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Old 11-05-2013, 09:45 AM   #1
tommy@avinusa.com
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Arrow Official: ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android Multimedia Navigation System - Info and Q&A

Official: ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android Multimedia Navigation System - Info and Q&A







Hi I wanted to share with you guys the new ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android GPS Navigation System I have been working on. A little about me before I go into detail about the new system. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area and have been a registered member of E46Fanatics for more than 10 years. Some of you might know me better as M3Evolution the guy that makes and supports the custom Dynavin Android ROM. I am happy and proud to say that I am now a full supporting sponsor of E46Fanatics!

After working on the custom Dynavin Android ROM and speaking with and helping the many frustrated Dynavin Android owners from all over the world I sought out to develop a new system. I got a lot of great advices and suggestions from other helpful E46Fanatics members and Dynavin owners of what kind of features they would want the new hardware and software to have. My goal was not to only fix all the problems we had with our Dynavin systems but to go beyond that and introduce more advance features, better user experience, all while keeping it simple and intuitive to use. This last part was especially important since we will be using this in our cars driving at the legal speed limit of course.

The BMW Avant series hardware and software was inspired by the many great members here at E46Fanatics. We listened to many owners of different systems about the problems they had, what annoyed them most, and what their ideal perfect system would be like. We sought out to develop a system that would try to meet those high expectations. Even the BMW Avant Premium Amber UI color scheme was recommended by the E46Fanatics members here to compliment the BMW 3 Series dashboard and interior. The BMW Avant series is designed to be fast, reliable, simple, and intuitive to use. The UI design is meant to be intuitive so you can keep your eyes and attention on the road. The AA-BE46 hardware was designed to keep true to the original factory look and feel of your BMW 3-Series. It's Torque built-in compatibility makes it easy for you to access your cars diagnostic directly from the 7" touchscreen. It is always ready to go whenever you are (video demo of startup time in post#22). It's a full Android system but does not require you to be a rocket scientist or an Android developer to take advantage of its advance features.

Now you can have easy access to your GMail, Facebook, Pandora, Spotify, Google Music, Waze, Google Maps Navigation, Youtube HD, Yelp, Foursquare, Soundhound, Shazam, and thousands more apps from Google Play store. You can even make and receive Voip phone calls without ever using any of your cellphone minutes.

Installation is simple with the included plug-n-play OEM harness connector. There is no need for any modification to the factory wires or harnesses.

We surveyed many current BMW owners and asked them what are the most important features that they wanted out of their stereo / navigation system and the overwhelming response was ease of use and more importantly reliability. We depend on our cars to get us from point A to point B quickly and efficiently as possible. When we start our cars we want our Navigation system to be ready to go when we are. The ///AVIN AA-BE46 is powered on and fully usable within a few seconds of starting your car. This is the fastest start time I have seen out of any Android in-car navigation system out there on the market today. So if you are in the market for an Android in-car Navigation system one of the first thing you should ask is how long do I have to sit and wait after starting the car before I can start inputting my destination address and then driving off. (video demo of the amazingly fast startup time of the ///AVIN Avant AA-BE46 in post#22)

The HOME, BACK, MENU buttons on the panel of the ///AVIN AA-BE46 are very important.

There are some APPs (eg. Torque, SlingPlayer) that will force fullscreen and that means the top statusbar with the digital Home, Menu, Back buttons will disappear and the app takes over the entire screen. This can be a great thing because APPs like Torque or other video or games apps can take advantage of the entire screen. Navigation maps can also take advantage of the fullscreen to display map and directions. There are other systems on the market that do not have these important hard buttons. The owners of those systems will have no way to exit an app or go back to the Home screen if there were no physical HOME,BACK, MENU buttons. The only option for users of those other system is to turn off their car and restart the entire navigation system if they get stuck.

If you are in the market for an Android in-car navigation make sure it has physical HOME, BACK, MENU buttons or you will be stuck and unable to get out of fullscreen APPs like Torque

Being a long time E46Fanatics registered member and owner of other previous navigation system myself I understand the concern about quality, reliability, after sales service, and warranty.

