The new MyFord Touch v3.6 Software Upgrade is Here!

This is the final screen from the v3.6 MyFord Touch self-installation process.

This is the final screen from the v3.6 MyFord Touch self-installation process.

Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

It’s here!!! The MyFord Touch version 3.6 is available by going to the new website support.ford.com — and from initial quick tests… everything seems to work seamlessly and smoothly.

The new software update for SYNC with MyFord Touch systems includes all the improvements from previous updates, plus additional benefits, such as:

Improved system performance

Improved Home Screen

Increased Touch Zones on Home Screen

Improved screen interactions while using voice

Updated support for phones and media players

Improvements to System Installation

Quicker install – less than 30 minutes

Persistence of Navigation Favorites during installation Continue reading

New MyFord Touch Upgrade to be Released in August 2013

A new MyFord Touch upgrade, version 3.6, will be released in August 2013

A new MyFord Touch upgrade, version 3.6, will be released in August 2013

Ford Motor Company is preparing its dealers to be ready to roll out the latest MyFord Touch and My Lincoln Touch software update to be released August 2013.

Effective July 18, 2013 all Ford and Lincoln dealers were put on notice about several important enhancements regarding In-Vehicle technology features. Ford will soon begin sending letters to existing MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Tough. The notice will  include information pertaining to the August 2013 release of the latest MyFord and MyLincoln Touch software version 3.6 (v3.6).

Included in the notice is a reminder of the recently launched consolidated SYNC owner websites found at support.ford.com and support.lincoln.com

There will also be information about the extension of the limited warranty on SYNC with MyFord/MyLincoln Touch system to a total of five years (Ford) and six years (Lincoln) from the warranty start date, regardless of mileage.  Initially, the SYNC system was warranted for 3 years. Continue reading

Has Your Phone Lost its Bluetooth Connection to Ford Sync?

Here are some tips for pairing your phone and keeping your phone connection with the Ford Sync system.

Here are some tips for pairing your phone and keeping your phone connection with the Ford Sync system.

Has your phone lost is connection to your Ford Sync system? There are many factors that could be affecting the Bluetooth connection, and here are some tips to help you stay connected.

Most times, the Bluetooth connection loss may be because your phone has had signal interference. When you can, turn off the vehicle. Let your vehicle “power down completely” by opening the door. Wait about 30 seconds (or until the cluster gauges turn completely off)  and then close the door. Then turn your vehicle back on. In most cases, the Bluetooth connection will be re-established. If it doesn’t then read on…

If you push the Voice button on the steering wheel, say “Phone.” The system will usually reply “Sync, state your command.” If it states, “No Bluetooth device found, I will try to connect one.” If it can reconnect, it will and then you just begin the process again, but pushing the Voice button and saying “phone.” In many cases, the user had Bluetooth turned off on their phone before they got in the car. When the car was started the Sync system tried to “find” the phone, but it could not, because the phone’s Bluetooth connection was set to off. If you have tried all of this and you still do not have a connection, then read on…

Go to the Phone Menu on your Ford vehicle, go to Bluetooth Devices, select Connect Bluetooth Device, and then scroll through the devices that are available. Find your phone (by name or by model number), then push the OK button. The system will try to connect to the device. If you are unsure on how to get to your Phone Menu, then consult your Owner’s Manual or call your salesperson or dealership.

When you have a connected Bluetooth device, you will often see the Bluetooth symbol appear on your console display (if you have the basic Sync system) or on a touchscreen Nav system it will appear on your list of devices. On a MyFord Touch (MFT) system, the name of your device will appear in the upper left corner. Also, be sure you have the latest version of firmware for your phone. Completely power down your phone and then reboot it before you get in and start your vehicle.

If you have an iPhone, then see this video on pairing your iPhone.

Here are tips on pairing the iPhone:

Before pairing your iPhone with SYNC, turn Bluetooth On.

During pairing, you’ll be prompted to download your phonebook. To improve SYNC voice recognition, limit the number of contacts that download from your phonebook when pairing.

To use Favorite contacts:

Go to Bluetooth > SYNC settings

Set Favorites to On and under Other check None

Note that if you do this, only contacts marked Favorite will be available to SYNC.

If you have an Android-based phone (Samsung Galaxy, Motorola RAZR, HTC Evo, etc.), then refer to this video on pairing the Android.

You may want to delete Sync from your connected Bluetooth devices and delete your phone from the Sync system and then re-Pair your phone. Here are some tips:

Before pairing your AndroidTM phone with SYNC:

Go to your phone Settings and turn Bluetooth On 

Under Bluetooth settings, choose Discoverable and Scan for Devices

Go to your vehicle, go to Add Bluetooth Device, begin the pairing process.

Your Sync system will produce a PIN number and ask you to enter the PIN into your phone.

