Topic: MKi9100 Has terrible livability problems
I was so excited to install my new MKi9100 for use with my iPhone 4. All the reviews glowed about how it has the best Bluetooth and iPod interface around. And it's all true. Bluetooth works flawlessly. The voice commands are great, too. It can access my entire address book without a problem. iPod playback is seamless as well. All the music on my iPhone is easily accessible.
It's SO CLOSE to being great, but it has a couple of livability problems that make me want to rip it out of the dash and throw it out the window! And the problems seems so avoidable. Any amount of testing of the Parrot with the iPhone would have revealed them.
I have a cradle which can accept a 30 pin connector, so I mounted the Parrot 30 pin to it. When I plug the phone in the iPod function works fine. The phone charges as well, so all is good. But now for the problems:
1) When plugged in only songs in my iPod library can play through the audio system. Pandora, Youtube, audio in Safari, none of them can route audio to the speakers connected to the Parrot. I know it possible to play other audio sources through the 30 pin because other accessories can do it. This must be a software problem with the Parrot.
2) Fine, general audio can't play through the 30 pin. So I try activating Bluetooth audio. This works fine if the phone is not connected to the 30 pin. Any source (including iPod) on the phone can play through the Parrot. Play/pause even works. But the second I plug the phone in to the 30 pin, it immediately reverts to iPod audio. After plugging in the Parrot won't let me switch the audio source to Bluetooth. The problem there is that I want to charge my phone when it's in the cradle. But if I want to listen to my KQED Pledge-Free Stream while charging, I'm out of luck.
3) Ok, so I'll forgo using the 30 pin connector on the Parrot. I'll use a separate 30 pin and plug it into the Parrot USB connector just to charge the phone and always use Bluetooth audio. BZZZZZT! The Parrot USB connector can't charge the phone! So now I need to switch back to my ad hoc USB charger plugged into the 12 socket in the car. Wires all over, not very elegant.
4) This is probably the most annoying part of all. Every time I plug my phone into the Parrot 30 pin, it starts playing the most recently played iPod song, even if that song was played days ago. I can understand that it might be cool to just plug in and start playing your tunes. But I NEVER want that. I always want to press play if I want to play something, even if I had been playing a song when I last unplugged the phone. There's not even an option to turn it off in settings.
By the numbers, (4) seems like the simplest fix and is pretty separate from the other 3. (3) is probably a hardware issue and not fixable in software. But that's ok, I don't need that feature if either of the other 2 issues are resolved. Either any audio source should be playable through the 30 pin, or Bluetooth audio should be playable while plugged into the 30 pin.
Anyway, as I said, all of these issues take away from the great features of the Parrot and make it very clumsy to an unappealing to use. I'm sure at least some of them are fixable with a software update. I hope such an update is forthcoming. I want to love my Parrot again!