Well boys and girls, you’ve come home with your prized new iPhone in your hot little hand and start stuffing new apps onto it with gay abandon. One of your purchases is Navigon, Satnav for a phone. It’s a Garmin program so you expect it to work faultlessly.

You jump in the car, pair your phone are you’re off like a prawn in the sun, but OH NO, it’s all gone wrong. It’s gone quiet. There is not a sound from the damned thing. It’s sitting on your dashboard looking stupid. It’s got the program on the screen, but unless you want to run up the bum of the first car that stops in front of you, you need voice guidance. It’s not asking too much is it? No it isn’t. So what’s the problem?

We’ve covered this in a previous story and have since had much more time to evaluate the problem in detail. It seems each brand has a different way of connecting your phone. If you have driven as many cars as we have you would wonder why we aren’t pulling hair out in frustration. It’s mind bogglingly annoying and the problem is bluetooth and the way it works with different systems. After you have taken 200 years to put the address in because the stupid device won’t recognize the street unless you have typed in the right suburb, the sound goes off and the only noise are your very loud four letter words of unrivalled naughtiness.

Solution 1: You see the iPhone, and probably any Android phone in the same situation, has changed to Bluetooth media streaming. There is a setting in the Navigon conveniently located deep inside the menu tree whereby you can direct the sound back to the phone. Or, you can select “music” in OS 5 or “IPod” in earlier OS’s and select iPhone as the source. Both of these will have sound coming from your phone. For some reason you must do this each time you add an address.


Solution 2: Because your phone has selected media streaming, you are also able to switch your audio system to audio streaming and to do that you must consult your owner’s manual. In most models there will be a button or menu option called Media, Audio Streaming, IPod or Media device. If you do this you will have the dulcet tones of some shiela with a masculine voice, or a bloke sounding like a channel Nine news reader, telling you where to go. For some reason street name directions are unavailable but at least you don’t have to hold the phone in front of you “student style” propped on the dash board.

There is a teensy little fly in the ointment though, and that is if you have a long trip ahead of you, you might want to charge the phone because the batteries are gone faster than a fat kid with candy. The fly is that when you plug your phone into the USB charger, the car’s system will auto-select USB or iPhone and try to use the cable instead of the bluetooth and the satnav is still on the bluetooth channel. You may have to fiddle with the setting in the Navigon again as a new option will have appeared or ditto for the car audio system, and once again try to find the Satnav voice by trying to make the car audio select bluetooth. Some cars won’t use media streaming via bluetooth if the cable is connected to USB, so you’ll need to try the setting in Navigon, or MUSIC in the iPhone, to see if a new option has appeared by plugging into USB.

The reason I have written another quickie article is the IOS 5 upgrade brought with it certain peculiarities and you may find regardless of what you select the audio will still switch still change itself back to bluetooth. You might have to pause the Satnav while you’re charging, or use a USB adaptor the 12Volt supply in what used to be the cigarette lighter.