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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We bought our first Subaru, an '18 Crosstrek Limited, in November 2017. One of the big factors, for us, was the new Infotainment System in the '18 (referred to as the "Head Unit", or just the "HU"). We wanted to be able to use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay - I now have a Google Pixel 4 XL and OAK ("Other AstroKat") has an iPhone 8 Plus. Here's what we've learned, with the help of many folks on this forum. I will endeavor to add/edit/update this initial post, so please reply with updates, suggestions, etc.

The new generation Crosstrek (beginning with Model Year 2018) has a new Infotainment System by Harman International Industries. It was first available on the '17 Impreza and is now standard for all Subarus on the new platform.

The first version of the infotainment system was Gen 3.0, in the '17 Impreza and '18 Crosstrek. The '19 models had a slightly upgraded version, Gen 3.1 but not much changed. However, they require different firmware and it's released at different times. Some early '19 cars may have the Gen 3.0.

FIRMWARE

The firmware is the computer software installed in the HU and many commonly-reported problems can be fixed by updating it to the latest version. Here's how to check your firmware version (also see Page 62 of the StarLink manual):

1. Press the Home button on the HU​
2. Select Settings then General​
4. Scroll down and select System Information​

PDF versions of the manuals are available from Subaru (so there's no excuse for not reading the manual, LOL): https://www.subaru.com/owners/vehicle-resources/manuals.html

Newer versions of the firmware have fixed or improved many of the problems being reported, such as the connection with a phone being lost. Although some trim levels can update the firmware via a Wi-Fi connection or using Aha on a paired phone (see Page 70 of the Starlink Manual), you may have to get it done at a dealer. If you have a car with nav you may be able to download the new firmware with a maps update.Go to: Subaru Map Update Delivery Portal

For '18+ cars, only the Limited can do updates over Wi-Fi. For '19+ all trim levels except base can do updates over Wi-Fi. The full maps update appear to only be available from the maps website, although '19+ models can download local regions over Wi-Fi.

To download firmware via Wi-Fi, go to Settings, connect to your Wi-Fi, then Check for Updates.

Following are the latest versions I'm aware of, from personal experience and other good folks posting here. As far as I know, nothing has changed with the '20 or PHEV so the '19 info should apply.

FYI, the most important numbers are the middle two, and refer to the build year and build week. So, 19.45 means the 45th week of 2019 (i.e. the beginning of November, 2019).

LATEST RELEASE (SEEMS TO BE MAPS ONLY):

Gen 3.0 HU for most '18 cars (Release date August 2020):

Rel_A2.20.28.20 NAFTA
Publication date: 2020-08-26 13:06
Maps Version: USA Canada and Mexico_1051_7480_10373

Gen 3.1 HU for most '19+ cars (Release date August 2020):
Rel_UF.20.28.70
Maps Version: North America_2017.03_7482_28/12545/272294/40658

OLDER VERSIONS:

Gen 3.0 HU for most '18 cars (Release date July 2020):

A2.20.07.20 - No nav (Build date February 2020)
A2.20.14.20 - Bundled with maps for Africa (Build date March 2020)
A2.20.18.20 - Bundled with maps for North America (Build date April 2020)
No TSB yet but this version allows SXM alerts to be turned off.

Maps Versions:
USA Canada and Mexico_1036_7156_9747
Africa_976_6060_7699

Gen 3.0 HU for most '18 cars (November 2019):
Firmware Version: A1.19.45.20 (non-nav, installed by a dealer on 3/4/20 was A1.19.12.20)
Maps Version: USA Canada and Mexico_1036_7156_9747

Gen 3.1 for most '19+ cars (October 2019):
Firmware Version: UA.19.42.70 (non-nav, installed by a dealer on 1/31/20 was 19.36.70)
Maps Version: North America_2017.03_7181_28/12545/272294/19719
TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10169851-0001.pdf

Here are the TSBs for the prior versions which have some information about what's included in the firmware updates (note that these seem to be the only versions currently available for cars without nav, and may be available via Wi-Fi, otherwise only from a dealer):

