Mobile apps: Necessary, nice-to-have, or frippery?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by 2005dmny, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. MaggieD

    MaggieD New Member

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    okay fine, but losing the remote management and remote charging features are huge. This is a huge corporation. They are still advertising those features without actually providing them for no reason. Those are deal breakers for some folks (apartment dwellers, for instance).

    It’s completely scummy for them to be selling that car right now today promising features they know damn well they killed months ago. Class action.
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Just FYI, the remote app you mentioned had never existed in the trim level you purchased (i.e. Premium or now XLE).
     
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  3. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    The remote app required the built-in SafetyConnect cell phone, which only the Advanced trim had.

    I think it was really confusing for Toyota to bundle under the "Entune" label the media apps which depended on the user's smartphone for data connectivity and used a user interface in the car for music and whatever, with the Advanced Remote Apps which depend on the car's built-in Safety Connect cell phone and have no user interface in the car. You use the smartphone app to access a server that knows how to contact the car over cellular. Two entirely different kinds of applications. The media apps were at the mercy of the various media providers, such as Pandora and Spotify, as opposed to the Remote Apps, which were written as part of the internal software of the car as part of the SafetyConnect functionality.

    For what it's worth, the emergency SafetyConnect functionality, such as the dispatching of emergency services in case of an accident, uses a corporate subsidiary of SiriusXM. This subsidiary has nothing to do with the satellite radio service. SafetyConnect uses a cell phone, totally unrelated to the satellite stuff.
     
    #43 CharlesH, Dec 23, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Further confusion is that for the 2020 model all three trims are now equipped with SafetyConnect as standard. Yet, what used to be available to only Advanced trim, the PRIME APP is no longer offered in any of the trims. And even more puzzling is that it seems 2020 LE base trim has in-vehicle WiFi hotspot standard, but not in XLE nor Limited trims. How bizarre are that offerings?

    Screenshot 2019-12-23 at 5.40.40 PM.png
     
  5. MaggieD

    MaggieD New Member

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    Exactly. My invoice states I will receive 3 yrs of safety connect however the app will not allow me register my VIN so I can activate it.
     
  6. GSK

    GSK Junior Member

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    what is "Audio Plus"?
     
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Not exactly sure, but I am assuming Audio Plus is with LE trim on small LCD, and Premium Audio with integrated Navi is for XLE and Limited trim on 11.6 inch LCD. That's my guess, but maybe totally wrong.

    Edit: I looked it up. I was correct!
    2020 Toyota Prius Prime Multimedia
    Screenshot 2019-12-23 at 9.08.51 PM.png
     
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I don't have "Safety Connect" on my car, and if even I had one I would not be interested in using it, but reading comments by others who have the "Safety Connect" feature on the car, it is not App-based feature. You don't need an app or phone to use the feature. I think to register. I think you are confusing the "Safety Connect" and "Remote Connect" feature shown in the table I copied above. It seems Toyota made the "Safety Connect" feature standard almost all the models and trim levels, but the Remote Connect is not available in any trims of PRIUS or PRIUS PRIME, which is the App-based remote controlling functionality previously available only on Advanced model.

    As pointed by others, it seems both XLE and OP's LE model has the Safety Connect feature. IIRC, to register it all you need is to push the SOS button and talk to the dispatcher to register your VIN. Again it is not App-based program.

     
  9. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    In the past at least, the connection between the Remote Apps and Safety Connect was that the Remote Apps used the Safety Connect cell phone to connect to the world. No Safety Connect cell phone, no Remote Apps. And with the Prime (and the preceding PiP), if you had the Safety Connect feature (the Advanced trim), you also had the Remote Apps. That connection apparently no longer holds: Safety Connect (the emergency response feature comparable to GM's OnStar) is available on all 2020 Prime trims, but the Remote Apps are not available on any trim. In a weird technological step backwards, the telematics functionality is simply not available on the 2020 Prime. Maybe the marketing people felt that the Apple integration was more important than the geek Remote Connect functions, and for some reason, having one precluded the other.
     
    #49 CharlesH, Dec 24, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
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  10. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    I think CharlesH may be correct in his observation:

    Because the Remote Connect functions work via Toyota's servers, Toyota must have a huge amount of data about how the owners of the 2017 and 2018 Primes have been using these features.

    If only a small minority of owners have been checking their "ECO Dashboard" or using "Charge Management" or any of the other features, it may have informed Toyota's decision to drop the Remote Connect suite.

    Sadly, I suspect that many owners never even knew that these featured existed because they were never told about them or how to use them by the sales personnel at their Toyota dealer. Few people will spend hours reading the hundreds of pages of printed manuals or try to find information about these features on the Toyota web site.

    Just take a look at the ECO rankings on the ECO Dashboard app on your cellphone. You will notice that the majority of Primes in the top 100 fuel-consumption and ECO-driving score lists are shown as "Prime1872" or "PriusPrime15846" -- not with an owner-chosen human-intelligible nickname. One may assume that all these "anonymous" Primes -- about two-thirds of those on today's list -- are being driven by people who never bothered to register their Entune app suite and to select a unique name where the registration process prompts.

    Moreover, I've read a lot of reviews of the Prius Prime -- both pro and con -- and I can't recall a single review or press release which even mentioned the Prime's telematics.

    The bottom line is that few owners even learned of the features, fewer still learned how to use them, and only a tiny minority actually used them.

    To quote the preface from a book published in 1836: "This book has been written by the Authors, and printed by the Publishers, in the hope that it may be purchased by the Public. If it proves to be a failure, the responsibility must rest with the People who don't buy it."

    Elephant-Club.jpg
     
  11. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    I never customized my ECO Dashboard name, even though I use the apps all the time.

    I tend to agree with Old Bear about owners simply not being aware of the telematics. When I mentioned them to my salesman, he had no idea they existed, and even asked to be able to refer other customers to me to answer questions about such features.

    I simply won't buy another car that does not have these features. The most valuable to me is the vehicle finder, like finding where the the car is parked, on some strange city street or a large shopping mall parking lot. Or a severely technically challenged spouse who manages to get hopelessly lost even with the nav features on the car and her phone.

    On the other hand, "everyone" seems to care about entertainment features like Apple Car Play, which have absolutely zero relevance to me. When they have those security questions about what was your first favorite musical group, I have to skip that one, because I have never had one.
     
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