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View Full Version : google earth - just a data sim ?



Adrian James
28-08-2013, 07:45 AM
i have an A7 with google earth built into the MMI system, this needs a sim card to run. my question is, can i use a data sim to do this rather than a fully functional sim. and would my phone still work for the phone calls and not try to go through the installed 'data sim' . so 2 questions there then. :confused:

Chris
28-08-2013, 08:22 AM
There's a couple of big threads on the google maps thing both in this section (a7) and the c7 a6 section - Audi A6 - C7 Forum - 2011- (http://www.vwaudiforum.co.uk/forum/forumdisplay.php?356-Audi-A6-C7-Forum-2011)

Adrian James
28-08-2013, 09:29 AM
your right, they are big threads. thanks for that

neil s
28-08-2013, 02:22 PM
If it helps, I got a T-Mobile broadband SIM for my A6. It's 7.50 a month with a 1GB data allowance. This is left in the car and I use my BlackBerry for all other phone functions, but mine is a 2014 model which allows you to insert a SIM into the car and still use your phone with the Bluetooth connection. This was a fairly recent change (June 2013?) and previous A6/A7 models would disconnect the Bluetooth connection as soon as you inserted a SIM into the dashboard.

Neil.

Adrian James
28-08-2013, 04:35 PM
thats exactly what i want to do. my A7 is a 2011 but has been fully serviced, i wonder if the software needed to do this was done when the car was updated at service, do any of the tech guys reading this would know ? Neil S - does the MMI menu offer this when you insert the sim ?

neil s
28-08-2013, 04:41 PM
I believe it was a hardware change that allowed you to have a dash-mounted SIM and still use the Bluetooth connection, but don't take my word for it. I'm sure I've read somewhere here that it's not just a software update.

And yes, the phone settings in the MMI allow you to specify whether you want to make calls from the bonded handset or inserted SIM.

Neil.

M1tchy
28-08-2013, 05:49 PM
So if mine is currently being built it should come with the new hardware allowing me to use GE and my phone at the same time?


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Adrian James
28-08-2013, 08:36 PM
yeah, go on, rub it in
;)

M1tchy
29-08-2013, 03:52 AM
Sorry....but only a little bit!


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@mark
29-08-2013, 08:49 AM
Full disclosure first is that I work for Vodafone so as a result I have a Vodafone SIM (on contract) in my car that supports voice and data just because I don't pay much for it.

But the best deal if you just want data is to buy a Three 3GB 3 Month PAYG data only SIM off Amazon for about 12 like this one Three Mobile Broadband Ready to Go 3GB Preloaded Data: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Three-Mobile-Broadband-Preloaded-Devices/dp/B003Z0T3X2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377762430&sr=8-1&keywords=three+3gb) (which works out at 4 per month)

Then at the end of 3 months you just throw it away and get a new one off Amazon

The Three data network is very good indeed and I have personally used this in my car in the past and it works really well (within the UK)

To give you an idea on data usage, last week I had the system fully connected with Google Earth maps enabled on my drive back from a small village near Cognac in France, up to Calais and then from Folkstone to Lincolnshire. This was almost 1000km and clearly a journey that I had not driven before so the maps were not cached.

Total data used = 158MB and of course if I were to drive that journey again tomorrow, I would not use anywhere near that bandwidth because the data is now cached. On a typical month, it is rare I see the data usage go over 200MB so a 1GB per month SIM is plenty

The only reason I would not consider the Three SIM is if I wanted to use it outside of the UK

Adrian James
29-08-2013, 09:14 AM
do you have your MB mixed up with your GB otherwise this doesnt make sense !

@mark
29-08-2013, 09:15 AM
do you have your MB mixed up with your GB otherwise this doesnt make sense !

Thanks. Haven't had my second coffee yet

Adrian James
29-08-2013, 09:22 AM
:biglaugh:

M1tchy
29-08-2013, 06:29 PM
Thanks for the info, I think ill look to get a pay as you go sim when it arrives. Is it right that what you have driven a route, you could do it again without the sim and still have the GE images as it will have stored the info for that route?


