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!

Workshop: Get More Ford Sync Music

Using Bluetooth streaming more effectively

Here’s five ways to get more music from your Ford Sync system.

By Vincent Hennigan, Ford Sync Specialist

The focus of this workshop is simple – to get the most out of your Ford Sync music with the hands-free infotainment system found on most Fords – especially those built since 2010.

First, streamline the access to your music.

Yes, it’s true the iPhone has a port for recharging that has a USB plug on one end. You can plug it into a wall adapter to recharge the phone. You can plug the phone into a computer (by accessing iTunes) so you can back-up (sync) your files with the computer, install larger apps, move files (movies, photos) and/or charge the phone. You can push the “voice” button on the steering wheel and say Bluetooth. You can say, “Play,” “Shuffle,” or “Pause” but don’t ask the system to “Play Artist Rolling Stones.” You can plug your iPhone into the vehicle through the USB port, but don’t expect the system to find it by saying “Bluetooth Audio.”  Also, don’t go to your phone’s screen and expect to be able to scroll through your playlists. The screen will not show any details, but you can (after you let the Sync system “index” your files for a few minutes) say, “Play Artist Rolling Stones” and have it locate and play all of your Stone’s tracks. So the moral of the story: Get a 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or larger USB jump drive and transfer all of your music files to the jump drive. Then plug this USB into your vehicles USB port. Then you can access the music by pushing the voice button and saying “USB.” Then you can use voice commands to search by song title or artist name. When you’re at BestBuy or other electronic store, you can find a USB charger that fits into your 12-volt charge port on your vehicle dash. This will charge your phone batteries faster than a stand USB connection. Also, if you have iTunes on your computer, you can play your CDs and let iTunes records the material into Mp3 or Mp4a format. Most store-bought CDs will transfer over artist information, such as song title, length of track, and so on through Gracenote® technology. Once you have recorded your music though iTunes it will be “searchable” through a system such as Ford’s Sync. Continue reading