How do I get my iPhone 5 to stream music on Ford Sync?

MyFord Touch USB screen

New features on iTunes version 11 and iPhone 5 can cause a conflict on streaming Bluetooth music and Apps on the Ford Sync system.

By Vincent Hennigan,
Ford Sync Specialist

The innovations of the iTunes version 11 coupled with the new iPhone 5 are causing some “issues” with streaming music on a Ford Sync system. Here is a tip  to get your tunes rocking and rolling again.

Some Sync users just love pushing the “Voice” button on their steering wheel and calling out “Bluetooth Audio.” The Sync system will go to your paired iPhone and first seek and start playing the music stored in your “Music” App. In most Ford vehicles, if you go to your iPhone (or even your other brand of smart phone) you can tap your Pandora (or Stitcher, or iHeartRadio, or TuneIn Radio Apps) and the sounds from your Music App file will stop and the “live” streaming” music from your Apps will start playing.

However, some iPhone users are not able to get any music to play… here is one area you need to check. Some iPhone and iTunes users are really into music – so much so that they will use iTunes Match. This service stores your entire music library in iCloud, including music from CDs, and lets you enjoy it on your iOS devices. There is a subscription involved and it’s a great way to have portable music. However, it can cause issues with Sync. Once again, Apple has introduced some proprietary code into the works that hinders Sync’s access to the music files. When upgrading to the new iPhone 5, many Apple users want to “back up” their music files, and using iMatch is a good way to do it. Continue reading

How do I pair a Samsung Galaxy S3 to the Ford Sync system?

The Samsung S3 is a popular smartphone this season and here are some tips on how to pair your phone with the Ford Sync system.

By Vincent Hennigan,
Ford Sync Specialist

One of the hottest phones this Christmas season is the Samsung Galaxy S3 and for many users, they will need a quick tip on how to “pair” a Samsung to a Ford Sync System.

First, go to your phone’s App menu.
Tap the Settings folder
If it isn’t already on, Tap the Bluetooth box to turn it on.
Start up your Ford vehicle, go to the Phone Menu.
On the basic Sync System, use the “Seek” arrows to go to the System Settings folder. Then go to Bluetooth Devices, press OK, then use the arrows to find Add a Device, then press OK.
Press the OK button to begin “pairing” and your Sync system will create a 6-digit PIN. If you can, use the Seek Arrows on the steering wheel to toggle the screen until it says “Special PIN.” Push OK and select/create a number such as 0000 or 1234. Continue reading

Getting the most out of iPhone 5 and Ford’s Sync System

As smartphone users adopt the new iPhone 5, some users are running into issues with the Ford Sync System — most of the conflicts stem from Apple’s proprietary issues.

By Vincent Hennigan
Sync Specialist

More and more smartphone buyers are adopting the new iPhone 5 and some are facing connection issues with the Ford Sync System — but most of the problems seem to be from some Apple programming issues.

Some of these issues can be overcome, some you just have to look past. However, the Ford Sync system continues to be flexible and adaptable.

The iPhone 5 can be “paired” to the Ford Sync system as a “Bluetooth Device.” This means when you push the “Voice” icon on the steering wheel, the Sync system will prompt, “Sync, state your command.” Reply, “Bluetooth Audio.” The system will repeat “Bluetooth Audio.” You can push the Voice button again and say “Play,” “Play All,” “Shuffle,” “Pause,” and the system will respond. The “Seek Arrows” on the steering wheel can return you to the start of the song, or jump you forward to the next track. You will notice that the LED readout at the center of the console, or the touch-screen in the center of the console will not show the song title or artist. You can push “Media” button on the steering wheel, or push the console radio buttons and select AM, FM or Sirius, it will shift the music to another “media” but it will return to Bluetooth when selected, or by using Voice commands.
If you plug the iPhone in with a USB cable to one of the USB ports, you can then push the Voice button and say “USB.” Your phone is no longer providing the Media input from Bluetooth, it’s now a USB device (yes you could have Mp3 music stored on a USB jump drive as well). After you push the Voice button and say USB, the system will provide respond, “The system has detected a USB device.” Now, wait a minute or two, then push the voice button and say “USB.” The system will respond “USB, state your command.” Say, “Play.” It should start playing your music, but this time you may notice the LED display or the touch screen (when showing the entertainment screen) will show the artist name and song title. After the system “indexes” the music on your phone or USB device, then you can push the voice button and say “Play Artist The Beatles” or “Play Song Let It Be.” Please note some content may be copyright protected and therefore cannot be played on the Sync System. Apple has got some licensing info encoded on some of the songs (this means that the song may be able to be played on a specific computer or device). Most store bought CDs can be “recorded” on iTunes and stored on a phone or a USB drive and can be played back. The USB function, along with the cord input or USB input, allows the searchability and voice commands. It must have more “bandwidth” that allows for that compared to streaming Bluetooth.
Also, when you push the steering wheel Voice button and say “Bluetooth Audio” you can then go to your iPhone and start the Pandora App (or other streaming music App) and it will start playing through the vehicle sound system.

