Ford Sync 3 Launches in Summer 2015

Releasing first on the 2016 Fiesta and Escape models, the new Sync 3 is F-A-S-T!

Releasing first on the 2016 Fiesta and Escape models, the new Sync 3 is F-A-S-T!

Ford’s SYNC® 3 launches in the Fiesta and Escape models – available in late summer 2015 – with an all-new communications and entertainment system.

The new system, available as an option, features faster performance, conversational voice recognition, intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.

Other new features include seamless integration of AppLink for a simple way to control smartphone apps, Siri Eyes-Free capability for Apple iPhone, software updates via Wi-Fi, and enhanced 911 Assist® for subscription-free emergency calling in the event of a significant accident.

SYNC 3 to launch in North America on 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta – on sale late summer 2015 – providing a safer way for Ford customers to connect their smartphones while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

With the debut of SYNC 3 for Escape and Fiesta, Ford is launching its newest in-car connectivity technology as an option in one of its highest-volume vehicles, Escape, and in its most affordable car, Fiesta.

SYNC 3 features all-new hardware and software, building on the capability of the industry-leading technology that launched in 2007. Ford SYNC is now in more than 12 million vehicles on the road globally. Click here to see SYNC 3 in action.

“SYNC always has been about providing a safer way for our customers to connect their smartphones in order to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford Motor Company vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Customers continue to tell us they want this technology, and they want it to be fast and easy to use – like a smartphone. SYNC 3 delivers on that request.”

Ford SYNC – the industry’s first system to widely and most affordably offer voice-activated technology to control smartphones – is becoming more capable by minimizing the number of steps needed to carry out commands. Selecting music, making a call or searching for a destination is easier than ever, thanks to SYNC 3’s simpler command structure.   Users will be able to access Siri on their iPhones directly from the steering wheel controls.

Ford was first to bring voice control to in-vehicle apps with AppLink™, and the experience is further improved with SYNC 3. AppLink™ was not available on the newer MyFord Touch system and didn’t get to be used by a lot of Ford owners.

The new SYNC 3 is an app-based program, which is a departure from the earlier Sync version. AppLink allows customers to connect their smartphone to their vehicle and control compatible apps using voice commands or buttons on the vehicle display screen.

AppLink automatically discovers smartphone apps including Spotify, Pandora, Glympse, NPR One and iHeart Auto (iHeartRadio’s automotive app), and displays each app’s unique graphics and branding. Music and news apps are automatically displayed along with other media sources – just like AM/FM or SiriusXM.

Additionally, when connected to an Apple iPhone, SYNC 3 offers seamless integration of Siri Eyes-Free capability. Drivers can seek Siri’s help by holding down SYNC’s Push to Talk steering wheel button – much as they would on an iPhone to initiate a Siri session.

SYNC 3 is optimized for hands-free use. Plus, the all-new capacitive touch screen technology offers an experience similar to a smartphone or tablet. Quicker response to touch, as well as voice commands and smartphone-like gestures including pinch-to-zoom and swipe are central to SYNC 3 – along with crisp, modern graphics.

On-screen complexity is reduced and control options used most are prioritized. The home screen features three zones – Navigation, Audio and Phone. Tile-like icons dominate, with a quick access function tray along the bottom making for a more straightforward user experience.

Phone contacts are searchable via a simple swipe of the finger to scroll through the alphabet. With One Box Search, users can look up points of interest or enter addresses in much the same way they use an Internet search engine.

As with earlier generations of the technology, SYNC 3 provides subscription-free emergency service 911 Assist®.

The customer’s Bluetooth-connected phone is used to dial 911 in the event of a significant accident – alerting first responders with vehicle location. With SYNC 3, the car relays additional information – including if airbags deploy, whether the crash is front, side, rear or rollover, and the number of safety belts detected in use – to help emergency call-takers dispatch appropriate resources to the scene.

SYNC 3 now also features the ability to update software via Wi-Fi. Once a vehicle is set up with credentials for a home Wi-Fi network accessible in a customer’s driveway or garage, it can automatically download updates. Existing Ford owners may have the “basic” Sync system, or the newer MyFord or MyFord Touch system, however those users will not be able to “upgrade” to Sync 3. This system will only be available as installed on new models. Ford plans to have the Sync 3 system available on all of its line – especially by 2017. See your Ford dealer for more details.

 

Ford Sync Bluetooth Troubleshooting Tips

Ford Sync relies on a good Bluetooth connection to operate. Here are some troubleshooting tips.

Ford Sync relies on a good Bluetooth connection to operate. Here are some troubleshooting tips.