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Adrian James
29-08-2013, 09:11 PM
got an EE data sim loaded with 6gb for 90 days to see how it goes for 30. no contract, but i can top it up anytime i want. its working great in the car so we will see how it goes. thanks for the help.

neil s
02-09-2013, 02:12 PM
Thanks for the info, I think ill look to get a pay as you go sim when it arrives. Is it right that what you have driven a route, you could do it again without the sim and still have the GE images as it will have stored the info for that route?

I did a quick test (just to the local take-away) and the Google Earth images were still displayed despite me having taken the SIM out of the car.

Neil.

@mark
02-09-2013, 03:08 PM
Is it right that what you have driven a route, you could do it again without the sim and still have the GE images as it will have stored the info for that route?




Kind of.

The level of zoom that the maps are displayed in (and thus downloaded) is dependant (to a point) on the speed you are driving. the speed limit of the area you are in and your proximity to junctions and other "events" on the sat nav.

Thus if you are driving on the motorway at 70mph, the display is zoomed right out and doesn't download the close up detail (because it doesn't need to)

If you then drive down the same motorway (silly example but it makes the point) at 20mph, the display will try to zoom in but without a sim card, it can't so you will get a pretty blurred image

M1tchy
02-09-2013, 05:23 PM
Ok that all makes sense. Thanks for the info


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Pbro
19-09-2013, 09:29 AM
Do these cars have an option of tethering to your phone's 3G/4G connection ? So there is no need for a sim in the dash ?

@mark
19-09-2013, 09:53 AM
Do these cars have an option of tethering to your phone's 3G/4G connection ? So there is no need for a sim in the dash ?

Only if your phone supports RSAP over Bluetooth which is quite a dated technology these days.

Some Samsung phones support this, Apple do not and most other Android phones don't. Blackberry do and of course many non smart phones support it.

But the chances are if you have a top of the range smart phone in your pocket, you are going to be out of luck

neil s
20-09-2013, 01:29 PM
Some Samsung phones support this, Apple do not and most other Android phones don't. Blackberry do and of course many non smart phones support it.

Note, the latest BlackBerry Q10/Z10 phones don't have RSAP support. Even my previous 9860 Torch didn't work properly over RSAP, but I think that was because I used the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) rather than the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). I bought a dedicated SIM for the car so didn't look into that problem any further.

Neil.

Adrian James
20-09-2013, 01:34 PM
the blackberry 'push' system does not work well with any of the vag interfaces due to licensing agreements, or lack of them that is !

@mark
20-09-2013, 01:56 PM
But to be honest having a data connection in the car doesn't seem to bring any additional functionality anyway.

Even though I do have a SIM in my car (voice and data) it's doubtful I will renew it after 12 months as it doesn't actually do anything other than display pretty pictures over the top of my out of date satnav maps.

If you had features like online traffic and Facebook etc then fine but you don't so it's hardly worth the effort.

Adrian James
20-09-2013, 02:01 PM
the most usefull feature for me is that i can plan routes/ appointment addresses and the like at home, download to my audi homepage and the car pick it up the next time i start it up. not to say that its difficult anyway, its just something that i am now doing.

M1tchy
22-09-2013, 10:06 AM
If you had features like online traffic and Facebook etc then fine but you don't so it's hardly worth the effort.

I thought you did get online traffic and weather and petrol prices etc etc?

@mark
22-09-2013, 10:20 AM
I thought you did get online traffic and weather and petrol prices etc etc?

Weather and Petrol Prices yes but online traffic no

The menu option that would appear at first glance to be traffic turns out to be Wikipedia information on the landmarks in your local area!!!

The only source of traffic information is TMC and you don't need a data connection for that

M1tchy
22-09-2013, 10:26 AM
ah ok, thanks. only about 4 weeks to go until mine turns up anyway so can have a good play with all the gadgets. I bought a pre loaded SIM off amazon yesterday to try out the Google Earth so looking forward to the drive home - glad I got it from a dealer 5 hours away lol.

