The new MyFord Touch v3.6 Software Upgrade is Here!

This is the final screen from the v3.6 MyFord Touch self-installation process.

This is the final screen from the v3.6 MyFord Touch self-installation process.

Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

It’s here!!! The MyFord Touch version 3.6 is available by going to the new website support.ford.com — and from initial quick tests… everything seems to work seamlessly and smoothly.

The new software update for SYNC with MyFord Touch systems includes all the improvements from previous updates, plus additional benefits, such as:

Improved system performance

Improved Home Screen

Increased Touch Zones on Home Screen

Improved screen interactions while using voice

Updated support for phones and media players

Improvements to System Installation

Quicker install – less than 30 minutes

Persistence of Navigation Favorites during installation Continue reading

New MyFord Touch Upgrade to be Released in August 2013

A new MyFord Touch upgrade, version 3.6, will be released in August 2013

A new MyFord Touch upgrade, version 3.6, will be released in August 2013

Ford Motor Company is preparing its dealers to be ready to roll out the latest MyFord Touch and My Lincoln Touch software update to be released August 2013.

Effective July 18, 2013 all Ford and Lincoln dealers were put on notice about several important enhancements regarding In-Vehicle technology features. Ford will soon begin sending letters to existing MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Tough. The notice will  include information pertaining to the August 2013 release of the latest MyFord and MyLincoln Touch software version 3.6 (v3.6).

Included in the notice is a reminder of the recently launched consolidated SYNC owner websites found at support.ford.com and support.lincoln.com

There will also be information about the extension of the limited warranty on SYNC with MyFord/MyLincoln Touch system to a total of five years (Ford) and six years (Lincoln) from the warranty start date, regardless of mileage.  Initially, the SYNC system was warranted for 3 years. Continue reading

Sync Workshop – Edit iPhone contacts for improved Ford Sync access

Here are some tips on editing your phone contacts you can access them more easily with the Ford System System.

Editing your phone contacts can help you access them more easily with the Ford Sync System.

Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

This Sync Workshop focuses on editing your iPhone or smartphone contacts to help you improve access phone book with the Ford Sync system.

When it comes to most smartphones, the critical first step is entering the contact data correctly.

If you open a new contact file, put the First Name of your contact in the “First Name” box. And then put the contact’s Last Name in the “Last Name” box. Sound simple enough, but here’s the deal… if you put the name John Smith entirely on the “First Name” line and then, if your phone and your Ford Sync system is set up to search by last name, then guess what? That’s right, you can say, “Call John Smith,” and the Ford Sync system cannot find anything in your phone book. So, take the time to edit your contacts by name and how they are entered.

When it comes to the iPhone 5, be sure to go to your Settings icon. Scroll down to the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” box and give it a tap. Then scroll down to the “Contacts” section. Take notice of your “Sort Order”, you may want to set it on “Last, First” and then look at your “Display Order” and you might want to make that “First, Last.”  Otherwise, you might be pushing the Voice button and say “Call John Smith” and the Sync system might say “No such contact found.” But it might if you said, “Call Smith, John.” I don’t know about you, but that would drive me crazy to say Last Name first and then First name last. Continue reading

Getting even more from your Ford Sync system with Sync Destinations App

Sync Destinations is a cool app that helps you have a voice-activated navigation system in some Fords.

Sync Destinations is a cool app that helps you have a voice-activated navigation system in some Fords.

By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

Some Ford Sync owners, who also own a smartphone, may be missing a cool option to their Sync system – it’s a mobile application that’s customizable – called Sync Destinations.

With the SYNC® Destinations mobile application you can access traffic information, get turn-by-turn directions, manage Saved Points, and more, using your SYNC Services subscription on your tablet or smartphone.

A mobile application for Sync Services

SYNC® Destinations is a mobile app developed for use with SYNC Services – the optional subscription-based program offered by Ford available on some Ford vehicles. The Sync Destinations application is available for many iPhone®, iPad®, Android™, and BlackBerry® devices.

To find out if Sync Destinations is available for your tablet or smartphone, check your device’s app store. The Sync Destinations App is made by INRIX, Inc. This is for active Sync Services subscribers and it provides downloaded voice-activated turn-by-turn directions, searched destinations and traffic information. Continue reading

Please, just say no to Emojis! These Apps corrupt the Ford Sync System!

