Author Topic: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect  (Read 559 times)

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Offline 9swampy

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Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« on: August 16, 2018, 03:17:32 AM »
https://www.mazda-press.com/eu/news/2018/mazda-adds-smartphone-control-to-mzd-connect-/
https://www.android.com/intl/en_uk/auto/mazda/



Hi guys, been a while...

Anyone had any experience of this update? I'm due for a service in a few weeks and I'm leaning to going full update. Skipped getting updates last year as there had been quite a few negative experiences so I'm overdue...

Never got the system to play well with my phone but got a new one in the post so hoping with it and this update I might be able to get phone directions up on the screen? I expect getting them on the HUD's a wish too far? To date I've had Mazda's directions and map up but with my phone in a cradle suggesting traffic routed directions. Never has been ideal  ;)

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 08:38:14 AM »
Never used the Mazda version (obviously) but Android auto is a standardised system. Though no idea if it would work with the HUD.

Used it regularly in Citroen, it's excellent, basically it accesses your phones Nav app be it Waze or Google maps and displays it on your screen (the phone does all the processing the car just displays the result). Live updates come via your phones signal so live traffic and route diversions work well.

Also if you have Spotify or Google music or BBC iPlayer app installed you can access them and get the (audio only) content via the car speakers. It also it integrates with messaging and phone apps as well.

If you want to know what it will look like install the app on your phone and select it, it appears the same on a phone screen as it does on the car screen.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2018, 08:47:35 AM by StevenRB45 »

Offline 9swampy

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 06:42:51 PM »
Haven't got the new phone yet either but will do :)

Spotify would be a big boon; radio reception's never been great. Looked in to the DAB accessory but couldn't justify the cost.

Booked in for the service on the 3rd and asked about getting this. Doesn't sound like anyone's had it done at my dealer yet though; they weren't even sure if it was a paid for extra or not. They're asking the questions; I'll revert when I hear if no-one can say here.

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 06:47:26 PM »
Sadly it's not a case of getting a software update from the dealership - this a replacement of the existing firmware and requires a hardware upgrade as well (the USB ports are upgraded to USB 3, from what I can tell).

According to this Tweet from Mazda, it's a £350 to an existing car... https://twitter.com/Mazda_UK/status/1036605647201157122

Offline 9swampy

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 08:51:51 PM »
https://mazdatweaks.com/ suggests otherwise though I can confirm the line Mazda's taking is as you state; they include some "hardware" and charge "somewhere in the region of 3 to 4 hundred" including labour according to my dealer but they haven't been able to get a concrete answer from UK head office.

Tempted to pay them but it's a lot for nothing. If the upgrade is to USB3 it's a nice to have more than essential and just gives them an excuse to say it's not a software update.

Tempted to go the mazdatweaks route but still have 5 days left on my Mazda warranty...  O0

Offline 9swampy

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2018, 08:56:52 PM »
3 years on I never got the car to connect to the WiFi hotspot my phone created, hence connected services traffic updates never worked. Running on a bad traffic day I'd set my phone down by the handbrake and let it reroute around the traffic; but I still kept the destination on the Mazda Connect display and followed that as normal, just choosing to ignore when the phone routed me around. Not ideal.

New phone & new announcement from Mazda that Android Auto was being released to work with the CMU I started looking in to how to get it working. Mazda'll do it for ~£350 including a necessary "hardware upgrade" (purportedly upgrading the USB2 connection to USB3) but heck; that's a lot.

Especially when there's this site; https://mazdatweaks.com/ that claims to have successfully self installed. Being an IT Pro by day I thought; it can't be that hard; worth a go.

Download the AIO utility, installed on Windows PC, chose a couple of simple options & clicked a button to create a USD memory stick drive. Done.

Switch off WiFi & BLuetooth in the car (recommended, not required but why wouldn't you?) & removed everything else USB except the SatNav card.

Insert the USB drive created.

Switch on the car. Wait a few minutes while it updates:








Couldn't be easier. Sorry for the sideways photos; stupid new phone :) & I can't be bothered going back and rotating the images just now...

Big Kudos to the guys over at MazdaTweaks for making it so easy!

One note of caution; seems like there's something funny going on with Google breaking Waze in recent updates to Android Auto. Caused me problems and I had to do the Waze uninstall reinstall thing suggested here:
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/android-auto/FdQsaUAf748/U_bq6BWbAwAJ

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2018, 09:14:25 PM »
With this I get the feeling they have dragged their feet/made it an expensive option for a simple reason. They make a nice bit of money on "Nav" suffix cars. Either waze or Google maps makes the built in Nav seem like it's about 5 years out of date.

If it was free out of the box who'd pay more for a "nav" car when all you need is a phone and cable you already probably own to get a better system?

Moozmooz..but otherwise..nobody.

Offline 9swampy

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 10:39:31 PM »
Either waze or Google maps makes the built in Nav seem like it's about 5 years out of date.

