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


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.

The issue is that the cute emoticons seen on your smartphone screen as a smiley face are, in fact, long strings of programming language which cause Sync’s text-to-voice conversion to go haywire. When given a Voice command to call a contact the system will say “Calling Dot on Cell” and then dial the first contact listed in your phone book.

If this has happened, then review EVERY phone contact and remove any emoticon. Also remove any extraneous exclamation points, periods, commas, dashes and so on that you might have in your phone contact list. Be sure to even check the name of your device! Some overzealous users renamed their phones with smiley faces on the device name. Check to see that everything is cleared again. Then go to your Bluetooth settings and remove Sync from your phone.

If you have an iPhone, do a soft reset. This is done by holding your “Home” button, the large button at the lower center of your front screen, while also holding down the Power button at the top right. Hold these buttons down until the Apple icon appears. Then release the buttons. Let the phone go idle for a few minutes. You can further push the power button, then slide the on-screen button to power down the phone. Leave the phone off for a few minutes. Then push the power button and let the phone power back up.

Then go to your vehicle. Go to your phone settings and delete your phone from the list of Bluetooth devices. Then turn your vehicle off. Open the hood and find the car battery. Loosen and remove the black (negative) battery cable) for about five minutes. Then replace the cable and tighten the clamp. Close the hood and restart the vehicle. Let a few minutes pass before resetting the radio from AM and resetting the clock.  Then go to your phone settings and pair your phone back. See this video for instructions on pairing a phone.

Yes, this is a lot to do. This is why you need to really clean Emoji Apps and emoji keyboards from your phone files. Emoticons are cute but they defeat the whole purpose of having a Bluetooth-enabled hands-free communications system. Maybe it’s time to say bye, bye to 🙂 ! So sorry 🙁 !

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5 thoughts on “Please, just say no to Emojis! These Apps corrupt the Ford Sync System!

  1. Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a lot
    of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth

  2. Like I told my dealer REPEATEDLY; this is utterly ridiculous. The emoticons and other things like this are a part of smart phone life. Microsoft needs to DEAL WITH IT!! There is no reason other than coding that Sync can’t be instructed to ignore such extraneous data. I don’t use the things myself, but you can be assured that the people buying Focus, Fiesta, and Mustang do!

    • Imagination creating a system that can read/interpret 19 languages and convert it to voice. There has to be engineering and code protocols to standardize things so the system works. Ford and other companies create Bluetooth connectivity systems that work with dozens of phones from bunches of cell carriers. There had to be certain requirements to make things work.
      And then smart phone companies encouraged App development. The Apps drive up the usage of smartphones, and this is good for getting people to use smartphone. However, the protocols for developing Apps is not the same as for voice-to-text recognition. So there are conflicts. And, when it comes to your phonebooks, tell me, why is an emoticon necessary? I mean really. They are nice for SMS texting… but do I need to put a smiley face next to a name to remind me the person is nice?
      You mention that Microsoft should “deal with it.” That’s interesting, why didn’t the App developer create something that would work with voice-to-text systems? They could have a better product that would work better for users around the world. But no, they give you something that’s “toxic” with other Bluetooth systems. Aren’t the App developers the “bad guys” here?
      I know, I know, I’m being a real buzzkill.
      So if you want your system to easily convert text-to-voice, then don’t muddy up the phonebook with graphics. Keep that to typical SMS texting!

  3. There’s a term for this in the information security community. It’s called a buffer overflow. When software doesn’t properly validate or sanitize data input from an untrusted source (and any external input should be treated as an untrusted source) it leads to major problems. This is one of the most common vectors used to exploit computer systems. Ford needs to get their act together and properly sanitize data inputs. I’ve had to take my car in 2 times (with a 3rd one scheduled, because it has happened again) to have the APIC reprogrammed. The sick thing is, I don’t even use emoji, even the built in ones, and after the last reprogram when they told me emoji typically cause the issue, I disabled contact and message syncing just to make sure no emoji were sent over bluetooth to the system. There is a larger problem going on here than just emoji and Ford isn’t taking it seriously.

    • I understand what you’re saying… but the Ford system is a bring your own device and the phone companies were supposed to comply to certain parameters… with the App developers apparently “anything goes” which causes problems down the line.

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