To ensure that all our customers receive the highest quality products we personally visit the factories where they are made and do our own quality control tests. We cooperate and work closely with the engineers as well. We do not depend on third parties to do the inspection for us. Any products that do not pass our strict standards gets rejected. After each order that we receive we personally fully test each unit again before shipping out to customers. This ensure our customers gets the highest quality and most reliable products. All of our products are backed by a 1 year US warranty. If customers ever need to send a product in for service our service center is conveniently located in Northern California.

There is currently a discount towards a new ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android GPS Navigation System for those that have generously donated for my custom M3Evolution Dynavin Android ROM before 03/20/2014. The discount is up to $100 off. Message me for more details.

I will try to update this post with more information soon. If there are any questions you can reply here or email me at tommy@avinusa.com .





You can now Chat with Us Live directly from our website
www.avinusa.com


Last edited by tommy@avinusa.com; 03-23-2014 at 05:18 AM. Reason: Auto-save 1395569517
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
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For more great videos checkout Qtonic reviews of the Avant-2

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1033802

Check out a great review of the ///AVIN Avant by M_South_Afrikanna!

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1030193

I will try to update this post with more photos and videos.

I would like to share with you guys a feature that we have recently tested with the AVIN unit and the Valentine One radar detector.

http://www.valentine1.com/v1info/v1connection/android/

The current AVIN unit supports connection with the Valentine One Radar detector and displays the radar information on the AVIN touchscreen. Now you can install the Valentine One radar in places where potential thieves can not see it and still have access to the radar indicators and bogey count. You would need the V1Connection Bluetooth module and then pair it with the AVIN unit. We tested it with the YaV1 app available for download from the Google Play store and it works great.

If anyone has questions about this feature or anything about the AVIN unit feel free to live chat with us directly from our site.

http://avinusa.com/bmw-e46-full-andr...on-system.html





Description of the YaV1 free app:

YaV1 (Yet Another V1 application) enhances the capabilities of your Valentine One Radar Locator when used in conjunction with the V1Connection Bluetooth adapter, and allows you to tailor its performance to fit your driving style.
Improve your Situational Awareness with:
* 3 View types - a classic V1 style, a detailed frequency Alerts view, and a Filtered view that allows you to set your own criteria
* Onscreen speed and bearing display
* SAVVY emulation to automatically silence any alerts below a specified speed limit
* GPS-based lockouts to permanently ignore known falses
* Drift adjustable dynamically while running
* Define your own "In The Box" frequency ranges for high-priority alerts, display filters, or automute parameters
* Voice alerts enabled per defined box
* Set your own sounds for audio alerts on your phone
* Background mode can display an overlay view with alert on top of other foreground applications
* Log your alerts and export them into Google Maps for later review or to match them up with footage from a dashcam
Fine-tune your Valentine One:
* Create and manage Profiles of V1 settings that can be pushed to the V1 with the tap of a button
* Enable European mode and configure Custom Sweeps to maximize your reactivity to threats specific to your region

Here is a link to the YaV1 Android app if you guys want to check out what it can do.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....franckyl.yav1


Here is a recent install.




A happy German client replacing his Dynavin D99 for the new ///AVIN Avant
Left = ///AVIN Avant


The ///AVIN AA-BE46 built-in Bluetooth supports Torque when used with optional Bluetooth OBD2 adapter



You can adjust the screen brightness 3 different levels by pressing down the right turn knob


Last edited by tommy@avinusa.com; 05-23-2014 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
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I have this unit and after having an enco B046 and a dynavin d95 I confirm to every one that this unit is much better
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
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Official: ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android GPS Navigation System - Info and Q&A

So it's a different system from Dynavin and Eonon? How many of those things are there?

How much btw?

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Last edited by hanna; 11-05-2013 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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Re: Official: ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android GPS Navigation System - Info and Q&A

In for price

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Old 11-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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Is there a reason why Android 2.3.x was chosen vs the more modern 4.x.x? Is the entire device powered by Android, or is it just overlayed on top of the radio's OS like the Dynavin?
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:54 PM   #7
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The ///AVIN AA-BE46 is 100% all Android so that means RADIO, DVD, CD, USB Direct, Bluetooth, NAVI everything is run inside the Android platform. This provides a more unified experience and all USB ports and SD slots is accessible and usable in Android as well.

