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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an LCI JCW with MINI Connected, so the car has a SIM card. I am completely underwhelmed with the MINI Connected app.

Issues

A lot of the functions rely on you issuing a command in the app, which then goes to MINI's servers, before being sent over the mobile network to the car. This means that you issue the command then wait for up to a couple of minutes for it to complete. The architecture of the service is wrong, the app should talk to the car first.

Locate Vehicle - Whats the point? The only use case I can see is if your car was stolen. But in this case the app won't send you a notification. It seems like MINI just want to collect their owners location data.
Ventilate Now - Appears to do nothing at all. Made no difference in the recent hot weather. I guess this would only work properly in electrified cars with a proper electric HVAC system.
Lock/Unlock - Due to the lag in selecting this function and it actually working, this function offers no benefit. It's easier to use the key.
Flash the lights - Maybe in a large, dark, car park at night it would be useful to find your car? Never used it.
Vehicle Status - Its nice to see whether doors are locked etc, but to make it useful, they would need to send you a push message for example, if your car has been parked but the doors left unlocked. None of this is available.

The information about the car is useful - fuel level, mileage, servicing details, but I perhaps use the app once a month for this. Again, because the car send the data to MINI's servers then to the app, it often hasn't refreshed for days, so I have to do it manually, or just check it when in the car.

Improvements

Key Replacement - Allow car start via the app, similar to Apple CarKey coming in the new BMW's.
Unexpected vehicle movement - send a push message to your device if the car has moved without car key being used
Car left unlocked/sunroof open - send push notifications
The ability to export trip data. If MINI are collecting this about us, why can't we have this too?
Allow integration with IOS shortcuts, so we can create our own workflows/notifications.

If MINI are collecting data about its owners, it should be clear what data is being collected, its anonymisation, and give us the ability to opt out. I never signed an agreement with them about data use when I picked up my car.

If I knew where the SIM card was, I would probably remove it, at least that way I am not generating data for MINI - and I would lose very little.

What are peoples thoughts/experiences? Am I being harsh? Does anyone find it useful?
 

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Its an option on the new mini’s. Weird that it takes so long for the functions to work... i was considering to retrofit but this made me think...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If I was speccing new car now, I wouldn't pay for it. I think you get it included with Nav, but not checked recently.
 

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After a year of faffing about with upgrades to the radio system, mini connected, making system adjustments, trying different cables to the phone, sorting and upgrading my Samsung OS, MINI CONNECTED HAS FINALLY STARTED WORKING (mostly).
When connected via USB and on my Samsung I can now see.
  • where my car was last parked.
  • mpg, fuel left data.
  • And the useful one for me - I can put in Post Codes or Addresses and send them to the car Sat Nav.
Hopefully it will all stay working when any updates occur.
Messaging BMW for help is pointless, they say as it is a 2016 car, Connected won't work......

My next challenge is to try and get a cheap or free CODE to allow me to update the Entry Nav Route map if anyone can help??

Thanks. Mat
 

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If you want to deactivate it you don't need to locate the sim card. FYI sim card is inside the Telematics module called ATM behind the glovebox.

You can use coding to deactivate teleservices and the sim card.



Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
 

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Apple just announced a few updates to Carplay and functionality in BMW's that will be coming out with iOS 14, including using the phone as a car key. Not sure what updates will be required from the car side though.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Car Key will only work on new vehicles. So the new 5 series has it, but I understand it can't be used on older cars because more hardware is required.
 

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Car Key will only work on new vehicles. So the new 5 series has it, but I understand it can't be used on older cars because more hardware is required.
Do you think they will just start fitting it to newer models at a certain point in the production run or will they wait for a model update? If it is just another bolt on module in theory it could work like replacing the old speedo with the new digital unit as long as the wiring loom has space for it. Assume it is some transmitter/receiver that sends activation messages to existing modules, i.e door lock and starter system after the phone has authorised it.
 