Adrian James
22-09-2013, 01:56 PM
its good to fiddle about with our toys ;)

Pilot Morgan
23-09-2013, 09:53 AM
With a data connection you are getting online traffic, not TMC traffic.

@mark
24-09-2013, 11:55 AM
With a data connection you are getting online traffic, not TMC traffic.

I think you are wrong. With a full data connection traffic still comes via TMC and not over the data connection

But if you can prove me wrong, please feel free to do so as online traffic would be nice

M1tchy
24-09-2013, 12:00 PM
This is from Audi's webpage. It says the traffic info is online. Maybe it does it in the background or in addition to TMC?

Traffic information online
Know more. Arrive faster: With traffic information online from Audi connect, get the fastest route to your destination as well as the right route.

With dynamic route guidance, in addition to traffic flow information for individual road sections of the navigation map, Traffic information online offers more rapid information about the development and dissipation of traffic jams and greater coverage of the road network (e.g. also A roads and rural roads). The availability of precise and up-to-date traffic data in the vehicle is supported by frequent data updating supplemented by high bandwidth and hence rapid data transmission via UMTS via Bluetooth car phone online. Audi connect the fast way to your destination.

Traffic information online is available in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Additional costs may be incurred by the reception of data packages from the Internet, depending on your mobile phone contract and especially when using such services abroad. Due to the possible high data volume, a mobile phone contract with data flat rate is highly recommended.

Utilisation rights for Traffic information online for 36 months from initial activation (insofar as this takes place within 6 months of the vehicle's initial registration; otherwise the utilisation rights are reduced accordingly) without additional utilisation fees. Your Audi Partner will be happy to inform you of any extension options and their associated costs.

Depending on the model, the screen you actually see may differ from the illustrations shown.

Traffic information online > Audi connect services > Audi Worldwide (http://www.audi.com/com/brand/en/models/infotainment_and_communication/audi_connect_services/online_traffic_information.html)


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Pilot Morgan
24-09-2013, 12:08 PM
Also, in the bottom left of the screen it will show TMC or Online depending on the source of traffic data. There's something in the manual that talks about it too (IIRC) but I don't have the manual to hand here at work.

M1tchy
24-09-2013, 12:09 PM
And I don't have my car yet :-(


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@mark
24-09-2013, 12:16 PM
I'm simply not seeing that option and have certainly never seen that icon in the bottom left hand corner.

Having said that, having picked up my car this morning following a satnav update (2013 Maps) , I have already seen some new functionality that was not there before such as 3D buildings and Google StreetView so I will go and have another look at this after lunch in case this is on later software only

@mark
24-09-2013, 01:14 PM
It would appear that the Online Traffic subscription (which is 3 years) can only be activated in the first 6 months of ownership. So as the previous owner clearly didn't activate it, the option is lost. I am guessing this also applies to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Seeing that a lot of owners who have iPhones etc will not bother with this, I can imagine a lot of the used A7s out there will be the same with this functionality missing

I have also just noticed however with the update that I can now use the SIM in the car for calls etc (as before) but can now sync the phonebook on my iPhone with the car over bluetooth at the same time which is really useful

M1tchy
24-09-2013, 03:42 PM
When you say subscription, does that mean you have to pay for the traffic updates?


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@mark
24-09-2013, 04:01 PM
When you say subscription, does that mean you have to pay for the traffic updates?




So from reading the link provided above it seems to vary from country to country and it isn't clear if Audi Online (which online traffic is part of together with Facebook and Twitter) is actually an option in the UK at all (unless someone here can confirm they actually have it on their car and not just listed in the manual)

But the website suggests that if you register for the service when the car is new, you get a 3 year subscription at no extra cost. Beyond that there is an annual fee although it just says "ask your dealer for pricing"

It also suggests that under some circumstances it may be less than 3 years but again it isn't clear

So I would be interested to see if there is anybody here who actually has a live subscription on a UK car here and if so, what additional services they are actually getting

neil s
26-09-2013, 02:36 PM
When I first got the online connection working (with the dash SIM) it did ask if I wanted to activate the subscription for the traffic service. Can't remember the exact point that question popped up. Now when I first start the car the TMC logo shows in the bottom left corner of the screen and that changes to Online once the connection has been made after 10 to 20 seconds.