NoEmojisPlease

No Emojis Please! Using emoticons on your smartphone can prevent Ford Sync from understanding voice commands.

By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

Using emoticons on your smartphone is the quickest way to cause severe problems with the voice-to-text functions of the Ford Sync System. Here is my third article on this topic…

Since late 2012 there were numerous problems with the iPhone 5, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy, the HTC Evo and other smartphones having connectivity issues with the Ford Sync system. User forums for the smartphones and for the Sync system have been filled with people which connectivity problems that affected the base model, the MyFord and the MyFord Touch Sync systems. The issue was something was seriously affecting the Sync users accessibility of their phone book contacts with Voice commands. If you pushed the “Voice” icon on your steering wheel and said “Phone” and then “Call + (your contact name)” then your Sync system might reply, “Calling Dot on Cell.”

Some of the issues were a result of smartphone users downloading and using any of the Emoji Apps. The word emoji is Japanese for ideograms, you know, those little emoticons such as smiley faces, frowny faces, etc.

The new Apple iOS even allows iPhone 5 users to go to their Settings folder, to the General settings, to the Keyboard tab, and then you go to the next menu and select “Keyboards.” You can then tap “Add New Keyboard” and add an emoji keyboard. However, this is the kiss of death for your Sync system. Continue reading

Getting the most from iPhone and Ford Sync

Here are some tips to get more out of your iPhone and the Ford Sync system

Here are some tips to get more out of your iPhone and the Ford Sync system

Getting the most out of your Ford Sync system sometimes means learning more about your smartphone and here are some tips on using your iPhone with the Ford Sync system.

Are you having trouble accessing your iPhone music?

If you have upgraded to a newer Apple iOS, then one of the options is to “back up” and store your music on the Cloud. This uses a process referred to as iTunes Match. Essentially you see the song titles and information on your iPhone – but the music is actually “parked” in the Cloud. The problem is that the Ford Sync system no longer can access this music since it has become part of the Apple proprietary system. If you go to your iPhone’s Settings folder… scroll down to the iTunes & App Stores bar, then turn off the iTunes Match button.

This allows your Sync system to access music files. Turn the iTunes Match button back on to back up and store your music from time to time to keep your files current.

Has your streaming iPhone music stopped playing?

If you pushed the Voice button on the steering wheel to access music by saying “Bluetooth Audio” then you can stream music through your vehicle sound system. It streams music, but you don’t have enough bandwidth to give voice commands to “Play Artist Bruno Mars.” Continue reading

Has Your Phone Lost its Bluetooth Connection to Ford Sync?

Here are some tips for pairing your phone and keeping your phone connection with the Ford Sync system.

Here are some tips for pairing your phone and keeping your phone connection with the Ford Sync system.

Has your phone lost is connection to your Ford Sync system? There are many factors that could be affecting the Bluetooth connection, and here are some tips to help you stay connected.

Most times, the Bluetooth connection loss may be because your phone has had signal interference. When you can, turn off the vehicle. Let your vehicle “power down completely” by opening the door. Wait about 30 seconds (or until the cluster gauges turn completely off)  and then close the door. Then turn your vehicle back on. In most cases, the Bluetooth connection will be re-established. If it doesn’t then read on…

If you push the Voice button on the steering wheel, say “Phone.” The system will usually reply “Sync, state your command.” If it states, “No Bluetooth device found, I will try to connect one.” If it can reconnect, it will and then you just begin the process again, but pushing the Voice button and saying “phone.” In many cases, the user had Bluetooth turned off on their phone before they got in the car. When the car was started the Sync system tried to “find” the phone, but it could not, because the phone’s Bluetooth connection was set to off. If you have tried all of this and you still do not have a connection, then read on…

Go to the Phone Menu on your Ford vehicle, go to Bluetooth Devices, select Connect Bluetooth Device, and then scroll through the devices that are available. Find your phone (by name or by model number), then push the OK button. The system will try to connect to the device. If you are unsure on how to get to your Phone Menu, then consult your Owner’s Manual or call your salesperson or dealership.

