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Can you do me a favour and try putting your putting your phone into say a tank bag or pocket on your jacket. Then see if the cursor stays on the road more reliably.
That's my plan. I didn’t have time to experiment on Wednesday, but next time I take the bike out I will spend time concentrating on nailing down whether the issue occurs wherever the phone is positioned, or if it’s only when in the phone compartment.

As I said in post #39, I never had this issue with the original TFT at all, so it’s either coincidence or related to the replacement TFT that’s just been fitted under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
That's my plan. I didn’t have time to experiment on Wednesday, but next time I take the bike out I will spend time concentrating on nailing down whether the issue occurs wherever the phone is positioned, or if it’s only when in the phone compartment.

As I said in post #39, I never had this issue with the original TFT at all, so it’s either coincidence or related to the replacement TFT that’s just been fitted under warranty.
Thank you.

I have had the problem from day one of ownership, so at least I can discount the replacement of the TFT screen as being the cause.

I have dropped you a private message.
 

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Whether or not my iPhone 14 Pro Max fits in the compartment is irrelevant. The fact that it only allows Connected navigation to play on the TFT is ridiculous. My 2019 HD “Tractor” had Apple Car Play and I could show Waze, Google Maps, or Maps on my dashboard display. I knew this going in and opted for the “sport” touring of the GTL over my Road Glide, but c’mon, BMW Motorrad. Do better.
 

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I don't get it, I honestly don't get it.

Preamble
When the K16 was launched it brought navigation to the cockpit with the Nav IV and it was brilliant, the Nav was locked up, powered by the bike and you could control things with the WW.

No one (that I know) wrote to BMW saying the hole in the dash was too big or too small, I don't think anyone complained that their Tom Tom or Garmin did not fit the dash.

We all knew that if we wanted the full experience of having a GPS in the dash of the bike we had to buy the BMW Nav and most of us bought the Nav IV, V and VI.

Today

To get full Tom Tom navigation on the TFT screen all we have to do is buy a device that works and fits in the pocket of our bike, so what is the difference between the pre TFT way of working and the current TFT way of working? The device only has to have one App on it to give you full Tom Tom navigation that you can control on the bike. All the maps are downloaded to the device, it does not need internet.

I do get it if you love Garmin and have a spare XT lying around and that you want to rig that to the bike, but if you can handle Tom Tom navigation why not buy a device and get it working, even as a backup.

The reasons I have read are, amongst other things:

BMW marketing say the App will work on my phone. Well they are right, it will work on your phone, if you have an Apple phone it will be more problematic but it will work.

My phone won't fit the pocket. Did you ever buy a car and find out your tool box won't fit in the boot? BMW state the size of the phone that fits in the pocket and if you did not check before purchase, whose fault is that?

I have to have CarPlay. Why? BMW have provided Tom Tom navigation and ride recording, pretty much the same as they did with the Nav IV, V and VI except its better.

The TFT breaks connection to my phone. If you have an Android device its pretty much 100% stable, if you have an Apple phone it will work but its a greater hassle.

I refuse to buy a second phone. Ok, if that is the case did you buy a BMW Nav for an older bike or are you going to buy an XT, cause if you want navigation on your bike you are going to have to buy something.
 

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I don't get it, I honestly don't get it.
I think you don't want to get it.

Part of the issue is BMW Motorrad's puff about how their sparkly new phone-based solution is wonderful and the panacea for life's problems driving customer expectations, part of it is about the very poor and unstable performance with iPhone's, part of it is about the lack of functionality of the TomTom navigation engine and terrible map colour choices, and part of it is about the physical implementation of the "solution".

BMW chose to fix a problem that didn't exist and did it badly. Very badly.

I know I'm very critical of the whole TFT / Connected App solution, but maybe that's because I'm not accepting of things that should work not working and that my background tells me that with appropriate use-case analysis and requirements gathering, proper solution design, development and testing and finally reliable deployment none of these issues needed to exist.
 