Gen 3.0 HU for most '18 cars (April 2019):
Firmware build versions Rel_A1_19_17_20 or Rel_A1_19_12_20 (depending on whether it's bundled with a map update for nav units)
TSB:https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10163560-0001.pdf

Gen 3.1 for most '19+ cars (June 2019):
Firmware build versions Rel_UE 19.22.70 or Rel_UE.19.25.70 (again, depending on whether it's bundled with a map update for nav units)
TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10164194-0001.pdf

FAQs

How do I stop the radio coming on every time I start the car?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions! A single press of the left "power" button will only mute/pause the radio or whatever audio is streaming. Next time you start the car, the radio will be back on again. This seems to be a "feature"!

The HU display and audio can be turned off by holding down the left button for a few seconds and, with the latest versions of the firmware it will stay off the next time you start the car. However, if you want to use the HU for anything else (e.g. navigation or making phone calls) it will come back on and the radio will start playing again. The best option, if you want the radio to stay off, is to turn the volume down to zero (just make sure you're not streaming something over your phone at the time, that's using up your mobile data - that happened to us).

How can I reboot the HU?

Hold down the power button for ten seconds or more until the Starlink logo flashes on the screen.

My phone won't connect to Android Auto or CarPlay, or keeps disconnecting, etc.

First of all, make sure you have the latest firmware. It's also important to use a good quality cable (and try different cables, as some work better than others). In rare cases it may be a problem with the USB port(s) in the Crosstrek. Some members here have reported that connection problems were resolved by the dealer replacing the USB port.

Make sure that none of the contacts are corroded and clean them with rubbing alcohol (if you can find any during the pandemic, LOL).

Use the shortest cable that works for where you want to place your phone. The maximum cable length for the USB 2.0 specification used in the Crosstrek is about 16ft, and several feet of cable are already used up connecting from the armrest cubby to the HU.

What settings on my phone should I use?

Some basic features, such as making and receiving phone calls, are available over Bluetooth with a paired phone. The phone integration features, address book, caller history, etc. will be handled by StarLink, not Android Auto or CarPlay. If you want to use Android Auto or CarPlay on the HU display, you must connecting the phone via USB.

If anyone has any comments on what works and doesn't work with certain phones, I'll add it here. We use the default settings in Android Auto and CarPlay and it works most of the time, launching when we plug in our phones. Here's another suggestion:

I think it matters a lot how you set up your phone. On mine, with the AA settings, I have Auto Launch set to Off on the phone. That way it doesn't launch until I hit the AA button on the HU. I also have the Use Bluetooth turned Off.

With these settings, my phone and AA have always worked perfectly. When I plug in the phone to USB and launch AA from the HU, it handles the phone calls, texts, etc. What I like, too, is that I can dictate full replies to my texts, unlike the native phone connection through BT where you have to select from the canned list.
 

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Thanks for the write up! What really grinds my gears is how to lower the navigation volume down and resets to level 10 all the time.
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the write up! What really grinds my gears is how to lower the navigation volume down and resets to level 10 all the time.
What's the exact issue? Yours won't stay at the level you set? When we first got the car, I went to turn down the radio just as it made a nav announcement and it ended up turning off the the nav volume. It took a while to figure out how to fix it - from the mixer you get to by holding down the right button. I haven't had to change it since (and the same nav volume control works for both the onboard nav and AA/CarPlay.
 

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I try to lower the nav audio (android waze) to a lower volume level under 10 but everytime I shut off and turn the car back on it's back at volume level 10.
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #5
I try to lower the nav audio (android waze) to a lower volume level under 10 but everytime I shut off and turn the car back on it's back at volume level 10.
Interesting, I haven't noticed whether ours resets. I only had to turn it back up that one time. What version of the firmware are you on?
 

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2.17.22.20 - haven't had it updated since nov 17 but i'll probably get it done when when i go back in nov for my safety inspection.
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #7
2.17.22.20 - haven't had it updated since nov 17 but i'll probably get it done when when i go back in nov for my safety inspection.
OK, let us know if that fixes it (or, if you have nav, you could try the USB update). The version you're using has a lot of issues...
 
