Matt, Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing this device to my attention.
You're welcome! I like mine despite these issues. The one other issue is that you might
need a ground loop isolator if you experience a hum. I had a pretty bad hum but picked up one of these
and cleared that up.
What kind of phone do you have?
I have a Nexus 5. I've had bluetooth issues with every phone I've ever owned (and every bluetooth device I've ever owned - have I mentioned I hate bluetooth?).
This also seems to vary by app, e.g. Google Play Music doesn't recognize Pause but Rocket Player does.
I can see this varying from app to app, but I've had mostly the same experience with every app. I do tend to listen to podcasts in the car about 95% of the time, though.
At one point I even set up Tasker to open my podcatcher app when it saw my bluetooth adapter, figuring that this would bring the app to the foreground and force it to listen to any incoming bluetooth control signals. Well, the Tasker aspect of it works, but it hasn't made any difference in the reliability of the bluetooth controls.