Updating Software on 2016 Prius

Ever since I got the Apple iPhone X, I’ve had issues with the bluetooth system and the phone. The radio system would just restart when I try to place a phone call. The radio would not respond and pause thinking that it would swich over to the phone then it would just crash and restart. My navigation settings would reset. I would have to tell it the state I’m in and the map view setting. This is more dangerous than using the cell phone instead of bluetooth – in my opinion. It’s random but it happens at least once a day.

I checked if there was an update available but I can even install it. The button is not selectable. I believe you would have to plug in a USB or micro SD card and it checks if that contains an update. I searched online to see if I could find instructions but can’t seem to find any. I finally brought it in to a dealer and asked about it. The technician found out that there is an update available. They were going to charge me $70. I said no! That’s ridiculous for them not to support the software for free. I may be looking at it the wrong way but imagine buying a laptop from Dell and they charged you a fee to update the operating system – not even a new version of the OS but a patch. I asked if they could just give me the patch and I’ll give them a micro SD card to put it in. They would not do it.

I brought it in to another dealer since I needed to do an oil change. I mentioned about the radio and bluetooth issue and hinted that there might be some update. They added it to the list of things to do during the maintenance. I get a call back that the car was finished along with a software update installation. They didn’t even charge for the update. Here’s the software version before and after.

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Old version 010182

Here’s the new software version.

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Version 010192 – don’t mind the dust

After a few days it hasn’t restarted. The only difference I see now is my iPhone X doesn’t connect all the time when I turn on the car. I have to manually connect it. I don’t know if it’s the iPhone X or the Prius. I have a 2013 Toyota Sienna and my iPhone X works flawlessly there. I tried the Google Pixel 2 XL and it works without issues with the Prius.

I have already re-paired the iPhone X before trying the software patch with Toyota. Hopefully it continues to work without the restarts.

 

Anker SoundBuds Bluetooth Earbuds

I got tired of waiting for the Apple Airbuds to become available. On top of that, they are $160. It’s no surprise, it is an Apple product and I am looking forward to using the W1 chip for easy hand-off between Apple products. I’ve been without a bluetooth headset since losing my old LG HBS-730. One of the disadvantage of having wireless devices is how easy they get lost/misplaced (ie: remote controls, car keys, etc). It’s been difficult specially with the iPhone 7Plus. I know it came with a headset. But the headset only works with the iPhone and yes there’s an adapter – enough with my excuses. I’m just used to using bluetooth headset.

I found these headsets from Anker, the SoundBuds. For only $30, it’s worth a try. I’ve bought several other products from Anker and their packaging is excellent. You would think the item you just got cost more. No problems with quality or reliability either.

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Box contents

You get plenty for $30.

  • Bluetooth earbuds
  • InEar-Hooks (S/M/L) – one size on the headset
  • EarTips (XS/S/M/L) – one size on the headset
  • Fit clip
  • Shirt clip
  • A standard micro USB cable. If you lose it, it’s okay because it’s standard micro USB. You probably have a ton of these lying around.
  • A travel pouch

According to the documentation it is IPX4 water-resistant (not waterproof). Rain and sweat should be okay. I have yet to test this part. It also comes with 18 months of warranty. I’ll probably lose them before that – but it’s only $30, get another.

So how’s the quality. The LG HBS-730 for me sounded better. It seemed louder and more base. I’ve been listening to Spotify and it’s fine. I would prefer a little bit more bass but now I’m nitpicking. For the average person, it should meet their needs. They claim a 7 hour battery life. I spent some time outside listening to music, podcast, and had a phone conversation. No complaints so far. Now, what I experienced with my LG bluetooth is during windy days, it’s bad. Haven’t had a windy day lately so I couldn’t tell you if it’s the same. I’m pretty sure it’s the same.

Pairing is simple. Just enable your bluetooth on your device then press and hold the play button on the headset for it to start scanning and pairing. The buds are pretty comfortable. I had to switch out the EarTip to a smaller one and it was simple as well. The buds are light. I didn’t feel the weight of the wires either and they unobstrusive.

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Charger port on the volume control area

The charger port is on the volume control. Also, the plus and minus buttons for the volume control serves as repeat and skip – just hold the buttons for a second rather than pressing it. It’s awkward at first but it is a space saver. My LG headset has 2 buttons for volume and 2 for skip and repeat. After using it for a few years, I still get confused. So this is somewhat of a welcomed design.

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There are magnets on the earbuds themselves. So when you’re not using it, you can keep them around your neck and connect them with the magnet. That way they won’t fall off. But when you do this, be aware that the cables are not that long. Sometimes the cable will get on your skin (back of your neck) or if you’re wearing a shirt with a collar – it can get caught on it and won’t move “freely”. What I mean by this is I notice the slack can get on one side and make feel a little uncomfortable when you turn your neck.

I’ve also notice the static or interference with the bluetooth signal when the phone is in my pocket. It’s not often but I have noticed it happen.

Overall, they are a nice pair of earbuds. Don’t expect much, they are only $30. For listening podcasting and phone calls, I feel they are good enough. For music, they’re okay but don’t set your expectations high. Even if you lose these, they’re still cheaper than losing one of your Airpods ($69 replacement and probably a long wait).