Want a quick way to access your Apps? Some 2013 models will be of interest… The 2013 C-Max, the 2013 F-150, the 2013 Focus and the 2013 Focus models with MyFord  (not the MyFord Touch) system will all have Sync AppLink. It is also on some 2012 F-150 models, 2012 Mustangs, 2012 Lincoln MKZ and the 2013 Lincoln Navigator. See for more info. Once your App is current and AppLink is ready, then you can push the “Voice” button on the steering wheel and say  “Mobile Applications” and the system will respond with “state your command.” You can use the Voice controls to call out Pandora, your favorite station, “Thumps Up” and more.

Some more quirky iPhone 5 things:

Apple still doesn’t use the right “programming language” to allow it to interface with Ford’s text-to-voice text messaging. However, you should be able to hold the “Home” button on the face of your iPhone 5 (or 4S) for a few seconds. You will hear an unusual tone. Then speak your command to the vehicle’s microphone. For example, “Read Text Messages.” You will hear Siri from your iPhone speaking your messages. You can ask her to “Send Text Message” and she will guide you through that process. Press and hold the “Phone” icon on your steering wheel for a few seconds to “hang up” Siri.

Here is a nice video from our friends at Lebanon Ford on Using Siri

Also, don’t expect any photos of contacts you have saved on your iPhone phone book to transfer and appear on your MyFord Touch screen. It’s Apple’s proprietary issues again.

And, just because you have a photo saved on your iPhone, don’t plug your phone into the vehicle USB port and expect a way to transfer the images to your MyFord Touch dashboard screen. Once again, it’s proprietary stuff. You can send your phone to an e-mail account and then download it to a USB jump drive. Go to your MyFord Touch Settings screen and select Display and then select Wallpaper. Insert the USB saved .jpg image (1.5 Mb or smaller and hopefully a very horizontal shot) into your USB port. You should be able to see the file on your MyFord Touch screen, select it to view it on the screen, then “Add” it to save it as a potential dashboard photo. Experiment with the photos you select — it will be in the background of your “Home” screen. Due to color and contrast issues, some photos make it harder to read the “home” screen.

See previous posts on “re-pairing” phones, upgrading Apple iOS software and more…

Sync Workshop: On using the new iPhone 5, iOS 6 and the Ford Sync system

Some more things to know when using your iPhone with the Ford Sync system after upgrading to a new iPhone or the Apple OS software.

By Vincent Hennigan,
Ford Sync Specialist

Anytime Apple updates its software, or makes a change to their phones, there’s bound to be a few million people trying to find out what Apps and other things will work with the changes.

So far the biggest issues really haven’t been with the Ford Sync adapting to Apple’s upgrades… it’s been the customer learning how to use the new Apple system.

You may have an iPhone 3GS, a 4 or 4S and you may have updated to the Apple iOS version 6.0 operating system. The new iPhone 5 will come with the Apple iOS 6.0 already installed. You will want to do a “clean pairing” with your Sync system if you have upgraded the software or bought the new iPhone 5. This means you will need to clear Sync off of your phone’s Bluetooth devices and remove your phone from the Sync System Settings. Follow the instructions below…

Go to the “Phone Menu” on the dashboard of your Ford vehicle.

With a Sync system with the blue LED readout on the center console, just push the “Phone” icon on your steering wheel. The words “Phone Menu” will appear and in a few seconds it will change to “Phone Redial.” then turn the right-side tuning knob until you see the words “Sync Settings” then push the OK button in the center of the tuning knob (or on your steering wheel. Go to the Phone Menu and go to Bluetooth Devices and delete the old phone from your list of BT Devices. Then select Add Devices, and push OK to begin “Pairing a Phone.” A 6-digit PIN number will be displayed.

If you have a touch screen navigation system, push the Phone hard button to the side of the touch screen, then go to the Settings button, it will take you to the screen for adding or deleting Bluetooth devices. Select the button with your old phone’s name. Touch it, and then push the button on the right that says “Delete Phone.” Then you can touch the button that says “Add Device.” Push OK to begin “Pairing a Phone.” A 6-digit PIN number will be displayed.

If you have a MyFord Touch system, push the upper left corner to access the phone menu, then go to the lowest button on the left side of the screen to access Settings, then on the next screen select “Bluetooth” and then another screen will show the list of Bluetooth devices. Touch the button with your old phone’s name, then touch Delete. Then touch the “Add Device” button. Push OK to begin “Pairing a Phone.” A 6-digit PIN number will be displayed.