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I have an 18 Limited. Use an iPhone X. Use the phone connected via Bluetooth 99% of the time. What bugs me is that I setup phone favorites. Sometimes there there a few days and sometimes disappear the next day. All are in the phone book regardless.
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #9
I have an 18 Limited. Use an iPhone X. Use the phone connected via Bluetooth 99% of the time. What bugs me is that I setup phone favorites. Sometimes there there a few days and sometimes disappear the next day. All are in the phone book regardless.
Same with my Android - the favorites and call history with StarLink just doesn't work. I may need to add something to the first post about what StarLink is (i.e. connecting to the HU via Bluetooth), and how it compares to using AA/Carplay via USB. I'm sure this confuses a lot of new users...
 

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When I manually inputed my favorites it kept disappearing. When I checked the “stars” in the phone book tab (iPhones uploaded contacts) for favorites it works just fine.
 

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The latest version of the firmware for general release is the version that seems to be shipping with all of the new '19 vehicles (not just Crosstreks - I'm guessing the "U" means it's universal across the new platform). It's also available for the '18 Cosstrek as an update but, again, only at a dealership:

Version: U0.18.22.20
...


FYI, I just got a 2019 Crosstrek Premium which has the new "6.5 in. Plus" HU (with CD player, SiriusXM and Starlink cloud apps).
It shows firmware version: Rel4.18.11.50.

So far, I have not had the problem with radio on startup. The radio starts in the same state it was in when car was turned off and key removed.
Also, Android Auto has connected (and stayed connected) reliably.​
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #12
FYI, I just got a 2019 Crosstrek Premium which has the new "6.5 in. Plus" HU (with CD player, SiriusXM and Starlink cloud apps).
It shows firmware version: Rel4.18.11.50.

So far, I have not had the problem with radio on startup. The radio starts in the same state it was in when car was turned off and key removed.
Also, Android Auto has connected (and stayed connected) reliably.
Interesting! If Sheldon is correct about the versioning, that would be an earlier version created in March 2018, although the 4 could mean it has more enhanced features. Anyone else with a '19 checked their firmware version?
 

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FYI, I just got a 2019 Crosstrek Premium which has the new "6.5 in. Plus" HU (with CD player, SiriusXM and Starlink cloud apps).
It shows firmware version: Rel4.18.11.50.

So far, I have not had the problem with radio on startup. The radio starts in the same state it was in when car was turned off and key removed.
Also, Android Auto has connected (and stayed connected) reliably.
Yeah, lots of confusion about that. The original 2018 software works that way, too. And that's how I like it. But some people want the radio off when they start the car, and only way to do it is turn down the vol before shutting it off.

Personally, I like it the way it is. Last thing I want is to have to turn on the radio each time I start the car. And every car that I own (at least the ones in the last 20 years) work the same way. IE, radio is in the state that it was last used. So I still don't understand what all the fuss is about.
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, lots of confusion about that. The original 2018 software works that way, too. And that's how I like it. But some people want the radio off when they start the car, and only way to do it is turn down the vol before shutting it off.

Personally, I like it the way it is. Last thing I want is to have to turn on the radio each time I start the car. And every car that I own (at least the ones in the last 20 years) work the same way. IE, radio is in the state that it was last used. So I still don't understand what all the fuss is about.
The '18 software does not leave the radio in the state it was if you have pushed the power button (which is really only a mute/pause button). Apparently with the latest update it will leave the radio off you have shut off the HU display by holding the button down for a few seconds.
 