I do actually like the Mazda system. I've had a good few weeks using the Renault and Ford equivalents on hire cars and they pale by comparison. I agree Waze, Here, Google Maps all make a hugely advanced alternatives but on a rubbish little screen that it's often tough to see in ambient light, and I have to faff around with power cables and phone holders. If the connected traffic thing had worked I might have been content; but it doesn't - for me at least... I know I'm going to miss the HUD directions but expect not looking through the windscreen at the backside of a blockage in front of me will make up for that loss!

If it was free out of the box who'd pay more for a "nav" car when all you need is a phone and cable you already probably own to get a better system?

To my recollection the Nav option came as a bundle with other things worth having. That's the Mazda way; only a couple of options; take it or leave it whereas the Germans just stick the arm in for every little bell and whistle added. Continuing the connected traffic thing comment however I'm loathe to pay pretty serious bucks for another system to do the job the original should have done. I've no problem paying for the work they put in to create the Nav system. Sub £100 and I'd probably just have paid for the convenience of this alternative but ~£350 and it was worth trying the other option first. So far so good... and bonus the MazdaTweaks things does a number of other unrelated nice-to-have things like having to accept the nanny-state Disclaimer every time I start the car; or preventing the passenger using the touchscreen because the car's on the move (that's one that surprised me on the litigious American Ford - they don't block the screen at all).

I'd say more they just priced themselves artificially out of the market as far as I'm concerned by adding in the "essential" hardware upgrade; whatever it entails. Early days but it's all working fine so far; maybe it'll prove unstable or jittery slow. Time will tell and humble pie may need to be eaten.

Hope not  >:D

Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 11:34:38 PM »
I wonder if the hardware upgrade adds the HUD element back in? Does the voice control button activate Google assistant? On the Citroen it has a button specifically for this and because Google speech recognition is excellent it's really useful, can use it to program nav on the move, accept route changes or change your music choices without going near the touch screen.

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2018, 02:13:06 PM »
Mazda really need to get their act together as regards the ICE and Sat Nav systems - they are quite a way behind the leading players on the market in this regard.  Many other brands have had this function for some time now, and, like the rip-off £395 for the (not really) special boot fitting and space saver spare wheel and tyre, they are just putting potenial buyers and existing customers off buying/staying with the brand by charging so much for an upgrade.  Too much of these 'new features' just look like a hasty afterthought.  It would be good if they actually spoke to their customers to ask what they want much earlier in the cars' development cycle.

Offline UraniumSnake

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2018, 04:59:27 PM »
Must agree with Andy that £350 is a bit of a rip off for the upgrade. Am guessing this will be an option to upgrade all cars going forward (even on brand new buys) until the next 3 is launched with it 'possibly as standard'. Gutted as was looking forward to having the car with appleplay.

Hopefully people will be put off with that price and they will offer it at a lower cost to try and re-coupe some of the licencing money, but I doubt that. Although having used Carplay it is quite nice, just not £350 nice.

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 01:34:57 AM »
I wonder if the hardware upgrade adds the HUD element back in? Does the voice control button activate Google assistant? On the Citroen it has a button specifically for this and because Google speech recognition is excellent it's really useful, can use it to program nav on the move, accept route changes or change your music choices without going near the touch screen.

I'd very much doubt they'd be adding the HUD back in. Doesn't Android Auto pretty much make the CMU a dumb screen and speaker, all the work's being done on the phone and the screen's just relayed. The Voice Control button does activate the Google Assistant but with my accent it's a waste of time. To be fair so was Mazda's...  :-X

Agreed @Andy @Uranium as I suggested; £350 just pushed me off the table and so far so good. Sometimes it takes quite a while to warm up or get started on a trip; calculating and recalculating routes etc. Of course the built in system is all locally cached; the phone's going of online and doing a whole load of work over a sometimes dodgy phone connection (Kudos to Vodafone for giving me a Sure Signal as a condition before I'd sign up for another two years - but that only helps in the house) and once it's going it's behaved well so far. FWIW nothing Mazda could add to the car would do anything to fix that bad signal...

Hope it's not an upgrade at cost because as MazdaTweaks has already cautioned the ability to sideload like this has been blocked... but given they've been putting effort in to blocking it then doubtless it will be a cost. I'd be tempted by the adaptive radar cruise and there's a rumour in the showroom that a sunroof could be on the cards. Another thing the new phone does is create a wifi hotspot the car can connect to so I could potentially do the connected traffic thing though I've just missed out on the 3 years free!  >:(

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 07:31:23 AM »
Android auto is just screen mirroring + adding a car friendly skin so probably is a bit much to ask to have the directions in the HUD. But I was just wondering if there was anything in that would justify the cost.

The voice recognition recognises both me and my wife...and we're very much Geordie so I'm surprised it won't work for you as the Google system is the best currently available pretty much.

Regards the slow maps you can cache maps locally on your phone. I've got everywhere from north of Edinburgh to 50 miles south of Liverpool stored on mine as it's where I'm most likely to be and it's 642mb. Go into options and select offline maps and select how much you want it to keep. it then downloads it and updates it everytime you are on Wi-Fi. It can then navigate without signal but will normally shoot a recalc once traffic data arrives.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 07:34:50 AM by StevenRB45 »

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Re: Mazda Adds Smartphone Control to MZD Connect
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2018, 07:31:23 AM »