Go to your iPhone, to the Settings Folder and then select the “Bluetooth” tab (it should be about three down from the top). Please note, the Bluetooth tab used to be found inside the General folder but it’s out on its own now. Then be sure your Bluetooth switch is toggled to the “On” position. Your iPhone will begin “searching for devices.” In a moment your phone will first see a “Handsfree” device and then it will turn into “Sync.” Push the Sync button on your phone and within a moment or two a second screen will appear. Look towards your dashboard for the 6-digit PIN. Enter that into your iPhone and push the blue button on the screen that says “Pair.”

When your Sync system asks you to enable 911 Assist, then push OK. Push OK to set your phone as the Primary Phone. When the Sync system prompts you to push OK to Download Phone Book, then push OK. This will take a few moments but after that is done then you are “paired” to the new iPhone.

Many people want to know if Ford’s Sync has expanded its voice-to-text recognition with the new Apple iPhone and operating system. Apple is still refusing to adhere to the MAP engineering code that Microsoft requires. Some HTC phones, some Samsung’s, some Blackberry’s and a few Motorola’s work with the Microsoft Sync voice-to-text system – Apple does not. If you have an iPhone 4S or the new 5, then don’t worry. When the vehicle is on, and your phone is paired, then just push the “Home” button on your iPhone for a few seconds. You will hear a tone come through your vehicle speakers. Siri will be active and listening. Just make the statement, “Read text messages.” She will read your current, unread texts. You can reply “Send text message” and she will ask you who you want to send to and what do you want to say. Press and hold down the phone icon on your steering wheel to hang up when you are done speaking with Siri. The Ford text messaging system does not allow you to send custom messages while driving. So the Sync/iPhone text messaging system offers the most flexibility.

And, if you push the voice button on the steering wheel, and say “Bluetooth Audio” then Sync will counter back, “Bluetooth Audio, state your command.” Then say “Play,” “Play All,” or “Shuffle.” Sync will go to your Music stored on your iPhone and begin playing. Bluetooth music is not set up to be “called out.” If you plug your iPhone into the USB port and say “USB” and then when it counters back to you, say, “Play.” The Sync system may initially take a few minutes to “read and index” your music. Try the command again and say “Play” and it will begin playing music from your phone. You will see the Sync system actually show the Artist Name and Song Title. You can push the voice button and call out “Play (Artist Name)” or “Play Song “Song Title.” You must ask for the full and complete song title or artist name so the system can find the play the correct song.

Not every Ford vehicle is set up to accept voice commands for accessing and playing phone Apps such as Pandora, Stitcher or iHeartRadio. Refer to the website for more details.  Please note, if you have upgraded your iPhone OS software, you will probably need to upgrade your Apps to work with the new Apple software.

Good luck and happy driving!

iPhone 5 + Sync = The beginning of a new relationship

Apple’s announced release of the iPhone 5 has got thousands of Ford Sync user asking the question — “Will these devices work together?” And, they will!

By Vincent Hennigan, Ford Sync Specialist

With much ado, the new iPhone 5 and the Apple OS 6 platform was introduced Sept. 12 by the Apple Corporation. A question that many Ford vehicle owners is… “How well will the new iPhone work with the Sync hands-free phone system and the MyFord Touch system?” Preliminary reports say the new “relationship” will go off without a hitch.

Last year, when the iPhone 4S was introduced, it required a few adaptations for Ford Sync users, but once those issues were addressed it became the start of a beautiful relationship. Siri, the iPhone’s witty voice-activated assistant, could work well with Ford Sync’s “Samantha.” One reason for this great relationship is that Nuance, the developer of the voice recognition software had actually created the voice interface for both Apple’s iPhone and Ford’s Sync.

Calls made to the representatives at the Apple Store and a local Apple Store were answered with the statement that the new iPhone 5 and the Apple OS 6 will present no connection glitches with a hands-free device such as Ford’s Sync or MyFord Touch.

The new iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter and has a larger screen than the iPhone 4S. Improvements in iPhone 5 allow it to access the 4G LTE cellphone network (available in select markets) to allow better connections. This new mobile communication standard is a latest progression from the 3G to the 4G networks. The goal is to keep expanding the speed and the bandwidth that cell phones use. This should mean better signal strength, faster connections and clearer connections. Continue reading

New App makes your car “geo-aware”

With the Sync system and its AppLink compatibility, drivers can now get real-time alerts that will help them find deals and specials with ease from the app ROXIMITY.

With the Sync system and its AppLink compatibility, drivers can now get real-time alerts based on your vehicle being “geo-aware.”

