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Old December 11th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default car docking station = desk clock instead of driving mode

Hello all,

I ran a search but didn't find any thread with this particular problem.

I just got my S4 last week, letting my wife have my S3 as a hand-me-down.

I have an i-Bolt car docking station / cradle thingy, which has worked great.

But, suddenly when I plug the S4 into the car thingy, instead of going into DRIVING MODE, it goes into DESK CLOCK mode. I can't get it to go into driving mode.

What's up with that? Any fixes? I want my Driving Mode back.

Thanks!

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Old December 11th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Unlike the S3, which had desk mode and driving mode when docked (which it was was determined by the value of a resistor across pins 4 and 5 in the dock's USB connection), the S4 only has one dock mode, which is the desk one.

The S4 does have Driving mode but it's not triggered by the dock. You will have to use Tasker or some similar solution.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unlike the S3, which had desk mode and driving mode when docked (which it was was determined by the value of a resistor across pins 4 and 5 in the dock's USB connection), the S4 only has one dock mode, which is the desk one.

The S4 does have Driving mode but it's not triggered by the dock. You will have to use Tasker or some similar solution.
Whaaaaaa? That makes NO sense. When I plug my S4 into the car dock, it goes into Desk Mode, which then locks it into the "Portrait" display configuration. Turning my head sideways is rather inconvenient.

I'll check out Tasker in the mean time. BUGGER!
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Old December 11th, 2013, 09:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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PS... just went to Google Play to check out Tasker. Honestly, by the description, I have NO idea what it does. In the simplest of terms, what does it do? And, how is it used to fix the car-docking / car mode problem?

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Old December 12th, 2013, 06:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Tasker is a total automation/scheduler/event kind of app. It's quite complex and can do almost anything you can imagine... with the right programming.

You might be better off just using the iBolt Car Dock app. One tap when you dock, bada bing.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ibolt.carhome
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Old December 12th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by trucky View Post
You might be better off just using the iBolt Car Dock app. One tap when you dock, bada bing.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ibolt.carhome

Ah, cool. I'll check that out. Thanks again!

Edit to add: Just downloaded it. Looks like exactly what I need. And, a cool feature is that I have the "blue arrow" that takes me right to Navigation back!
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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, it's a decent app for free and bundles most of what you need on one screen, keeping your eyes where they belong... on the road.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, it's a decent app for free and bundles most of what you need on one screen, keeping your eyes where they belong... on the road.
I'm actually not much of a phone "user," especially on the road. I don't make or take phone calls while driving. Of course, the same goes for texting.

The only thing I really use the dock for is to play music, navigation, and keeping the phone charged. So, there's little to no touching or even looking at the phone while I'm driving.

I haven't actually tried the app in the car, yet (I'm in the office now). But, this looks perfect, and I didn't know it existed. Thanks very much!
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think trucky's advice is sound.

Tasker is great, but it is a complex program that is not for the faint of heart. What it does is run tasks based on specific criteria, which sounds simple, but in practice, it's very powerful but not easy to use.

One alternative is to use an NFC tag in your car and an app such as NFC Task Launcher (which is free) so you can just tap on the NFC tag when you get in the car and once again as you get out and have this either start driving mode or run the iBolt app.
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Old December 13th, 2013, 06:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Update: OK... the iBolt Dock-n'-drive app pretty much sucks, because it pretty much doesn't work. It won't start automatically when I plug the phone into the cradle. I still have to unlock the lock screen (sideways / portrait mode, mind you). Then I have to start the app. Yes, I followed the instructions. It worked the first time, and that was it. Now, I have to start it manually.

And, go into Navigation and then close that... the iBolt app has to be restarted.

And, to top it off, it's screwed up my Rocket Player (music app).

So, it looks like I'll be uninstalling. Very disappointed. I liked my S3's Driving Mode! I want driving mode where my screens are in landscape mode. I don't like doing things sideways. And, I also like the phone to stay ON when in the cradle.

Why did they get rid of Driving Mode on the S4?? It really makes no sense.

And, the S-Voice "Hands-free" mode is also a PITA. I have to start THAT manually, too. The S3's Driving Mode was automatic. All I had to do was plug it in. Aaaaaaaagh! As it stands, the car docking station has been rendered useless.

I've also had the S-Voice Hands-free mode go totally black (display) and the shut off without any input from me.
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Old December 15th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Another issue with the native S-voice "hands-free" mode: When a phone call is ended, the phone goes into "lock screen" mode. I have to manually unlock it (in portrait orientation - sideways).

Is there ANY way to use the S4 in a car docking cradle without having to perpetually crank my head 90-degrees and repeatedly unlock it (have it STAY ON)? ... Like I did with my S3??

Thanks.
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Old December 16th, 2013, 06:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Driving mode is available on my S4. Drag two fingers down from the top of the screen and it's there in the list...

