New SYNC Software Update Adds Bluetooth MAP Standard

Ford introduces new MAP standards for voice-to-text messaging in the vehicle, however iPhone needs to follow suit and update as well...

Ford released Oct. 18, 2011 its latest free SYNC® software update, G1 V3.2.2, to give more SYNC users the ability to have text messages read aloud to them while driving.

The update allows expanded text-to-voice features with HTC, RIM, Samsung and LG phones. Ford has put the update info out there for other phone manufacturers to integrate into their systems. Since a huge portion of the smartphone “public” uses Apple iPhones, we are awaiting word when Apple will update its OS. The latest version iOS 5 has not intergrated the MAP system so it fully works with SYNC in the voice-to-text feature area.

Tailored for owners of select SYNC-equipped 2011 and early-release 2012 vehicles, the update includes the emerging Message Access Profile (MAP) Bluetooth® standard, which is custom-made for the automotive hands-free environment and outlines a set of features and procedures used to exchange email, SMS and MMS between devices – in this case SYNC and the smartphone.

Last year, Ford announced it was voluntarily integrating MAP into SYNC for all 2011 MyFord Touch®-equipped vehicles and is now extending the capability to the broader SYNC user community – with thousands of 2011 and 2012 vehicles equipped with the first generation SYNC system. This upgrade should affect SYNC users with 2011 F-150 trucks, some Escapes, Fusions, Mustangs and Expeditions. Continue reading

“Early adopters” of iPhone 4S report iOS 5 works well with Ford’s Sync

So far the new Apple iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S are working with the Ford Sync system.

“Early adopters” of iPhone 4S with Apple iOS 5 report the system works well with Ford’s Sync system.

Since June 2010 SyncMyRide forums have been lighting up with questions from users. So far the news is good. Some Apple iOS 3 users reported that their system didn’t work well with Sync systems. Many felt that Ford should “upgrade” their software to solve the issues, but as it turned out, it was Apple who could improve on their phone’s system.

Beta users of Apple iOS 5 and iPhone 4S models  have so far reported that everything works fine. However, there is a large contingent of users who are concerned that they still don’t have the ability to have text messages “read” and converted to voice by the Sync system. Also, a lot of users expect the Sync system to identify Bluetooth audio by artist name and by song title.

Many Sync users who have connected their iPhone or iPod via USB cord to the Sync system like how they can use the “Voice” button to call out commands (“Play Artist U2” or “Play Song Let It Be”). This functionality isn’t there at all or it comes and goes for some. So many users expected the iPhone OS 5 release to address this issue. I’m guessing that it will take more programming by Ford and Microsoft to fix this issue. Continue reading