPhone (iOS 4 adjusts bluetooth volume now which I think is the source of this bug). Whenever this happens, re-plugging in my bluetooth device into the "cig lighter" port fixes it. Didn't happen with iOS3.

There is a fix.
Downgrade to 3.1.3.
I had to downgrade in order to get my iphone to work with my new alpine double din unit.
This is one of the reasons im not getting the iphone 4.