From time to time, Bluetooth signals get scrambled and this causes system problems. Here are troubleshooting tips to help solve the most common problems.

Ford Sync is not a subscription-based system.  If there is a bad connection it’s not because your subscription ran out. Basically the major issues are caused by loss of, or a corrupted, Bluetooth signal; a phone software or firmware issue; a driver’s misuse of the system; a cellphone carrier or network issue; or, rarely, a software or hardware issue with the Sync system in the vehicle.

Your phone is basically a hand-held computer and your Sync system works on a computer-based system. Both communicate with each other using a communication technology called Bluetooth. Both of these systems need to be reviewed to see where a connection issues are.

For reference, please visit support.ford.com – this website is your on-line resource for information about Sync and other Ford technology. Register your vehicle to set up your own personal, complimentary account. This is the site you would visit for future software updates.

First, completely power down your phone. Turn it off and keep it off for about five minutes. It is best to do this before you get in the vehicle and start it up. It is recommended to completely power down your phone at least once a week. Always check to see if your phone’s operating system has all of the current updates.

Once your phone has powered back up, go to the Settings on your phone to make sure the Bluetooth connection is turned on. Check your “Trusted Devices” list to see if Sync is on the list. If it shows “Sync” and “Not connected” that’s because your phone recognizes the Sync connection and is waiting for your vehicle to be turned on before it links up with the Sync system.

Go to your vehicle and start it up. Within a few minutes your Sync system will connect to your phone. On the MyFord Touch system you will see the name or the model number of the connected device displayed in the upper right corner of the center console screen. Other Sync systems will show an oval Bluetooth symbol to show that it has connected to a phone.

With your vehicle running and your phone (with Bluetooth connection on) now try to see if the Voice commands (using the steering controls) work. See this short video to be sure you are using the hands-free calling process correctly.

Sometimes the issue is how you are speaking to the Sync system, see this video for more info.

Next, if the Sync system reports back “No Phone Found” then it cannot recognize your phone and it may need to be “paired” again to the Sync system. If necessary, go to the Sync system settings and check to see which devices are “recognized.” You may need to “connect” a phone back to Sync to establish the Bluetooth connection.

Click on this video link for a short video on “clean pairing” a phone to the basic Sync system.

Click on this video link for a short video on “pairing a device to MyFord Touch.”

Here is an overview of the pairing process:

Before pairing your iPhone with SYNC, go to the Settings folder and turn Bluetooth On.

If you have an Android-based phone (Samsung Galaxy, Motorola RAZR, HTC Evo, etc.), then go to the Bluetooth Settings and turn it on. Refer to this video on pairing the Android.

With Android-based phones you may want to first delete Sync from your connected Bluetooth devices list. After you do this, completely power down your device. Turn it back on and let it power back up. Check it again to see that it has “cleared” Sync from the phone’s system. Once it is cleared, then you can re-Pair your phone to the Sync system. 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, and 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 or Yes.

During pairing, your Android phone may notify you that SYNC wants to access your messages and phonebook. Choose Always Allow/Connect and check “Yes”.

Now, try to use the steering wheel controls to see if the system is working properly.

If the Sync system is still not working, and if your MyFord Touch screen isn’t displaying properly, then you need to review this video to do a “Master Reset.”

If the Sync system is still not working, then you can try this “hard reboot” process. Park your vehicle. Turn it off and remove the key from the ignition. Open the hood. Locate the car battery. Please be careful, do not touch both the positive and negative poles at the same time. Do not drop a metal tool across both of the poles. These things could result in a electric shock. So please be careful. Use the correct-sized wrench (could be an 8 or 10 mm), a socket wrench, or an adjustable wrench to loosen the black battery cable clamp. This is the battery pole marked with the “-“ (negative) sign. Just a few turns of the nut should loosen the cable clamp. Twist and pull the entire battery cable clamp off of the battery and keep it off for about five minutes. Now reattach the battery cable clamp and retighten the nut. Now close the hood. Start the vehicle and let it run for at least three minutes or so. The radio may start on the AM band and the clock may have reset itself to noon. Let the Sync have a few minutes to “reboot” before going to your vehicle settings and resetting the time. Just push the FM radio buttons to get back to your favorite radio channel.

In some cases, you may want to do the complete “re-Pair” or “clean pairing” process again.

Now everything should be working. Yes, it may seem like a lot of things to check, but the phone and the Sync system are computers. Computers need to be powered down and reset or rebooted from time to ensure that everything is working properly.