When you have a connected Bluetooth device, you will often see the Bluetooth symbol appear on your console display (if you have the basic Sync system) or on a touchscreen Nav system it will appear on your list of devices. On a MyFord Touch (MFT) system, the name of your device will appear in the upper left corner. Also, be sure you have the latest version of firmware for your phone. Completely power down your phone and then reboot it before you get in and start your vehicle.

If you have an iPhone, then see this video on pairing your iPhone.

Here are tips on pairing the iPhone:

Before pairing your iPhone with SYNC, turn Bluetooth On.

During pairing, you’ll be prompted to download your phonebook. To improve SYNC voice recognition, limit the number of contacts that download from your phonebook when pairing.

To use Favorite contacts:

Go to Bluetooth > SYNC settings

Set Favorites to On and under Other check None

Note that if you do this, only contacts marked Favorite will be available to SYNC.

If you have an Android-based phone (Samsung Galaxy, Motorola RAZR, HTC Evo, etc.), then refer to this video on pairing the Android.

You may want to delete Sync from your connected Bluetooth devices and delete your phone from the Sync system and then re-Pair your phone. Here are some tips:

Before pairing your AndroidTM phone with SYNC:

Go to your phone Settings and turn Bluetooth On 

Under Bluetooth settings, choose Discoverable and Scan for Devices

Go to your vehicle, go to Add Bluetooth Device, begin the pairing process.

Your Sync system will produce a PIN number and ask you to enter the PIN into your phone.

Once your Sync system recognizes your phone it will begin to ask questions such as “Turn on 911 Assist?” Push OK or Yes.

The Sync system will ask if you want to Download Phone Book, then push OK

During pairing, your Android phone may notify you that SYNC wants to access your messages and phonebook. Choose Always Allow.

Still having problems, then call Ford’s In-Vehicle Technology Team Hotline at 1-800-392-3673; pick 1 for English; 2 for Spanish. Then pick 3 for the In-Vehicle Technology Team and then 1 for SYNC/MFT/MLT support). They provide live technical assistance with SYNC/MFT/MLT issues.

Or visit this web page: support.ford.com  This is the customer hub for all things SYNC/MFT/MyLincoln Touch.

Or, you can visit you’re your SyncMyRide website. If you haven’t registered yourself and your Sync system, then go to www.syncmyride.com. Once registered, then visit the SYNC My Ride Community Forum (located right hand side of the page under Owner to Owner. The link is: https://secure.syncmyride.com/Own/Modules/SupportContent/SupportHome.aspx

If you want to check to see if your phone is compatible with the Sync system, then go to the Phone Matrix at www.ford.com/technology/sync

Once at the link, select “Phone Compatibility Chart” and a .pdf document will appear listing all tested phones, mp3 devices and other features. This document includes features information on phone compatibility. Should not be considered comprehensive

When in doubt, check your Owner’s Manuals that came with the vehicle – especially the one referring to the Sync system or the MyFord/Lincoln Touch system.

 

Sync Workshop: “Calling Dot on Cell” is a Fixable Phone Book Issue

Sometimes the Ford Sync system cannot make a phone call doe to problems with your phone contacts -- here's a workshop on overcoming this problem.

Sometimes the Ford Sync system cannot make a phone call due to problems with your phone book contacts — here’s a workshop on overcoming this problem.

So you try to use the Ford Sync system to make a hands-free phone call and the Ford Sync system replies, “Calling Dot on Cell…” It’s frustrating, but it seems the issue isn’t caused by the Sync system, it’s caused by your phone.

Sometimes the Ford Sync system is compromised in its search for phone contact information and this workshop focuses more on managing your iPhone contacts folder.

With the growing number of smartphone users there seems to be a growing number of “issues” when it comes to using Bluetooth accessible system like the Ford Sync System.

Recently we have seen a growing number of iPhone users with a problem of not being able to access their phone book contacts. Even though the phone has been paired correctly and the phone book has been “downloaded” the system still cannot make the call.

For example, you push the Voice button on the steering wheel and say “Phone.” The system replies, “Phone, state your command.” Then you say, “Call John Smith on cell.” The Sync may reply with “Calling Dot on Cell.” Then it calls the first name listed in your phone book. What’s up?