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Do you think they will just start fitting it to newer models at a certain point in the production run or will they wait for a model update? If it is just another bolt on module in theory it could work like replacing the old speedo with the new digital unit as long as the wiring loom has space for it. Assume it is some transmitter/receiver that sends activation messages to existing modules, i.e door lock and starter system after the phone has authorised it.
Its on the bmw G series. Mini is still on F so i think it will be on mini G series but these will come in 2021 2022 maybe even later since the LCI was released in 2018
 

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I believe all the Mini Connected services work through the embedded SIM so you would also lose Traffic Info and Automatic Map updates and probably others I'm not aware of if you removed the SIM. I do remember having to agree to terms and conditions when I created my Connected account. I also thought there was an option to opt out of data collection but am having difficulty finding it now.

From the Conneted Ts& Cs :-
How-to Deactivate You can have the MINI Connected basic services deactivated through an authorized MINI dealer, a MINI subsidiary or a MINI authorized workshop at any time. Deactivation of these Services also deactivates the vehicle’s built-in SIM card. This also has the consequence that the emergency call in the vehicle as well as all remaining Services will no longer function. You can additionally arrange for the remaining Services to be deactivated via “MINI Connected Portal” / “My MINI Connected”. If the vehicle is equipped with the legally required EU Emergency Call a deactivation of the MINI Connected basic services will not deactivate the vehicle’s build-in SIM card. It has to remain active,so that the EU Emergency Call is functional all the time.

Full Ts & Cs for UK here Click Ther's also a cancellation form in it.
 

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Apple just announced a few updates to Carplay and functionality in BMW's that will be coming out with iOS 14, including using the phone as a car key. Not sure what updates will be required from the car side though.

Here’s a post about the “Car Keys” feature:

 

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Maybe I misread that but if you have to hold it up to the door handle it sounds like you would need comfort access for it to work?
Also dubious about putting my car key on an app or on my iPhone. Just another thing to hack to steal cars but maybe it is more secure than how I feel about it!

edit:
Just did some good old googling and sounds like the phone has to be physically tapped against the car for it to open...
I’ll do more research.
 

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I believe the keys are stored within the secure enclave of the phone......the same place they store your biometric data.

It does seem that you need to tap the phone against the handle but I suspect you’ll just need to get very close......kinda like a contactless payment. You then need to place your phone on the wireless charger which must have NFC built-in.
 

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I actually find Mini Connected to be quite useful...but I say that with two caveats:
  1. I've got a new 2020 Cooper SE, so maybe the full-electric version is different (better?) than the gasoline version, and
  2. I just traded-in my Rogue, so I'm coming from using NissanConnect. NissanConnect used SiriusXM satellite radio as the logistics between app and car, and that was s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-w.
Compared to NissanConnect, Mini Connect is pretty speedy - commands to my Mini take about half the time the commands to my Rogue used to take. And you get positive confirmation that the command was actually executed (or not!) with Mini Connect, rather than the "hope and pray" method with NissanConnect.

Locate Vehicle isn't everyday useful, but it's good for when you've gone on holiday and you can't find your car in the airport parkade. Or if you've left it at the mall and can't remember which lot you've parked in. Not everyday, but every now and then it has value.

I can precondition my Cooper SE with full HVAC functionality, but that sounds like it's an EV thing if all you gasoline guys have is "ventilate now". I can tell the car to precondition the cabin immediately, or set a departure time so the car figures it out in time for when I want to leave, and it's worked flawlessly for me.

Lock/Unlock - that's for when you've left your keys upstairs / in the house / somewhere else and just need to pop into your car for a second to grab something or put something in the boot, etc. You wouldn't use the app in lieu of keys in your pocket, but you would when your keys aren't easily/quickly accessible. This function was one of the things I used the most with NissanConnect, and the old-school keypad on our Ford Fusion's B-pillar is super handy for this reason too.

I do agree with you on the push notifications for Vehicle Status...it would be nice if the car sent a push notification that you've left your doors unlocked by mistake after you've walked away from it.
 

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About push notifications. If you want to play around, you can always setup Home Assistant together with the BMW connected drive (same thing) and then make some automation for yourself. For example, if my location is more than 200m from my car, and it is unlocked, I'll get a push notification (from Home Assistant). It's not perfect (sometimes the API for BMW connected drive lags) but you get the idea.
 
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