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The '18 software does not leave the radio in the state it was if you have pushed the power button (which is really only a mute/pause button). Apparently with the latest update it will leave the radio off you have shut off the HU display by holding the button down for a few seconds.
Yes, that is a change. But even before, it did leave the radio on in the state that it was last used (ie when it was on). That's what JDubU was saying, and I just explained that is how it also worked before. We don't need to split hairs here to confuse that point.
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Yes, that is a change. But even before, it did leave the radio on in the state that it was last used (ie when it was on). That's what JDubU was saying, and I just explained that is how it also worked before. We don't need to split hairs here to confuse that point.
From all of the posts about it here, what seems to confuse and irritate people is that they push the button and the radio goes off then next time they start the car, it's back on again. None of the cars I've ever driven with a push on/off control have worked like that. You seem to be in a very small minority who like that... :D
 
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I know it's not a complaint thread but...

18 Premium w/o navi. My bluetooth audio will disconnect if I go into reverse for too long or go in reverse more than once. I have a 6 speed manual. It clears out my spotify app on my phone...It eventually reconnects if I let it sit or press the power button a few times. Weird it's only tied to reverse.
 

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From all of the posts about it here, what seems to confuse and irritate people is that they push the button and the radio goes off then next time they start the car, it's back on again. None of the cars I've ever driven with a push on/off control have worked like that. You seem to be in a very small minority who like that... :D
Well, you keep talking about how the radio comes back on when you start the car, which as we have learned has now been changed so it stays off. That part I totally don't care or have an opinion about as I never shut off my radio. So you can't say I am in the minority or majority with that. But I do question why you even want to shut it off when you shut of the car, as it means that you just need to turn it back on again after you start the car!!?? Seems dumb to me. And as many have suggested, just turn down the vol when you shut off the car, if that is what you want, and it accomplishes the same thing.

But what I do care about is not having to turn on the radio every time I start the car. I like it just the way it is, with it being left in the same state as when it was last being used. And every other car I know works that way. I very much doubt I am in the minority about that!!

So with the software change, I hope you are happy now. I'm still happy, as my preference with it being left in its last state of use is still the same.

So now, we are all happy!!??
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #19
I know it's not a complaint thread but...

18 Premium w/o navi. My bluetooth audio will disconnect if I go into reverse for too long or go in reverse more than once. I have a 6 speed manual. It clears out my spotify app on my phone...It eventually reconnects if I let it sit or press the power button a few times. Weird it's only tied to reverse.
Not heard of that one before! Which version of the firmware do you have? Is it just Spotify or the entire Bluetooth connection (so no phone or whatever)?
 

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Prefers non-orange cars
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Well, you keep talking about how the radio comes back on when you start the car, which as we have learned has now been changed so it stays off. That part I totally don't care or have an opinion about as I never shut off my radio. So you can't say I am in the minority or majority with that. But I do question why you even want to shut it off when you shut of the car, as it means that you just need to turn it back on again after you start the car!!?? Seems dumb to me. And as many have suggested, just turn down the vol when you shut off the car, if that is what you want, and it accomplishes the same thing.

But what I do care about is not having to turn on the radio every time I start the car. I like it just the way it is, with it being left in the same state as when it was last being used. And every other car I know works that way. I very much doubt I am in the minority about that!!

So with the software change, I hope you are happy now. I'm still happy, as my preference with it being left in its last state of use is still the same.

So now, we are all happy!!??
Aha! I see now why you don't consider it a problem, as you want the radio to always be on when you're in the car.

Our Honda, for example, has a radio with a push on/off radio power button and a separate volume control. If I turn off the radio while I'm driving, then stop the car, the next time I start the car the radio is off. If I push the power button, the radio comes back on at the same volume it was previously. If the radio is left on when the car is stopped then when started again, the radio comes on, at the same volume it was left when the car was stopped. This behavior would work for you too - every time you turned on the car, it would be as you left it with the radio at the volume you like. This seems to be normal and very common behavior with car audio systems even going back to radios with a mechanical knob you turned until it clicked off. Not the Crosstrek, however...

For someone like me who doesn't always want the radio on, the only solution is to turn the volume all the way down. I don't want to have to shut off the entire system to not hear the radio (I may want to make a phone call, or use nav). So, even with the change in the latest firmware, despite being a small move in the right direction, in my opinion, it's still not functioning properly.
 
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