Receiving iPhone text messages with Ford Sync

Go to your Bluetooth Settings on your iPhone and tap the little blue circle with the "i" to get to the Show Notifications screen.

Go to your Bluetooth Settings on your iPhone. Tap the little blue circle with the “i” to get to the Show Notifications screen. See this story for more information.

Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

This article, hopefully, will offer some tips on receiving iPhone text messages with the Ford Sync system.

Some iPhone users expect the Sync system to send and receive text messages. However, the Ford system, and many other Bluetooth systems offered by manufacturers, don’t always do these tasks.

Apple does not conform to Bluetooth MAP requirements. MAP is a protocol (Message Access Protocol) designed by Bluetooth SIG and not by Apple.  Due to this lack of protocol compliance, you cannot send text messages and you cannot see older text messages that are in your history. What you can see is new text messages that you’ve received after the phone initially pairs to the vehicle each and every time you get in and start up the vehicle.

You see, the Ford Sync system cannot access the text messages in your iPhone, so it can’t read them back to you.

Solution: Once you have paired your iPhone to your vehicle.

Go to your phone’s Settings Folder

Go to the Bluetooth Menu

Find that tab that shows “Sync    Connected” and…

Tap the little blue circle with the (i) 

A screen appears, tap the switch to turn on “Show Notifications

The “Sync Contacts”  switch should already be on.

You should turn off the vehicle and completely power down (by opening and closing a door) then starting the vehicle again. to allow the change to be set.

 

Please be sure that you are running the most recent iPhone iOS software for your phone. And remember, you need to completely power down and restart (reboot) your iPhone at least once a week before getting into your vehicle and starting it up.

 

 

To send a text message with your iPhone:

Push, and hold the “Home” button – the big button on the lower face of your iPhone.

Siri, will come on your vehicle speakers.

Say, “Send text message.”

Siri will ask you to whom (or what number) you want to text.

Then speaker your message, Siri will ask you when you are ready to send.

To receive a text message:

Press the Home button on your iPhone.

Ask Siri to, “Read Text messages.”

Siri will read any new messages to you.

Remember, please drive safely. The traditional way to send and receive text messages through the Sync system is a process for certain Android-based phones.

 

For more information, visit support.ford.com  contact Ford’s in-vehicle technology team at 1-800-392-3673.

Using Apple iOS 7 with Ford Sync and MyFord Touch

The new Apple iOS is here and so is the new iPhone 5C -- and both work well with Sync and MyFord Touch.

The new Apple iOS and so the new iPhone 5C is here — and both work well with Sync and MyFord Touch.

Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

The new Apple iOS 7  is here and it works just fine with Ford Sync, MyFord and MyFord Touch infotainment systems.

Available Sept. 18, 2013 from iTunes, this is a free download and, yes, it creates sweeping changes to the look and feel of the Apple iPhone (this works on the iPhone 4 and newer handsets).

So are there pitfalls with the new Apple iOS 7 and Sync? Yes, there can be. It appears to be related to the type of Sync system your vehicle has. So, the first thing to do is to

make sure your vehicle has the latest Sync software before upgrading your phone’s software. Anyone with the MyFord Touch (or MyLincoln Touch) system needs to definitely get the lastest software upgrade. This is the version 3.6.2. software upgrade that’s free and available via the website support.ford.com 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

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!

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

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 www.syncmyride.com 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 syncmyride.com 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!

Sync Workshop: Setting up your iPhone 5 with Ford Sync

Worried about your iPhone 5 working with Ford’s Sync system? Don’t be, there’s just a few things you have to do to make sure it all works well.

By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

There’s some frustration on the street with Ford Sync users since the release of the iPhone 5 — fear not, just take a moment to review a few things before you get started.

First of all, if you had a previously paired phone on your vehicle and you’ve got a new iPhone 5, then the first thing to do is to “re-pair” your system. Go to the  “Phone Menu” on your Ford vehicle’s dashboard.

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. Continue reading

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

Where we’re going we don’t need roads!

It’s been all over the news in the past year or so… people who are buying vehicles who are upset because the electronics don’t seem to work. On one hand there are consumers who are looking for something to get from point A to point B, while others are wanting to push buttons, touch a screen and give some voice commands to take them down the road.

Some critics suggested that Ford Motor Company had seriously erred when it introduced its MyFord Touch System – the latest evolution of its new in-vehicle technology – in the new Explorer, Edge and some Focuses. They have been listening and creating solutions.

This path started with the partnership of Microsoft with its Sync Technology and Ford in January 2007. At first the Sync system offered a way to let your vehicle use Bluetooth technology to extend your phone’s ability to make and receive calls hands free through the vehicle’s sound system.

Now Sync has evolved into so much more.  Ford is one of the few auto manufacturers who have ventured into the technical wilderness. Few auto companies want to be the first to bring something to the market. First editions sometimes contain mistakes and errors. Continue reading