Integrating the iPhone with car Bluetooth systems

Integrating the iPhone with car Bluetooth systems

Ben Wilson
2 min read

We previously noted that the iPhone is significantly hampered with regard to Bluetooth connectivity. Under Mac OS X, Apple's Bluetooth File Exchange cannot send files to the iPhone and iSync cannot be used to synchronize with the iPhone. We've also yet to hear of a Windows utility that can perform an Bluetooth-based synchronization or exchange with the iPhone.

The iPhone can however, integrate easily with most cars' hands-free Bluetooth systems. We've identified some compatible systems, and instructions for a few.

Toyota (Prius and other models) The iPhone integrates well with this system. Instructions for pairing from iPhone Atlas reader George Wilde:

  1. On the Prius navigation screen, press the "INFO" button
  2. On the resulting "Information Menu" screen touch the "Telephone" button.
  3. On the resulting "Telephone" screen touch the "Settings" button.
  4. On the resulting "Settings" screen scroll down to the bottom and touch "Add Phone" under "Bluetooth".
  5. You are then presented with a screen that indicates "Begin Bluetooth discovery/search from phone" with a 4 digit pairing passkey.
  6. On your iPhone go to "Settings"  and the "General" item under "Settings". Go down to "Bluetooth and turn it on. The iPhone then becomes discoverable for a period of time.
  7. The iPhone should see the Hands Free system of the car and then display a 4 digit form (and keyboard) to enter the pairing passkey given by the car.
  8. Enter the four digits and touch "connect".
  9. The car will then say it is connected and display the phone name and ID.
  10. The cellular signal strength is displayed on the navigation screen and the phone audio is fed through the car speakers.

Acura (TL and other models) The iPhone works with Acura's HandsFree system as well, and instructions for set-up are similar to the aforementioned for Toyota.

iPhone Atlas reader Bill writes:

"Just yesterday I was able to hook up my iPhone with my 2006 Acura TL HandsFree system, while waiting a stop light. Anyway it works even better than my Cingular 8525 (now for sale, as you might imagine)."

Sony HandFree car kits The iPhone is also compatible with many Sony HandsFree, aftermarket car kits. If you have experienced success with one of these kits, please let us know.