It’s possible with the release of ROXIMITY, a real-time, location-aware alert service that lets users know of surrounding deals and specials. ROXIMITY was the winner of the Ford SYNC® App Developer Challenge at the 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon with its new app for iOS devices. The app is compatible with SYNC AppLink, Ford’s hands-free, voice-controlled mobile connectivity technology. This is found on newer Fords, such as Escape, Fiesta, Edge, Escape and others.

“The launch of ROXIMITY is truly exciting for us, since it was the SYNC in-car experience that sparked the team to go from idea to reality,” said Doug VanDagens, global director of Ford Connected Services. “Finding and supporting startups like ROXIMITY is what will keep Ford at the forefront of in-car connectivity innovations. With ROXIMITY we become the first automaker to offer a personalized daily deal location service.”

The list of apps supported by AppLink has now grown to thirteen. Ford also counts MOG, Pandora, TuneIn, Slacker, and iHeartRadio among the music-oriented apps it supports. Other selections include Scout navigation, NPR News, and OpenBeak for Twitter, the IMS Health’s Allergy App (which gives drivers allergy updates) and now ROXIMITY. Continue reading

Getting in Sync with Sync with Tech Support

One of the overlooked things with all of the new technology available in vehicles nowadays is the vehicle manufacturer’s commitment to online customer support. Ford’s technology website, allows someone who’s just shopping for information to get what they need as well as provide complete support for the customer.

By visiting this website, Ford Technology, you can find a wealth of information about Ford Technology – navigation, infotainment, lane keeping, EcoBoost engines and everything else.

By visiting the main support site, Support.Ford.Com , you can explore the hands-free technology on Continue reading

New Apple iOS 5.1.1. Update May Pose Some Ford Sync Issues

Some Ford Sync users reported issues today with their Bluetooth connectivity after upgrading to Apple's new iOS version 5.1.1

By Vince Hennigan, Ford Sync Specialist

We’ve been busy today at our dealership. Apple started alerting iPhone users to the new iOS 5.1.1 update… and it seems for some Ford Sync users that downloading and upgrading has caused some things get out of “Sync” with their Ford Microsoft Sync systems.

For many, the MyFord Touch screen went to “black” and froze on whatever task it was working on and refused to “turn off.” I recommend doing a “hard reboot” on vehicles that are “frozen.” To do this, turn off your vehicle, open the hood, use a wrench to loosen the nut on the black battery cable clamp. Remove the clamp from the battery for about a minute, then replace it and tighten the bolt back up. Close the hood and restart the vehicle. The MyFord Touch system will do a “reboot”  and the system will start up again from factory specs.Things should be working normally again from this point. Sometimes I think these Apple software updates cause the Bluetooth protocol to change with the Sync system, leaving things out of kilter. A reboot seems to start things up from a common point and will work better. Continue reading

Siri and Sync – working together in your dashboard!

iPhone’s Siri and Ford’s Sync voice activated systems can learn to “play together” on your vehicle’s dashboard

By Vincent Hennigan
Technology Consultant

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… Continue reading

Using Apple iPhone Music with iOS5 with Ford Sync

New Apple software upgrades still haven't allowed the iPhone all of its potential functionality with Ford's Sync system.

Getting used to the new Apple iOS 5 is the newest “game in town” when it comes to using your Ford Microsoft Sync system.

Before even downloading the new OS onto your iPhone 3GS or 4, Apple requires you to update your host computer’s software for Apple iTunes. Be sure to back up your phone contacts (it’s easiest to use contacts from Microsoft Outlook). Be sure to back up all of the music on your iPhone. Be sure to back up any apps, podcast, videos, sound files and photos as well. The installation of Apple iOS 5 will cancel out your phone’s contacts and music storage for sure. So, after installing the OS 5, take the time to put everything back. You will have the opportunity to op into using the iCloud for storage. You will want to consider this. When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage. And that’s plenty of room, because of the way iCloud stores your content. Your purchased music, apps, books, and TV shows, as well as your Photo Stream, don’t count against your free storage. Since your mail, documents, Camera Roll, account information, settings, and other app data don’t use as much space, you’ll find that 5GB goes a long way. And if you need more storage, you can easily purchase a storage upgrade right from your device.

So after downloading the OS 5, take a USB iPhone cable to your car. When you plug in your iPhone into the USB port, allow a few minutes for the Sync system to acknowledge the iPhone. It will begin indexing the music. Select either the music on your iPhone or a program like Pandora, Stitcher or iHeartRadio. Push the “Voice” button on your steering wheel and say “Bluetooth Audio.”  Look at your iPhone’s screen, in the lower center it may show the word ”Sync” if you touch it, you will have the choice to select “Dock Connection,” select that. When you are playing from your stored Music you can push the Voice button, you can call out “Play Artist The Beatles.”  Or you could say, “Play Song Let It Be.” Continue reading