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@st13phil Couple of things:

1. BMW swopped from Garmin to Tom Tom, I don't really like that after all the investment in Basecamp and you are right Tom Tom maps are pretty crap. However, if you make the effort (invest in another Nav planner) you can live with Tom Tom. I plan all my routes at home so the TFT is simply a way of doing my route and in that respect it works.

2. BMW moved from a separate device (that you purchased) to a navigation system on the TFT i.e. the display built into the bike and in that respect its a step forward.

3. The problem with devices not connecting is an Apple/BMW thing and if I was a betting man I was say that a lot of that is down to Apple and I don't see that changing.

4. When I heard that BMW expected me to put my phone in a bike pocket and every time I stopped, take it out, then put it back and that it just on a RT with wireless, the K bikes are ten times worse, then I realised I needed to go back to the beginning i.e. buy a device that fits, stays in the pocket and that is exactly the way it worked with my BMW Nav's.
 

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1. BMW swopped from Garmin to Tom Tom, I don't really like that after all the investment in Basecamp and you are right Tom Tom maps are pretty crap. However, if you make the effort (invest in another Nav planner) you can live with Tom Tom. I plan all my routes at home so the TFT is simply a way of doing my route and in that respect it works.
I wouldn't object to learning and using a different route planner if the rest of the solution included the functionality that I desire/use and actually worked reliably, but it doesn't. If the only issue were the crap colour choices for the map, I might be inclined to "live with it", but the deficiencies are more deep seated.
2. BMW moved from a separate device (that you purchased) to a navigation system on the TFT i.e. the display built into the bike and in that respect its a step forward.
It would be a step forward if it wasn't crippled by a combination of poor functionality and unreliability. As it stands, it's nothing more than a form of commercial masturbation.
3. The problem with devices not connecting is an Apple/BMW thing and if I was a betting man I was say that a lot of that is down to Apple and I don't see that changing.
I'm no great fan of Apple on many fronts (such as their repeated ability to "break" Bluetooth connectivity with their updates because they refuse to allow certain functionality) but there's a clear parallel here with the UK government's decision to develop their "Covid Tracking App" back in 2020 while pretending that they could do it without conforming to Apple's Public API rules. It failed and they ended up having to work with Apple, rather than trying to (unsuccessfully) plough their own furrow. BMW are in the same boat as the UK government were: you either work within Apple's constraints or your app won't work. This is, IMO, the core reason for people asking the "Why don't BMW just deploy Carplay?" question. The reality is that there was/is a ready-made communications protocol applicable to the automotive environment that both works and is stable, yet BMW Motorrad in their arrogance chose to develop their own flaky "solution" that doesn't work.
4. When I heard that BMW expected me to put my phone in a bike pocket and every time I stopped, take it out, then put it back and that it just on a RT with wireless, the K bikes are ten times worse, then I realised I needed to go back to the beginning i.e. buy a device that fits, stays in the pocket and that is exactly the way it worked with my BMW Nav's.
Agreed. And this speaks to my comment that if BMW Motorrad had engaged in an appropriate use-case analysis and requirements gathering exercise then they would have ditched this Connected App fiasco in short order, long before they foisted it on their customer base.
 

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I don't get it, I honestly don't get it.



Today

To get full Tom Tom navigation on the TFT screen all we have to do is buy a device that works and fits in the pocket of our bike, so what is the difference between the pre TFT way of working and the current TFT way of working? The device only has to have one App on it to give you full Tom Tom navigation that you can control on the bike. All the maps are downloaded to the device, it does not need internet.

I do get it if you love Garmin and have a spare XT lying around and that you want to rig that to the bike, but if you can handle Tom Tom navigation why not buy a device and get it working, even as a backup.

The reasons I have read are, amongst other things:

Add:
I cannot add ANYTHING to a destination while riding. I could do that with Nav GPS. The TFT is not a touch screen, the WW cannot get to the smart phone with the Connected app.
So, reliability and functionality is reduced. That's what we are all complaining about.
 

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@runnerhiker you can a POI to an existing route e.g. petrol. As for accessing the phone for something, I would guess that would be illegal over here. It's points on licence for using a phone while driving and i wouldn't fancy using a touchscreen TFT while riding.

