[Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.1

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Harry
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[Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.1

Postby Harry » Sun May 18, 2014 10:21 pm

[THIS POST IS MOST PROBABLY OUTDATED SINCE APPLE RELEASED iOS7.1.2 - PLEASE UPDATE TO THIS VERSION]

After several reports by users running external GPS and OBD dongles, as well as information I received from my partner companies creating Mfi (Made for iPhones) devices, I need to inform you of the following issues with iOS7.1 and iOS7.1.1:

Problem:
Data transfer is not possible for the Mfi device once it has been connected to an app (like Harry's LapTimer).

Intermittent observation:
  • A XGPS160, or a VBOX Sport, or a BT1A OBD is paired with an iPhone.
  • LapTimer is started and makes a connection to the respective device (connection status is green in Sensor List).
  • No data can be received, the update rate stays at 0 Hz.

Frequent observation:
  • A XGPS160 is connected to an iPhone delivering 10 Hz to LapTimer.
  • A BT1A is powered on and is connected to LapTimer.
  • The XGPS160 stops delivering data.

Intermittent observation:
  • A XGPS160, or a VBOX Sport, or a BT1A OBD is connected to LapTimer and delivers data at a valid update rate.
  • LapTimer is sent to background (disconnecting the accessory) and pulled to foreground after some time.
  • The accessory is connected again but does not deliver data like before.

All accessories named above are samples. The problem seems to affect all Mfi devices. In general, the probability an accessory does not deliver data is the higher the more often it is disconnected and connected. As soon as more than one accessories are connected, the probability is very high one or all will not deliver data.

Workarounds:
  • Change to Sensor List and retry disconnecting (power cycling the accessory) and reconnecting.
  • In case you see an accessory connected in Sensor List but not delivering data, send LapTimer to background and pull it forward again.
  • In case you do not get data transfer working, send LapTimer to background and kill and restart it. This seems to clean up parts of the Bluetooth stack.
  • In case you have not yet updated from iOS7 to iOS7.1, wait until you receive positive confirmation this problem has been fixed.

To not lose recordings completely, please check for a valid update rate each time you leave the pits. Once communication is working, it seems to be stable. But every interruption of the app and change to a different one, will probably stop data transfer. In case you use more than one accessory, please consider leaving all but one in the box currently.

This is a pretty cumbersome problem, especially as no ETA for a fix is available yet. Apple has confirmed this bug and is working on a bug fix. I'm told the fix will be part of iOS7.1.2 but this is not committed / confirmed. I will keep you posted.

- Harry


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby NRGDEAD » Mon May 19, 2014 9:05 am

Yesterday, we were unable to connect our BT1. XGPS150 worked fine, though. Only once did we not get an update rate. Multicam worked well.


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby gplracerx » Mon May 19, 2014 4:18 pm

The sad thing is that Apple could allow a return to iOS 7.0.6, which appears to work just fine. You could do it yourself, but only if you planned ahead and saved certain critical data. I'm not even sure that doing that counts as a jailbreak.


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby Harry » Thu May 22, 2014 8:13 pm

Without knowing our issue is addressed in iOS7.1.2 at all, at least it seems it will become available soon:
http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/22/app ... ios-7-1-2/

- Harry


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby Harry » Tue May 27, 2014 4:40 pm

Update on the issue:

  1. I have submitted new versions of LapTimer Editions and and GPS/OBD Buddy (all 18.0.22) adding some workarounds for a higher connection probability. The problem is not solved at all (which needs to be done by Apple), but at least with one sensor attached, things mostly work now.
  2. I received a report by a user that the iPhone's Wifi state influences connection / data flow probability: with wifi turned off, BT connections are establishes a lot more reliable. I ran some test and can confirm that.
  3. Even with the updates version of LapTimer, using two sensors at a time is difficult. Using a XGPS160 and a BT1, the following process works fine for me. a) car engine off - i.e. BT1 off; as an alternative unplug the BT1 b) power on XGPS160 c) start LapTimer -> connection to XGPS160 is established as expected c) turn on car engine / plug in BT1 -> connection to BT1 is established as expected, XGPS160 continues working. This does not work with the two dongles connected in the opposite order, and this does (mostly) not work with the current production version 18.0.15.

Hope that helps at least some of you. I'm sorry for any inconvenience, but that is probably the best I can do work around the underlying BT problem.

- Harry

P.S. Expect 18.0.22 to appear in around 5 working days on AppStore.


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby Augustyniak » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:50 pm

Awesome! The issues described above are exactly the ones I have been having. I utilize the exact same devices listed as well. I was really disappointed in the product at first along with the money I spent on the higher quality setup when I had a heak of a time getting all of it connected. Great to know you are on it!!

Thanks for the support.

-NRA


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby 9000Redline » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:30 am

Same problem as above poster. Using HLT 18.0.22 and my brand new 160$ xps160 will not transmit data and it a useless paper weight :(

Harry, is there an ETA from Apple? Is it worth waiting? Thinking to sell or return my xps again


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby Harry » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:25 am

As weiteren above, this is not an XGPS160 problem, it Happens for all BT devices. There are never ETAs by Apple. Please check the work arounds, it is inconvenient, but not impossible.

Harry


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby Harry » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:54 pm

Update on iOS 7.1.2:

http://www.macrumors.com/2014/06/20/ios ... en-issues/

Finally, iOS 7.1.2 is said to include both improvements to iBeacon connectivity and a bug fix related to data transfer with third-party accessories such as bar code scanners. There is no explicit mention of any fixes for iMessage, but they may still be quietly included in the release.


"Third-party accessories" - that's us :-)

- Harry


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Re: [Warning] Problem with BT Accessories in iOS7.1 and 7.1.

Postby glospete » Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:19 am

Harry wrote:Update on iOS 7.1.2:

http://www.macrumors.com/2014/06/20/ios ... en-issues/

Finally, iOS 7.1.2 is said to include both improvements to iBeacon connectivity and a bug fix related to data transfer with third-party accessories such as bar code scanners. There is no explicit mention of any fixes for iMessage, but they may still be quietly included in the release.


"Third-party accessories" - that's us :-)

- Harry


I have a copy of my iPhone firmware v7.04 and am using LapTimer v18.0.24. Can I just restore from that and will all be OK?
Last edited by glospete on Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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