If things are still not working, then the issue could be the phone, the phone software and or its operating system. This may require a visit to your phone store or service provider. As mentioned, if all of the above troubleshooting techniques have been checked and the system is still not working, then please visit your Ford dealership Service Department. On new vehicles any Sync repair issues may be warranted for several years, ask your Ford Service Advisor for more details.

Ford Sync System: Vastly Improved Overall

The MyFord Touch upgrade, version 3.6, released Aug. 2013, has made vast improvements to the usage of the MyFord Touch system.

The MyFord Touch upgrade, version 3.6, released Aug. 2013, has made vast improvements to the usage of the MyFord Touch system.

The Ford Sync system, a comprehensive hands-free infotainment system, prepares for its eighth model year release and the system seems vastly improved overall.

However, in late Feb. 2014 a major internet tech news source claimed that Ford was preparing “to drop Microsoft as the developer of the Sync system and replace it with the Blackberry QNX system.” The trouble with this story, which has been re- reported by dozens of news agencies, magazines, television networks, bloggers and other media sources,  is… well, this isn’t an official news story. Continue reading

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

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

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

Technology improves efficiency as fuel prices start to rise

The 2013 Ford Focus Electric shows that technology can mean more fuel efficiency.

Using technology is a new way to create a more fuel-efficient, safe, and functional vehicles… that have all the comforts of home.

Ford has been pushing the technology envelope by adding hands-free infotainment to its entire line of vehicles in the past few years. However, in 2013 it will have 10 vehicles that should be leading the pack for fuel efficiency, as well as for in-vehicle technology.

Ford just announced that its all-new Focus Electric is America’s most fuel-efficient five-passenger car with a certified 110 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city rating and 99 MPGe on the highway. It has been certified by the EPA to offer 105 MPGe combined, beating Nissan Leaf by 6 MPGe while offering more motor power and more standard features. Focus Electric’s 99 MPGe highway certification bests the 92 MPGe rating for the Leaf. Continue reading

MyFord Touch System Performance Upgrades Are In The Mail!

Thousands of Ford and Lincoln owners with the MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch will be receiving within soon a special package with the new Performance Upgrade.

More than 300,000 current owners of 2011 and 2012 Ford Edges, Explorers and Focuses with the MyFord Touch system will soon be receiving some new software from their car company — the much-anticipated MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch system upgrade software.

Dave Martin, Field Service Engineer for Ford, said March 5 that Ford would begin mailing out a special packet to the thousands of 2011/2012 model year Edge, MKX, Explorer and 2012 Focus owners with MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch. The packet will include a USB flash drive with updated software, a notification letter, detailed instructions for the 60-minute download, and an update user guide. Navigation-equipped vehicle owners also will receive an updated SD card with all-new, updated map data.

Ford and Lincoln service departments are gearing up for this release because, if preferred, customers can elect to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer for installation of the upgrade.

The new software upgrade will be installed on the 2012 Ford Taurus and the Flex which are now going into the “build mode.” Continue reading

Ford’s Performance Upgrade to be released first quarter 2012

Ford plans to send MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch owners a Performance Upgrade in first quarter 2012

By Vincent Hennigan,
Technology Consultant

Ford dealers received information today expanding on the plans Ford is making to assist customers who own vehicles with the MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems found in the new Explorer, Edge and some Focus models.

Some owners have had difficulty with the advanced in-vehicle technology system. Some media critics have panned the MyFord Touch system while others have praised it.

The key elements of the performance upgrade plan will focus on improved quality through better system stability, improved voice recognition and software updates. The upgrade will improve performance and usability with improved screen refresh rates, improved response to touch, new simplified screens and easier phone pairing. New features will include ability to handle audible (book) files, better message access profile (voice to text conversion), better tablet compatibility and new map data.

In this past week about 1,000 MyFord and MyLincoln Touch owners (Red Carpet lessees) were randomly selected to conduct an extensive Beta Test. Continue reading

iPhone & Ford’s Microsoft SYNC: BFF4Ever!

January 2012 is a special month – it marks the five year anniversary since the introduction of two different, yet compatible products – Ford’s Microsoft Sync system and the Apple iPhone. Over these few years, they’ve become good friends.

They started out at about the same time….

Al Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., and Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, announced the partnership at the North American International Auto Show in mid-January 2007 to develop the Ford Sync system. The Sync system, an in-vehicle infotainment system, was released in the 2008 models of the Ford Edge, Explorer, Fusion and Sport Trac. The Sync systems are now available in almost every Ford and Lincoln vehicle.

The late Steve Jobs, the head of Apple Computers, introduced the iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007 and the first model hit the streets June 29, 2007. Continue reading