We surveyed many current BMW owners and asked them what is the most important thing that they wanted out of their stereo / navigation system and the overwhelming response was ease of use and more importantly reliability. We depend on our cars to get us from point A to point B quickly and efficiently as possible. When we start our cars we want our Navigation system to be ready to go when we are. The ///AVIN AA-BE46 is powered on and fully usable within a few seconds of starting your car. This is the fastest start time I have seen out of any Android in-car navigation system out there on the market today. So if you are in the market for an Android in-car Navigation system one of the first thing you should ask is how long do I have to sit and wait after starting the car before I can start inputting my destination address and then driving off. For example having personally owning a Dynavin Android system there were many times I would have to wait 2-3 minutes and sometime having to reboot and repeat the process a few times before I can get everything to work and can finally start driving 10-15 minutes later.

(video demo comparison of the amazingly fast startup time of the ///AVIN Avant AA-BE46 vs Dynavin D99+ Android in post#22)


We chose to go with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread because it is a more mature and reliable platform. The units main core function is GPS Navigation and many of the available Navigation apps were written for Gingerbread and some of those apps might not be ready for the latest Android version yet. We do plan to gradually introduce new version when it is proven to be reliable especially for use in the automobile enviroment.

Last edited by tommy@avinusa.com; 11-23-2013 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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Re: Official: ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android GPS Navigation System - Info and Q&A

So what it's the price?!

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:05 PM   #9
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So what it's the price?!

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For latest information, photos, and videos please visit us at www.avinusa.com

Last edited by tommy@avinusa.com; 11-06-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #10
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I have been waiting months to get the ///AVIN unit to install in my BMW E46 M3. I am an avid Android user and first looked at Dynavin but did not feel it was worth the money for the hardware design. To me, the AVIN unit was designed to be easy to use and had all the features I was looking for in a modern head unit. It succeeds in that goal. As soon as the www.avinusa.com site went live I ordered the unit. It was shipped from Hong Kong and arrived at my door near Boston in 5 days.

Tommy has been excellent with email response time. I ask a LOT of questions and get into the details and he has been great. I admit I was worried about spending this kind of money but that concern has passed due to Tommy’s support.

Installation:
I was not familiar with disassembling the E46 dash so I followed the install guide from J&T Distributing (for the Dynavin unit). I needed the HVAC relocation bracket (51-16-7-001-408). I have the M3 with SMG and want to note that installing the HVAC relocation bracket was a little tricky. The SMG shifter does not move down nearly as much as a manual. Be patient; it will fit! I also noticed 4 screws are unused after moving the HVAC lower and removing the OEM radio. The AVIN unit is held firmly in place with no rattles. On the right-most dash trim piece I did break the plastic part that holds it flush with the other trim piece. Be gentle with the trim pieces.

Components:
  • Runs only Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread (for compatibility with most GPS navigation applications)
  • MicroSD card slot on front left for media
  • MicroSD card slot on front right for navigation map data
  • Wi-Fi USB adapter dongle is included; it installs on a USB cable dongle inside the dash
  • I ran the iPod and USB cables under the shifter console and next to the passenger seat
  • Instruction manual is more for basic usage, not installation
  • Internal microphone is closer to the driver and so far has sounded fine; no external mic included
  • GPS antenna – I mounted it on the frame rails behind the center vents (it is magnetic)
  • I purchased the BlueTooth OBD-2 adapter with the unit
  • Touchscreen is resistive
    • Design choice to be more robust over temperature extremes that a car sees
    • Lose pinch-to-zoom capability