The big issue is reliability and that is down to the BMW/Apple relationship.
 

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Whether or not my iPhone 14 Pro Max fits in the compartment is irrelevant. The fact that it only allows Connected navigation to play on the TFT is ridiculous. My 2019 HD “Tractor” had Apple Car Play and I could show Waze, Google Maps, or Maps on my dashboard display. I knew this going in and opted for the “sport” touring of the GTL over my Road Glide, but c’mon, BMW Motorrad. Do better.
Do a search for “CarPlay screen” on Amazon. I’ve already received mine and am just awaiting for some mounting hardware to arrive.
 

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It's not illegal, but, and someone can correct me on this using it while driving would not go down well.
I’m not certain that there’s a specific offence for operating a touchscreen GPS in the UK while the vehicle is in motion, but you’d certainly risk a “Not in proper control” offence if you were involved in a collision while doing so.

I do know, however, that it is a specific offence to operate a touchscreen GPS in Spain while the vehicle is in motion.
 

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OK, so here's my follow-up to my commitment last week to test out whether the Connected App loses position wherever the phone is located, or if it’s only when in the phone compartment. Today I rode the same route multiple times, either with my phone in my jacket's breast pocket or in the bike's phone compartment and can report that with the phone in my jacket it didn't lose position, but with it in the bike's phone compartment it went haywire on multiple occasions. I took some screenshots from three of the rides (ride #1 & ride #3 had the phone in the bike's compartment, ride #2 was with the phone in my jacket's breast pocket) as recorded in the Connected App, all showing the recorded path - i.e. where the phone thinks the bike was - to demonstrate the issue.

First is an approach to a right turn, while heading south to north, i.e. up the screen:

On the first ride the recorded path continues north past the turn I actually made, and follows a weird and wonderful fictional path to the north-west of actual as the app tries to place the reported GPS position on its cartography. On the second ride there's a marginal overshoot just north of the turn (this is nothing unusual with interpolated GPS positions in my experience) but follows the route I took. On the third ride there's a massive overshoot north of the turn and then the path is a complete work of fiction, largely parallel to, but significantly north of the road I was actually on.

The second group of screenshots shows what was recorded as I continued the ride after the turn shown above. As can be seen, on the second ride with the phone in my jacket's breast pocket the path follows the road I was actually on, while the first and third rides show complete fiction where the phone lost GPS position:

I have multiple other examples from rides #1 & #3 where the GPS position was lost and the recorded path deviated from the actual. I would stress that these were not always in the same places - which would raise questions regarding visibility of the satellite constellation or some other signal masking - but rather at random intervals. I was fortunate that I could capture deviant behaviour at the same location on two of the rides that I have used as illustration here.

This situation never occurred with the original TFT unit on the bike, it has only occurred since it has been replaced, and from the testing I've carried out today I conclude that when the phone is in the bike's compartment it is interfering with the GPS signal.

Next stop will be my dealer - but how on earth they will be able to diagnose what's going on without direct assistance from BMW Motorrad Germany I have no idea.
 

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@st13phil Obviously the phone is doing the navigation and transmitting to the TFT and what you have proven is that the GPS sensor is being blocked. This could be via some physical blockage e.g. wiring or incorrect fitting of the new TFT or it could be some sort of electrical interference, as to what that is and how that is occurring will probably be a mystery to all.

I am sure you have tried fitting the phone in different ways to the pocket.

If you had another phone available to try it could help identification of issues.
 

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I am sure you have tried fitting the phone in different ways to the pocket.
Yup, sure have (y)
If you had another phone available to try it could help identification of issues.
Yes, I tried both the iPhone 7 that I always use in the bike and also my iPhone 12 Pro: both exhibit the same issue when in the bike's phone compartment. Neither had any issue regarding positional accuracy with the original TFT :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Thank you Phil for the very good write up.

To answer the question from David, like Phil’s my bike does the same, whether I use an iPhone or an Android phone. Like Phil, everything worked fine on my 850 GSA, with its small TFT screen and fuly powered cradle.

