By Vincent Hennigan
The iPhone’s Siri and “Samantha,” the voice Ford Sync, are working together in your dashboard!
The “voice” of Sync and Siri are bother developed by the Nuance software company. With the introduction of the iPhone 4S, the phone has offered an assistant by the name of Siri. With the iPhone 5S you could change the voice from a “her” to a “him.” Ford’s Microsoft Sync infotainment system also uses the same woman’s voice and her code name in the development stages was Samantha. So Samantha, let’s meet Siri! It’s unusual when you start hearing multiple voices from your dashboard!
One of the biggest complaints about the iPhone and its use with Sync is its inability to do text-to-voice messaging. That is, until now. With a paired iPhone 4S or newer phone (with Siri) you can use Siri to read and to send text messages with voice commands. With a little “training” an iPhone user can get Siri to use the Sync system to “transmit” the message through the vehicle’s sound system. This creates a safer roadway when a driver can just listen to test messages rather than try to read one on their cell phone.
To get this to work, you should begin with a clean “paired” iPhone on a Ford Sync-equipped vehicle. Start by “pairing” your iPhone to any basic Sync, Sony touch-screen with Sync, MyFord or MyFord Touch system (on Fords installed with Sync systems from 2008 to 2015). With the car started, press and hold the Home button on the iPhone (located on the lower center of the phone’s screen) for a couple of seconds to “summon” Siri. You’ll hear a tone over your vehicle’s speakers (the Siri tone) and this opens the Bluetooth connection between the phone and Sync. You can then speak aloud to ask a question of Siri over the vehicle’s microphone and hear the response through the vehicles audio system. Refer to these for more ideas…
So, for now, iPhone users and Siri can bring voice-activated commands to higher level in Sync-equipped vehicles. Any time while driving you can press and hold the iPhone’s home button. When she responds, say “Send text message…” or “Read text messages.” Siri will prompt you to ask to whom or what number you want to send a text to. Siri will ask what you want to say… then speak your message. Siri will “read it back” to you. Then she will ask if it is OK to send, When you respond, she will send it.
So, do this responsibly. Keep your eyes and attention on the road, but remember, this is still considered “texting while driving” so be careful!
Try it. You’ll find that once you summon Siri, you can ask her to find a coffee shop, remind you of appointments, or what ever.
When you are done with Siri, press and hold the Phone icon on the steering wheel and it will “hang up” on Siri
As always, check every few weeks for an iPhone updates. And at least once a week, completely power down you iPhone for several minutes, then start if back up and let your system “reboot” before going to your vehicle. Visit the support.ford.com website for more information.