I've not used the online services much but I don't remember there being the option for Facebook or Twitter (no great loss...), but I don't have any reason to doubt that the traffic updates are being provided online as Audi claim. I don't know if there's any way of actually telling for sure though.

Neil.

neil s
26-09-2013, 02:48 PM
And I've just tried it. Going to the nav screen and clicking on Info the car initially says there are no TMC updates available. Once the online connection has been made it pops up with lots of travel news.

And there are 7 'Audi Connect' services available - weather, petrol prices, travel information (places of interest etc...), country driving requirements (hi-vis vests etc...), a sort of 'what's on' guide, news and one other I can't remember!

Neil.

@mark
26-09-2013, 02:53 PM
And I've just tried it. Going to the nav screen and clicking on Info the car initially says there are no TMC updates available. Once the online connection has been made it pops up with lots of travel news.

And there are 7 'Audi Connect' services available - weather, petrol prices, travel information (places of interest etc...), country driving requirements (hi-vis vests etc...), a sort of 'what's on' guide, news and one other I can't remember!

Neil.

Interesting as I have all the Audi Connect services such as petrol prices, weather and the one you forgot, Parking Spaces so it looks like the subscription is ONLY for the traffic itself. Considering that the TMC delivers a lot of information anyway into the info screen I would have to question the value of any future subscription options if the only thing you get for the money is traffic only.

Adrian James
17-10-2013, 08:59 AM
hi Mark, I do want to use my iphone at the same time as the cars own sim but my current software will not let me do this. did you just get the nav update to allow you to do so ?




It would appear that the Online Traffic subscription (which is 3 years) can only be activated in the first 6 months of ownership. So as the previous owner clearly didn't activate it, the option is lost. I am guessing this also applies to the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Seeing that a lot of owners who have iPhones etc will not bother with this, I can imagine a lot of the used A7s out there will be the same with this functionality missing

I have also just noticed however with the update that I can now use the SIM in the car for calls etc (as before) but can now sync the phonebook on my iPhone with the car over bluetooth at the same time which is really useful

@mark
17-10-2013, 09:10 AM
No

The update allowed my iPhones contacts to sync with the car but it is still the SIM in the car that is being used for making and receiving calls so I tend to just forward the phone to the car when I get in

On the 2014 models, there is now the option to have the SIM in the car do data and still use your phone over bluetooth for voice etc. Mitch should have this on his as his will be a 2014 model year

M1tchy
17-10-2013, 09:15 AM
I do indeed, the sim in the car does the online traffic, weather and google earth images etc while my iPhone is synced for making calls only. It can also stream music but only when connected to the wifi hotspot (my wife's A5 can do it via Bluetooth) and you also need the Audi connect app which is really easy to use, especially for adding destinations to your online destinations folder.


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Davo14
10-09-2015, 11:13 PM
Hi M1tchy

Ive just picked up a 2014 A7 Biturbo and want to buy a SIM for google maps tomorrow. Reading this thread which is old is there another SIM you recommend?

Can I buy a 4G Sim?

i'll introduce myself with car pictures if I can find time at the weekend !

great car !

cheers
chris

M1tchy
11-09-2015, 09:02 AM
Hi Davo, there are loads of different options out there. If your car is the new facelift version then a 4G SIM will give you 4G access. If it's the last model (same as mine) then you can still put a 4G sim in the car but it will only be able to connect to the 3G network which will give slower connection speeds but still works fine.

I would try a month long SIM card that's disposable. That way if you don't like the features you can bin it and loose nothing. If you like it you can look for a longer term SIM.

Just remember you need a full sized SIM card or an adapter to make it fit. (Always interesting when the sales person asks if you need an adapter and what the sim is for!)


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Davo14
11-09-2015, 04:52 PM
Thanks very much for the reply. I've bought a SIM and will give it a go this weekend.

I'm sure I'll have more questions on the car !

Regards
Chris