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Old December 16th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Driving mode is available on my S4. Drag two fingers down from the top of the screen and it's there in the list...
Not mine. It's now called "hands-free mode." And, it's NOT the same thing. And, it sucks.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 09:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Bumping and asking: Am I the only one that is annoyed by the fact that I can't use my phone in a horizontal mode in the iBolt car docking station?

Yes... I can use the "hands-free" mode, but that is very limited. I can't use the apps (such as "rocket player") in that mode.

If I just dock the phone (goes into Desk Clock Mode), I can use the other apps, but the screen will time out and go to the lock screen. So, I can't skip the next song, for example, unless I unlock the phone.... sideways.... while driving... no good.

Is there an app that will bring back DRIVING MODE like I had with my S3?

Thanks.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 10:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I wonder if the 4.3 update changed the name from Driving Mode to Hands-free Mode, because the Samsung website screen shot for the S4 16GB White screen, looks like the one above. Mine says Hands-free though.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 10:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm surprised I haven't commented here, but my solution to this problem now that we have persistent folders is to just create a folder full of the apps I use in the car. I open that once when I get in the car, and then any time I hit the home button it pops up again. It's basically a car dock app, but with smaller icons.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 10:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I wonder if the 4.3 update changed the name from Driving Mode to Hands-free Mode, because the Samsung website screen shot for the S4 16GB White screen, looks like the one above. Mine says Hands-free though.
It did more than change the name. It changed the functionality completely.... and not for the better.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 10:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm surprised I haven't commented here, but my solution to this problem now that we have persistent folders is to just create a folder full of the apps I use in the car. I open that once when I get in the car, and then any time I hit the home button it pops up again. It's basically a car dock app, but with smaller icons.
Sure... but, then when it times out, I have to go through the lock screen every time I want to see the display or use the app again. None of this was an issue with the original driving mode.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm surprised I haven't commented here, but my solution to this problem now that we have persistent folders is to just create a folder full of the apps I use in the car. I open that once when I get in the car, and then any time I hit the home button it pops up again. It's basically a car dock app, but with smaller icons.
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Sure... but, then when it times out, I have to go through the lock screen every time I want to see the display or use the app again. None of this was an issue with the original driving mode.
Which is why I use the Delayed Lock program to keep the phone from locking when connected to my car's blue tooth. Also, if I use split-screen and have Navigation running (or just have the Navigation running by itself), the phone won't time out.

Yes, that's somewhat of a work around, but on my old phone I had a separate car dock program that would keep the screen from timing out, so it's not all that much different, and I actually prefer the persistent folder to the old car dock program.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 01:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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As I warned above, Tasker is not particularly easy to use but it can do all of this. I use it in my car to detect when the phone is docked, disable screen lock, bump volume up and force landscape mode.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #21 (permalink)
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As I warned above, Tasker is not particularly easy to use but it can do all of this. I use it in my car to detect when the phone is docked, disable screen lock, bump volume up and force landscape mode.
Okay, from all your posts I thought you were a reasonable and intelligent guy. But now this! WTF is wrong with you? Landscape mode?????? In a car!!!! Have you lost your mind?

I agree Tasker isn't easy to use. I bought the damn thing but have not had enough interest in using it, so I uninstalled it.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 02:08 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Okay, from all your posts I thought you were a reasonable and intelligent guy. But now this! WTF is wrong with you? Landscape mode?????? In a car!!!! Have you lost your mind?

I agree Tasker isn't easy to use. I bought the damn thing but have not had enough interest in using it, so I uninstalled it.
Fair point about landscape mode. I'm not actually sure why I do it and someone here (perhaps you) did correctly point out that portrait mode was a far more sensible orientation for satnav, which is the main reason I have my phone mounted at all.

I'll tell you what, I shall try portrait mode tomorrow and see how I like it.

Tasker is cool and it can do some very clever things but it does require the user to invest a bit of time before you can do much with it.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #23 (permalink)
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That undoubtedly was me.

I really should play around with Tasker, because I would probably like it. I used to love making complicated Dos batch files and WordPerfect for Dos macros, so I'd probably love Tasker too. I just have gotten lazy as I've grown older. I bought a new light timer this year and it took me about six months to bother to learn how to program it.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Weird thing about "hands-free" mode. If I get a phone call, the display is locked in portrait, which makes it sideways in the dock (annoying). However, if I'm not in hands-free mode, and use the phone, it auto-rotates properly. But, of course, then the screen locks out.

So, bottom line.... I can't use the S4 in landscape orientation, and there's really no way to practically use it in the docking station?? This really sucks. Very disappointed. If I had known that, I would probably not have purchased the S4. I mistakenly assumed it would function nearly identically to the S3 with some improvements. I did not expect it to be WORSE.
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