Daily Usage:
  • Startup Time
    • There is a setting for quick boot timeout of 2 hours, 12 hours, or 1 day (I think)
    • If the car is off before that timeout, it boots in about 2 seconds, otherwise 30 seconds
  • GPS Navigation - Included antenna works well with Google Navigation and Waze
  • Steering Wheel Buttons
    • Work with Radio app (included with unit)
    • I need to remap the R/P and Voice buttons to make them do something useful
  • Unit’s amber button lights do not dim with the interior control knob. Am I missing something in the installation?
  • Car Home App (home page)
  • Weather app
    • Google’s weather service didn’t find any cities (maybe I was missing a setting)
    • Yahoo’s weather service works
    • Doesn’t use current location (is it useful? You already know the weather)
  • Torque OBD-2 App
    • I already paid for the Pro version of the app. Needed to uninstall the included Free version of the app. Then install the Pro version from the Google Play Store.
    • Need to manually go into Settings to search for OBD devices before starting Torque. This is annoying.
  • Internet Connection
    • I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone on Verizon
    • The phone is rooted and runs AOKP ROM (JellyBean)
    • The rooted ROM allows me to setup my phone as a Wi-Fi Hotspot to use my mobile data as the internet connection. The unit’s included Wi-Fi connects to my Wi-Fi hotspot when I turn on the car.

Track Days:
I setup an account with the Trackmaster app (from Trackaroo). It records your GPS location, speed, lap times, etc. and is handy for track days (high performance driving school). Currently there is a drawback of the AVIN unit only working now at a GPS update rate of 1 Hz. I do not want to buy an external BlueTooth GPS receiver. I also used Torque to collect more data.
Here is the procedure I used for a weekend on the track.

Before each session
  1. Torque
  2. Connect to BT OBD-2 reader
  3. Enable logging (can also enable logging on app startup)
  4. Do not close Torque
  5. TrackMaster
  6. Lapping Mode = on
  7. Start Mode = 1st split marker (be sure your track’s start/finish line is setup)
  8. Turn on GoPro camera (if you have one)
After each session
  1. Turn off GoPro (if you have one)
  2. Torque: disable logging
  3. Torque: Share logs (email to yourself or have the app automatically upload to the server)
  4. TrackMaster: Should automatically upload to the server
Torque Notes for track recording:
  • Set Torque to 0.1 sec updates
  • Set Torque to Fast Connection
  • Reduce the number of PIDs Torque records in order to keep up

Feature Requests:
  1. Radio app that uses RDS data to display radio text information
  2. What does the location setting do in the Radio app?
  3. Sleep mode options for 18 and 24 hours
  4. Graphical display for Park Distance Control
  5. Want a clock display on the screen all the time like a smartphone (upper-right corner)
  6. Steering wheel buttons for Google Play Music
  7. Dimmer display brightness during nighttime driving
  8. I am working with Tommy to determine if the GPS device is capable of 5-10 Hz update rates for track days
_nr_
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #11
k20z1 L
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DIY instructions? Warranty information?

Seems like this unit just came out of left field... But then again, so did Dynavin..
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrj127 View Post
Feature Requests:
  1. Radio app that uses RDS data to display radio text information
  2. What does the location setting do in the Radio app?
  3. Sleep mode options for 18 and 24 hours
  4. Graphical display for Park Distance Control
  5. Want a clock display on the screen all the time like a smartphone (upper-right corner)
  6. Steering wheel buttons for Google Play Music
  7. Dimmer display brightness during nighttime driving
  8. I am working with Tommy to determine if the GPS device is capable of 5-10 Hz update rates for track days
_nr_
I also bought the unit after it was available and I'm very happy about it:
- Install was straightforward
- It hasn't crashed once and mostly everything works as expected
- Steering wheel buttons are customizable and quite responsive
- Torque works out of the box
- Support is fast and direct by Tommy

However, I've got the same requests, plus:
- No access to backup camera without switching to reverse
- Radio and Bluetooth apps are ugly, like Toyota-Tacoma-ugly
- The unit uses physical buttons in order to save screen space, but it has an always-visible bar with the same buttons, digital
- Lack of compatibility with USB modem different from the sold by Avin
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by k20z1 L View Post
Warranty information?
Being a long time E46Fanatics member and owner of other previous navigation system myself I understand the concern about quality, reliability, after sales service, and warranty.

To ensure that all our customers receive the highest quality products we personally visit the factories where they are made and do our own quality control tests. We cooperate and work closely with the engineers as well. We do not depend on third parties to do the inspection for us. Any products that do not pass our strict standards gets rejected. After each order that we receive we personally fully test each unit again before shipping out to customers. This ensure our customers gets the highest quality and most reliable products. All of our products are backed by a 1 year US warranty. If customers ever need to send a product in for service our service center is conveniently located in Northern California.