One issue was covered in an earlier blog.  That issue is focused on improper data entry into the phone book. This new issue is related to software apps, such as Emoji 2. This free app lets you add emoticons (such as smiley faces and so on) to your iPhone contacts. The trouble is that even one emoticon (or for that matter, extraneous punctuation marks and symbols used in phone book data fields) will corrupt your phone book to the point that Sync cannot interpret any of your contact names.

Solution: Don’t use this App. If you do, then you cannot rely on any Bluetooth hands-free system to “find” the contact name. You would have to manually dial your contact on your phone while driving — and this defeats the entire purpose of hands-free Bluetooth systems. Or, you can delete the App from your phone and go back and edit out any emoticons, logos, artwork, symbols, punctuation marks and so on that you put into your phone book.

Go to your iPhone and tap the Contacts. Scroll through your phonebook contacts to see if any one of them has a smiley face emoji or emoticon. Tap the contact, then tap Edit (the emoticon will be in a separate box) and delete the emoticon from the box. Power down your iPhone and after a few minutes, power it back up. Turn off your vehicle. Open the door and let the gauge clusters turn off, then close the door and restart your vehicle.

If needed, consider doing a  “soft reset” on your smartphone. Here’s a quick video link on a soft reset for the iPhone.

If you have additional questions, be sure to visit the syncmyride.com website. Happy driving!

Pairing Your Phone to the Ford Sync System

Learn how to pair an Android, an iPhone or a Blackberry to the Ford Sync system.

Learn how to pair an Android, an iPhone or a Blackberry to the Ford Sync system.

Here’s a quick overview to show how to “pair” your phone and start using the hands-free features on the Ford Sync® system.

This hands-free infotainment system has been available in Fords since 2008. It’s based on a platform referred to as “Bring Your Own Device.” This means you can “pair” (connect) almost any smartphone, iPod, Mp3 player, or even older phones — as long as they are Bluetooth compatible. Sync has advanced from a basic system with an LED readout, to the MyFord and the MyFord Touch systems. Today’s topic focuses on pairing your phone model tot he Sync system.  For tips on making your phone compatible with SYNC, see the sections about the Android™, iPhone®, and Blackberry® phone platforms.

See this “Know your phone” video.

Some manufacturers focus their in-vehicle technology to just a certain type of phone but the Ford system works with just about every phone. SYNC uses Bluetooth® to connect to your phone and that’s the only feature your phone is required to have.  To get the most out of the SYNC system, it’s a good idea to keep your phone updated with the latest firmware version. Also, completely power down your phone at least once a week and let it reboot before getting back into your vehicle.

Your phone has physical features, such as buttons and jacks, that allows you to control how it works. Every phone also has a type of software known as “firmware.” A change in the firmware version can significantly change the function of your phone. While all the supported phones offer basic SYNC functionality—such as making hands-free calls— to learn what firmware versions support more advanced features, see the phone compatibility chart. Consult your phone manufacturer’s guide for instructions on how to find your existing firmware version.  You can usually update your firmware via a free download from your phone manufacturer or service provider.

The following are step-by-step instructions for the major phone platforms. Be sure to look for other blogs on this website for using your phone as a “media source” or for using USB devices.

The Android platform

Before pairing your AndroidTM phone with SYNC:

Turn Bluetooth On 

Under Bluetooth settings, choose Discoverable and Scan for Devices 

During the pairing process, you will be asked the question Download Phone Book. Respond by pushing the OK button and then your Android phone may notify you that SYNC wants to access your messages and phone book. Check the box Always Allow and respond by allowing the connection to Sync on your phone.

See this video on pairing to the Android platform

The iPhone platform

Before pairing your iPhone with SYNC, turn Bluetooth On.

During pairing, you’ll be prompted to download your phone book. To improve SYNC voice recognition, limit the number of contacts that download from your phone book when pairing. To use Favorite contacts:

Go to Bluetooth > SYNC settings

Set Favorites to On and under Other check None

Note that if you do this, only contacts marked Favorite will be available to SYNC.

iPod vs. iPhone

iPods® work differently than iPhones when connecting with SYNC. Media players like the iPod are not paired like iPhones but are connected to the vehicle’s USB port. Use voice commands for the USB mode with iPods.