What I will try to do over the weekend is to create say a 30 mile route (one that I know the way for, without using a GPS) in MyRoute and then send it to my the BMW Connected app on my phone. The MyRoute route won’t alter, so it will always show where I actually rode. I will then run my phone in the cubbyhole and just let it do its thing. I will then be able to superimpose the Connected track on top of the original route, to see where and how often all the errors happen.

I will then ride the same route again but this time putting the phone in my tank bag. I will then superimpose that track on to the route and see what errors (if any) occur.

I may well put a lot of motorway and dual carriageway into the route, just so I can hopefully really see the track errors jump out, but I reckon they’ll be pretty clear anyway, given what Phil’s show.

I can then share the full GPX route and tracks with BMW, to let their wizards look at it.

Small odd glitches I can understand. For example, my car sat nav, phone calls, Garmin devices and anything like that, always lose a signal about 200 yards from home when I pass into the shadow of a large central metal framed London building. Like Phil says, that is not unusual and nothing that anyone can do about, short of knocking the building down. But, last time and all through an entire long weekend in the Ardennes, the thing was going haywire in the cubbyhole, right up until the moment (in desperation) I just chucked the phone into my tank bag….. and all was well again.
 

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I may well put a lot of motorway and dual carriageway into the route, just so I can hopefully really see the track errors jump out
From my experience, the Connected app works in the same way that Garmin (and TomTom, for that matter) automotive GPS devices do in that they “mask” temporary loss of GPS position by plotting your position based upon following the road it last “knew” you to be on until such time as it picks up a position signal again.

Accordingly, long sections on a particular road will often look to be ok in terms of the track being followed, even if the receiver had truly lost position. The giveaway tends to be around and immediately after a turn on to a different road when the masking algorithm will give the impression that you overshot the turn, and then there’s a jump back to the road you turned onto when it gets a new position signal. Examples of this can be seen in the screenshots I posted earlier. Another part of the masking process is that automotive GPS devices expect you to be on a defined road, rather than in “no man’s land”. So even if the position info it has is a bit “off” from a road, it will snap to the road and show you on it. That’s why in one of the screenshots I posted the recorded track shows me to be travelling down the M40, even though I was actually crossing it almost perpendicularly on a flyover!

Long story short is that sections of motorway or dual carriageway are less likely to show when the GPS position is “off” vs reality. Much better to include frequent turns onto other roads that will show whether or not the device had a reliable positional fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 · (Edited)
Phil, I can agree with you, except that mine was sliding the cursor several hundred yards off the A13 dual carriageway (basically a semi-motorway, for people that don’t know it) to put me into either a housing / light industrial estate or into a field.

When the cursor slid away into a housing estate, it would snap the route onto the nearest streets it could find and make a recalculation. If it was into a field, where it had no roads to snap onto, it would show a dotted blue line straight line, indicating where the bike should be ridden ‘off-road’ as it were, to rejoin the A13.

To make the test better, the route I’ll create will now be longer. Basically: Central London to Chelmsford (A13, M25, A12) then B roads all the way to Walkers cafe at Barton Mills / Bury St Edmunds. That will give the thing a big work out of all sorts of environments and roads. If I ride the bike up to Barton Mills with the phone in the cubbyhole and back with it out, we’ll be able to see the differences really clearly, I hope.

If I come across any genuine road closure, where the track will genuinely go ‘off-route’ I’ll mark these, so as to make the test fair.

I’ll then superimpose the up to Barton Mills track and the down from Barton Mills track, onto the the original pre-planned route and colour each differently. The down track - where the phone is in my tank bag - should have far less glitches or (hopefully) none. I’ll then share the GPX file, so you and BMW can have a look. I’ll also try to take some screen shots of the problem, which was what we had to do if we found glitches when testing the Beta version of the BMW Connected app earlier in the year. Ironically, I found the Beta version generally very stable but I was testing that on my 850 GSA (I no longer own it) which does not have a cubbyhole arrangement.
 
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