Last edited by tommy@avinusa.com; 11-07-2013 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanPa View Post
I also bought the unit after it was available and I'm very happy about it:
- Install was straightforward
- It hasn't crashed once and mostly everything works as expected
- Steering wheel buttons are customizable and quite responsive
- Torque works out of the box
- Support is fast and direct by Tommy

However, I've got the same requests, plus:
- No access to backup camera without switching to reverse
- Radio and Bluetooth apps are ugly, like Toyota-Tacoma-ugly
- The unit uses physical buttons in order to save screen space, but it has an always-visible bar with the same buttons, digital
- Lack of compatibility with USB modem different from the sold by Avin
The HOME, BACK, MENU buttons on the panel of the ///AVIN AA-BE46 are very important.

Many Dynavin Android owners contacted me before because there are some APPs (eg. Torque, SlingPlayer) that will force fullscreen and that means the top statusbar with the digital Home, Menu, Back will disappear and the app takes over the entire screen. There will be no way for the user to exit the app or go back to Home screen. The only option if a user was stuck was to turn off the car and restart the entire navigation system.

If you are in the market for an Android in-car navigation make sure it has physical HOME, BACK, MENU buttons or you will be stuck and unable to get out of fullscreen APPs like Torque

Last edited by tommy@avinusa.com; 11-08-2013 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy@avinusa.com View Post
The ///AVIN AA-BE46 is 100% all Android so that means RADIO, DVD, CD, USB Direct, Bluetooth, NAVI everything is run inside the Android platform. This provides a more unified experience and all USB ports and SD slots is accessible and usable in Android as well.

We surveyed many current BMW owners and asked them what is the most important thing that they wanted out of their stereo / navigation system and the overwhelming response was ease of use and more importantly reliability. We depend on our cars to get us from point A to point B quickly and efficiently as possible. When we start our cars we want our Navigation system to be ready to go when we are. The ///AVIN AA-BE46 is powered on and fully usable within a few seconds of starting your car. This is the fastest start time I have seen out of any Android in-car navigation system out there on the market today. So if you are in the market for an Android in-car Navigation system one of the first thing you should ask is how long do I have to sit and wait after starting the car before I can start inputting my destination address and then driving off. For example having personally owning a Dynavin Android system there were many times I would have to wait 2-3 minutes and sometime having to reboot and repeat the process a few times before I can get everything to work and can finally start driving 10-15 minutes later.

We chose to go with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread because it is a more mature and reliable platform. The units main core function is GPS Navigation and many of the available Navigation apps were written for Gingerbread and some of those apps might not be ready for the latest Android version yet. We do plan to gradually introduce new version when it is proven to be reliable especially for use in the automobile enviroment.
ICS has been out since Dec 2011 and the newer versions including JB are more mature and smoother running. If the nav apps don't work on it they need to get with the program.
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Last edited by SmokeyDP; 11-08-2013 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:30 AM   #16
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Re: Official: ///AVIN BMW E46 Full Android GPS Navigation System - Info and Q&A

Do you take Dynavin units as tradein?

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Old 11-08-2013, 09:21 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by tommy@avinusa.com View Post
The HOME, BACK, MENU buttons on the panel of the ///AVIN AA-BE46 are very important.
I love the physical buttons, they work so nicely I just use these. The ones from the status bar are the ones annoying me, they're stealing real state from the apps!

Last edited by JuanPa; 11-08-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:02 AM   #18
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I installed one of the latest Navigon version and it works fine. I also installed some other apps directly from the playstore and everything it's ok
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Old 11-08-2013, 05:11 PM   #19
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My Ride: 2003 M3 SMG
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanPa View Post
I love the physical buttons, they work so nicely I just use these. The ones from the status bar are the ones annoying me, they're stealing real state from the apps!
You would still need the status bar up there to display the Torque OBD2 icon, Bluetooth status icon, Wifi icon, and other notifications
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #20
tommy@avinusa.com
AKA: M3Evolution
 
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: California
Posts: 188
My Ride: 2003 M3 SMG
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDRick323 View Post
Do you take Dynavin units as tradein?

Sent from my LG-MS870 using BimmerApp mobile app
No we do not.
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