See this video Pairing the iPhone to Sync

The Blackberry platform

Before pairing your Blackberry® phone with SYNC:

Turn Bluetooth On

Under Bluetooth Options, set Discoverable to Yes, set Connect on Power Up to Yes

If available, under General Options, set Default Call Volume to Previous 

During pairing, when asked, set Allow Outgoing Calls to Always.  You may need to first check “Don’t show me this message again.”

After pairing, under Bluetooth Device Properties, set Trusted to Yes.

In rare cases, you may have trouble pairing your Blackberry with SYNC, or no sound comes out, or your Blackberry is frozen in “thinking” mode when you try to use it with SYNC. To solve these issues, try rebooting the device: remove the phone’s battery, wait 30 seconds, then reinsert it.

See the video Pairing a Blackberry phone

Sync Workshop: Problems with iPhone, Ford Sync and Phone Contacts

This workshop helps you edit your phone book so Ford's Sync system can easily call your contacts.

This workshop helps you edit your phone book so Ford’s Sync system can easily call your contacts.

By Vincent Hennigan,
Sync Specialist

Sometimes Ford Sync users experience difficulties getting their iPhone to correctly “call” their contacts – and often, the solution is as simple as cleaning up your phone contact list.

iPhone users, and yes, even Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Microsoft and Blackberry smartphone owners, may not be aware that they have input their phone contacts incorrectly. If the Ford Sync, or MyFord Touch system, cannot properly identify your contact, then it won’t be able to complete the phone call effectively.

Take a moment to review your phone contact list. On the iPhone, push the icon for “Contacts.” Your display should show the contact’s first name in “regular” face font (lighter weight type). The last name will be in “bold face.” If you haven’t discovered it yet, go back to your App screen and touch the “Settings” icon. Then push the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” icon. Scroll down to the “Contacts” heading. Underneath you will see “Sort Order.” Select “Last, First.” Then select “Display Order” and select “First, Last.” Using these settings will give you a list of phone contacts with all of your friends listed in alphabetical order by First name within the first letter of the last name.

Where we have seen people with Sync issues is when they put the contact’s first and last name on the first name line. For example, using the photo above, the Michael Alexander would be input in the “First name” line of a new contact file and saved. The trouble comes from the Ford Sync system wanting to be able to tell the difference between the first and the last name. Put the first name on the first name line and last name on the last name line, then the Sync system will “find” your contact when you cay, for example, “Call Michael Alexander.”

Do NOT put smiley faces, punctuation and other extraneous marks into the name.

For example, “Michael Alexander smileyfacesm

The Sync system won’t be able to interpret the name and the emoticon. So don’t use emoticons.

Also, if the phone number is a “Home,” “Work,” “Mobile” or “Other”, place it on the appropriate line for saving phone numbers. Don’t clutter the First Name line with “Michael on Cell Phone.” Once again, this confuses the Sync system so it can’t appropriately index and acknowledge the name.

Here is a quick video on using the iPhone with the Ford Sync or MyFord Touch System.

And, if in the past you used SIM cards to store phone numbers and contact information, then don’t transfer those file on to your smartphone still in the “saved to SIM” format. A SIM card is a small portable storage chip that allows for transfer of a phone book, but it stores in in a secure level that Sync cannot access. You may see your phone contact list and see all of the names. However, if they are all “saved to SIM” then your Sync system won’t be able to “see” them. Edit your contact list on the names you call most frequently, and select “save to phone” and not “save to SIM.”

Finally, input your names in capital letters and lower case. Do not save names in all caps. Sync does not recognize all caps (usually) unless you spell it out letter by letter.

As a note, anytime you edit or update your phone book, then the next time you start up your vehicle, the Sync system will review your contacts and “see” any changes you have made.

Plus, please remember that the voice of Sync is “seeing” a potential name or word from the basis of syllables and phonetics. Ethnic words may not be understood. Even a name like Nita (pronounced Nee-ta) would be pronounced as “Ny-ta” by the Sync system. So, rather than misspell a name just for the Sync system, why not give your friend another moniker, such as “My Best Friend,” or “Crazy Lady.”

Apple uses a lot of proprietary programming, so even if you have photos of your friends in your iPhone contacts, they may not always transfer over the the Sync System.

So give your phone book a “once over.” If you are having problems calling a contact by name, it may be because of these factors.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!