Once your Sync system recognizes your phone it will begin to ask questions such as “Turn on 911 Assist?” Push OK or Yes.

The Sync system will ask if you want to Download Phone Book, then push OK

During pairing, your Android phone may notify you that SYNC wants to access your messages and phonebook. Choose Always Allow.

Still having problems, then call Ford’s In-Vehicle Technology Team Hotline at 1-800-392-3673; pick 1 for English; 2 for Spanish. Then pick 3 for the In-Vehicle Technology Team and then 1 for SYNC/MFT/MLT support). They provide live technical assistance with SYNC/MFT/MLT issues.

Or visit this web page: support.ford.com  This is the customer hub for all things SYNC/MFT/MyLincoln Touch.

Or, you can visit you’re your SyncMyRide website. If you haven’t registered yourself and your Sync system, then go to www.syncmyride.com. Once registered, then visit the SYNC My Ride Community Forum (located right hand side of the page under Owner to Owner. The link is: https://secure.syncmyride.com/Own/Modules/SupportContent/SupportHome.aspx

If you want to check to see if your phone is compatible with the Sync system, then go to the Phone Matrix at www.ford.com/technology/sync

Once at the link, select “Phone Compatibility Chart” and a .pdf document will appear listing all tested phones, mp3 devices and other features. This document includes features information on phone compatibility. Should not be considered comprehensive

When in doubt, check your Owner’s Manuals that came with the vehicle – especially the one referring to the Sync system or the MyFord/Lincoln Touch system.

 

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!

A simpler, easy-to-use MyFord Touch coming in the 2014 Ford Fiesta

2014 Ford Fiesta with the new MyFord Touch system

A smaller, better and easier-to-use MyFord Touch system is being introduced in the 2014 Ford Fiesta.

By Vincent Hennigan,
Ford Sync Specialist

Starting next year with the new 2014 Fiesta, Ford Motor Company will be introducing the newest and most refined version of the Ford Sync system with MyFord Touch® and this could be a version that the public and tech critics will appreciate the most!

This newest version of MyFord Touch and Sync is going to be a whole lot easier to use… supposedly more intuitive with fewer voice commands needed and broader voice control. Obviously there has been public feedback ranging from “stop it with the technology already!” to “when will it be capable of transporting us across town?” It seems that Ford is following in the vision of founder Henry Ford – they  create vehicles that offer a lot of choice for fuel economy and technology that the majority of folks can afford and appreciate.

The trend in consumer electronics is refining the gadgets we love, with the goal of packing them with even more performance such as a razor-thin phone that doesn’t bulge in a pocket, smaller tablets that can be held with one hand, or music players that can be worn on the wrist. Ford is following suit, and beginning next year it will offer MyFord Touch® with a new 6.5-inch LCD touch screen available on the 2014 Ford Fiesta. 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!

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

Come on Consumer Reports… you can’t make vehicle technology go away!

Consumer Reports said the MyFord Touch system is complicated but did they take the time to learn it. And, did anyone ever show them how it all works?

By Vincent Hennigan, Sync Specialist

A Consumer Reports article took a shot at Ford Motor Company by saying the MyFord Touch systems STINK. Come on CR, you can’t make technology go away!

I look at this issue from a whole different perspective.  I think the real issue is learning, adapting and using new technology in vehicles. Some drivers say new technologies, such as Bluetooth streaming music, voice-activated navigation systems or adaptive cruise controls are too complicated. Some say it is too distracting.  Others are used to carrying and using a smartphone and they think vehicle technologies are too slow and don’t offer enough options.

Let’s just generally say older drivers are more comfortable with the “old school” of driving. They like few controls, they prefer buttons and knobs that you can actually turn, push or click, and they love simplicity. And, let’s just generally say drivers under the age of 25 feel comfortable listening to their own music, using voice commands to find the closest pizza at the best price and hearing an assortment of chirps and beeps that remind them to stay within the white lines. Continue reading

MyFord Touch Upgrade Delivers on its Promise

Users of the new MyFord Touch Performance Upgrade report that the new system delivers an easier to read and easier to use interface.

The new MyFord Touch Performance Upgrade should soon be in the hands of existing customers… and those that have used it report that the system delivers on its promise to be easier to use and understand.

Ford Motor Company started mailing out more than 300,000 MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch Performance Upgrade packages last week. Dealerships all over the country upgraded the existing new vehicles in stock, so that means some users are enjoying the new system without ever experiencing the way it used to be.

At our dealership, we’ve delivered at least four customers into new Focuses, Edges or Explorers with the new upgrade already installed. The customers are happy with the system and they think it works fine. Of course, there is another type of customer – the ones who have owned a 2011 or 2012 Edge or Explorer, or the 2012 Focus. These customers have the fresh memories of frozen screens, misinterpreted voice commands, poor touch screen response, or worse, the dreaded black screen (followed by the system reboot). Continue reading