Bluetooth streaming problems introduced in Apple's iOS 9.2 remain, have wide ramifications



  • Reply 61 of 63
    My 83 yo mom is severely hearing impaired and totally dependent on a higher (than average) powered device to hear.  

    She specifically upgraded her 4s to 6 In Sept 2014 to prepare for buying a MFi hearing aid.

    She tested an aid from Starkey for several weeks (ultimately not powerful enough for her extreme case, but with a great iPhone app and great switching to a profile based on location or driving) and later for several months from ReSound (powerful enough but a rather lame iPhone app UI-wise). There were monthly trips to the audiologist to fine tune settings and to train mom. 

    She loved the way audio was routed directly into her aid (previously dependent on speakerphone at full volume - in public settings through the earpiece but with trouble to hear and telecoil never worked well) and with the expectation that the little connectivity bugs would be worked out with s/w updates.  

    Because independence is important to her, and she had developed a sensitivity to not wanting to look and be treated like a deaf person (thinking they were funny, some idiots have been cruel to this nice lady in the past) she, from her fixed-income and limited resources, bought the ReSound aid for around 5k $US. (At the time, Starkey and ReSound were the only two high power MFi aids on the market.)

    At at first it worked mostly ok (occasionally dropping signal when she got too far away from her 6, but rarely dropping when she was near her phone) but the performance was quite uneven and really quite far from the "just works" expectation she had developed from her 4s and Mac experience.  

    The idea that by using an app she would have an overview of her pre-selected settings, that she could fine tune them, and that the aid would automatically switch to based on gps or motion or speed calculated by the phone as in leaving a building and entering a car never quite worked and was far away from that seen with the earlier Starky test unit.

    Then in April 2015, she bought an Apple Watch.  Her killer apps?  Replacing the Red Cross lifeline unit for emergency calls; Apple Pay so she wouldn't have to pull out her phone or worry about card skimming in the supermarket (or Costco); and possibly controlling her aid settings from her wrist.

    With the watch paired to the phone, connectivity went downhill fast.  Calls started in her aid dropped out back to the iPhone's earpiece.  Reconnecting didn't result in sustained connectivity during the call. Neither did hard resets.  

    Back to using the speakerphone.  But not really, because if somebody else was there to participate in a speakerphone discussion, the phone and aid would then conspire to fuck that up too; this when within arms reach of the phone as opposed to the limit of BT range. Multiple switches back to speakerphone would, in a few minutes, be undone by MFi by putting the call into the aid. 

    So it soon became a case of using control center to turn off BT to keep a sustained speakerphone conversation going. Problem was that everybody always forgot to turn BT back on so the watch became a collateral victim as its utility was somewhat diminished. 

    With every iOS update, we re-paired the unit with hopes that connectivity would improve, it never did.  In between she visited her audiologist every month (a 70 mile round trip for her) trying, to no avail, to find the magic fix.

    In my opinion, either BT 4.x really wasn't up to sustainably supporting multiple simultaneous devices, or MFi was by no means ready for prime time, or Apple was a bit too free with certifying MFi aid manufacturers. 

    I read this week, relative to Apple developing custom BT ear buds, that "if something is not 100%, it doesn't launch" and i had to shake my head, because in the case of my mom, she's out close to 6-grand and her MFi combo (not including Watch) doesn't even rise, performance- or UI-wise, to the "it just works" level. 

    If Apple is going to promote and market MFi or other iOT like CarPlay or HomeKit, it has to do better make sure that not only after launch, but from the start, that it's certified partners are committed to "just works" on launch and for a reasonable number years after the sale (longer for more expensive items).

    Although she's active and healthy, I don't know if my mom will live long-enough to afford another hearing aid, but this experiment has been a failure until now.  She could have stayed on her old aid and kept her 5k$ for a stable production-ready MFi set-up. 

    We remain hopeful, however, that iOS 10 will address some of these issues. 
    Here's the problem.  Little Timmy is not really concerned with product quality, only social issues and pushing everyone away from laptop/desktop computing and toward 100% tablet use.  Take a look at the myriad quality issues with apple products and services during Timmy's tenure.  Not good at all, and getting worse.  Your hope shouldn't be for iOS 10, it should be that the apple board kicks Timmy out and brings in a stronger technology minded leader.
  • Reply 62 of 63

    I have a random problem with bluetooth in my vehicle since Apple released one of the their 9.xx releases in the spring. I will get into my car and the car will pair with the iPhone 6s plus. The car is a 2015 model with top of the line Navi from Honda. Randomly the initial outgoing call I make will be garbled. Hanging up and calling again usually resolves the issue and it's only happend one time during a call. 

     I have an example of this which I'll try and attach here. I'd like to know if other users are experiencing this probem which continues to exist in the beta of iOS 10 beta 6. I just got beta 7 and so far I have not experienced the problem. This could be due to Apple changing the Bluetooth software in their devices. Anyone else see this problem? 

    Here's an example audio file for the problem:

    I've replaced my sim card, opened a ticket with my cell carrier, replaced my iPhone as well as trying the iOS 10 beta per Applecare's request. So I'm either going to have to wait for Apple to fix their software or Honda to (ha ha ha for Honda to fix something). 
  • Reply 63 of 63
    Thanks for a great article. Have used a Oticon streamer since they were released with my aids which were recently upgraded to the latest alta pros. Very disappointed there is no fix yet after many months and no ability to downgrade the apple IOS to a version that worked. Looks like its the end of my Apple relationship :(
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