iOS/Bluetooth Car Streaming Bug Leads to Mobile Data Costs

Dear Apple,

I use Bluetooth connectivity to stream music playlists a lot in my car. And I really like the way that when I get in the car, it remembers that I was playing a playlist, reconnects and starts from where it left off.

Except when it doesn’t. Twice in the last couple of days it has instead started playing something else entirely. Once while I was out of the car, I listened to a bit of streaming live radio via the ABC radio app. I love this app because it lets me listen to local ABC radio from other cities as well as some digital only content. When I was done, I quit the app and the stream stopped playing. When I got into the car however, the stream restarted. I took me a while to notice because it was a news segment that was playing. By the time I realised, pulled over safely, and investigated it had been downloading data over my finite mobile data allowance for several minutes. The ABC radio app was not running in the background. I had to start an alternative audio source (my local, on phone, iTunes playlist) to get it to stop chewing through my data.

The ABC app lets you listen to local ABC radio wherever you are. Helpful if you live in a different timezone.

The ABC app lets you listen to local ABC radio wherever you are. Helpful if you live in a different timezone.

The next time was when I had half watched a YouTube video. I halted it halfway through and put Safari into the background. When I got back into the car, it started downloading the YouTube video again and started playing that through the car audio speakers, instead of the playlist it had been halfway through. Again, eating into my meagre mobile data allowance.

I realise that I can turn off mobile data for an app like ABC Radio in the settings, I just didn’t expect that iOS would relaunch the stream when the app had been quit. I cannot however turn off mobile data for a single web domain like anywhere without turning it off for all of Safari.

I don’t know where the blame lies here. Is it with the Bluetooth reconnect spec? Or is it just iOS sending the last available audio stream guessing that’s the one I want? What I actually want is the Bluetooth stream that was playing at the time I left the car to resume when I get in the car. Surely that info is embedded in the stream itself and can be reconnected, not some other audio THAT COSTS ME MONEY!

Yours sincerely,

Martin Stoermer


iOS streams audio via Bluetooth to a car audio system using the last played audio source, even by launching streams from apps that have been hard quit, interrupting any playlists you were listening to.


About martin

almost on holidays
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