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As most of you know, the STARLINK app is a sore subject when it comes to the Subaru lineup. It just has way too many bugs and for most of us it doesn’t seem to run reliably at all. But after finally seeming to fix it, I decided to test it for a month, including all the apps like Yelp, Magellan Navi, etc... to see if it would work consistently for me.... and it has!!! So I wanted to share my results with you in the hopes that it may help my fellow Forester owners...

DISCLAIMER: This was only tested on a 2018 Forester Black Edition with the non-onboard Navigation and an iPhone 6s that has not been jail broken. Your individual results may vary or not improve at all!!

With that out of the way.... the fix to make the STARLINK app stable and the apps within it to work as they were designed is simple: IGNORE THE DIRECTIONS AND VIDEOS SUBARU PUT OUT ON HOW TO OPERATE THE APP. If you start up the STARLINK app on your phone and then start it up on the infotainment unit... it’s going to crash, at some point. So the fix, at least for me, was simple... DO NOT START THE APP ON THE PHONE WHILE USING THE INFOTAINMENT UNIT!! Just connect your phone via Bluetooth or USB and that’s it!! Just select STARLINK after it comes to life on the infotainment unit and pick the app you want to use. During my tests.... none of the apps failed as long as I had cellular service. They all worked flawlessly! I hope this helps anyone that is frustrated by this issue.
 

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2019 Forester
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47 Posts
Will try that. Don't use the Starlink app myself, probably because of bad experiences in our 2014 Outback. 5 model years later I'm hoping for better.
 

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2018 Forester XT Premium
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37 Posts
I believe you do need to open the app on your mobile device the first time. It will then populate all of the apps instead of just the initial 4 on your Starlink mobile app and you can access the "settings" for each.

Once you've successfully paired both it seems to remember the next time you get in the car, which would explain how you are able to use it without opening the mobile app again.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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On a slightly related note, has anyone ever noticed an issue with starlink stereo head units and iPod?

I'll explain. First it should be said I have a 2014 2.5 I limited that has the standard HD stereo head unit and not a starlink enabled unit. I use an iPod Nano - I think 5th generation? - that has 8 gigs of storage. More than enough for quite a few hundred songs. At least.

In five years of ownership of my 2014, I have never had a problem with my iPod losing the connection to the stereo head unit. Or rather, it should be said, the stereo head unit losing connection with the iPod.

However, on every single starlink equipped Forester I've driven when I've had my Forester in for service and have a loaner, an almost daily occurrence - sometimes two to three times a day - is that the stereo head unit will lose the connection to the iPod. The iPod will freeze, and I'll have to unplug it and go through the reset process of the iPod and then plug it back into the system and it's recognized.

My iPod is currently on the most up-to-date version, and works fine with mine on starlink equipped 2014. But again, anytime I'm driving a touch screen starlink Forester or even Outback, I have to regularly reset my iPod when listening to it for music.

It is one of the most annoying things in the world, and one of the things that would probably keep me from buying a new Forester equipped with starlink. Mind you, my 2014 has under 34,000 miles, as my commute is 40 ft from the back of the house to the front of the house. All of my miles are used locally doing errands and short day trips two different venues and events.

But does anybody else have this problem with an older iPod and the newer starlink?!?
 

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2018 Forester Automatic
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So the fix, at least for me, was simple... DO NOT START THE APP ON THE PHONE WHILE USING THE INFOTAINMENT UNIT!! Just connect your phone via Bluetooth or USB and that’s it!! Just select STARLINK after it comes to life on the infotainment unit and pick the app you want to use. During my tests.... none of the apps failed as long as I had cellular service. They all worked flawlessly! I hope this helps anyone that is frustrated by this issue.
From the time you install starlink on the phone it is running (On the phone in the background) unless you force it off.
Are you saying in that "STATE" it works just fine, because I selected it and forced it OFF and from then on the car could not bring up Starlink anymore even though the phone was paired and working perfectly in bluetooth with the car in all other formats...

I powered off the phone and restarted it and then shutoff the car and waited awhile, then when the phone came back up it brought up Starlink app running in the background. After that upon starting the car it found and connected to the phone and all the apps except Iheart Radio worked perfectly...for about two uses then crashola.....

2018 Forester basic model 2.5 with nothing after the word Forester no xt no limited no premium...just 2018 Forester...
the cheapest basic one made...funny how this thing Infotainment system 6.5 has StarLink come up everytime you start the car as it's built in to the car whether you want it or not...but in the factory's own PR is says

"Not available on 2017 and 2018 STARLINK 6.5-inch Multimedia systems."

Then why is it installed at the factory and shows up on the media screen every single time you start the car ??? LOL
 

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2018 Forester Automatic
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OK got it working...went thru every possible combination...and after a fresh install I ran it twice....
one of the "instances" was for info and the other was an active version....

The car connected, found a music event local of air supply and I told it navigate and it brought up magellan navi and proceeded to
prompt me via map to the concert hall.

It may crash later...but at least it came up running 100%

We'll see
 

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2018 Forester Automatic
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So OK
Like everyone else I have found...

I am going to mount a Garmin dedicated gps whewww.....ridiculous using all that data for what doesn't need to be...
and when I want or need non internet gps ing, I will use my cell in airplane mode running the app "CoPilot" which
works off downloaded maps and doesn't need the data connection anyway....

Music will come off a hardware usb thumb drive left inside the armrest console, works way better than anything else I have found and tried, also no data useage....

Even with unlimited data plans....the Starlink is sooo slow, glitzy, and mind numbed....I have no time/life left to dedicate to such a hair brained
concoction of kludged software...( I wrote custom interface software for 30 yrs for the industry...) I would have had to find another career If I ever put out such trash.....
 
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