Getting used to the new Apple iOS 5 is the newest “game in town” when it comes to using your Ford Microsoft Sync system.
Before even downloading the new OS onto your iPhone 3GS or 4, Apple requires you to update your host computer’s software for Apple iTunes. Be sure to back up your phone contacts (it’s easiest to use contacts from Microsoft Outlook). Be sure to back up all of the music on your iPhone. Be sure to back up any apps, podcast, videos, sound files and photos as well. The installation of Apple iOS 5 will cancel out your phone’s contacts and music storage for sure. So, after installing the OS 5, take the time to put everything back. You will have the opportunity to op into using the iCloud for storage. You will want to consider this. When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage. And that’s plenty of room, because of the way iCloud stores your content. Your purchased music, apps, books, and TV shows, as well as your Photo Stream, don’t count against your free storage. Since your mail, documents, Camera Roll, account information, settings, and other app data don’t use as much space, you’ll find that 5GB goes a long way. And if you need more storage, you can easily purchase a storage upgrade right from your device.
So after downloading the OS 5, take a USB iPhone cable to your car. When you plug in your iPhone into the USB port, allow a few minutes for the Sync system to acknowledge the iPhone. It will begin indexing the music. Select either the music on your iPhone or a program like Pandora, Stitcher or iHeartRadio. Push the “Voice” button on your steering wheel and say “Bluetooth Audio.” Look at your iPhone’s screen, in the lower center it may show the word ”Sync” if you touch it, you will have the choice to select “Dock Connection,” select that. When you are playing from your stored Music you can push the Voice button, you can call out “Play Artist The Beatles.” Or you could say, “Play Song Let It Be.”
For those of you who want the most out of your Sync system, be sure you have an account set up at www.syncmyride.com. Some of you may be eligible to download a new version of Sync software onto a USB and install it into your vehicle. For HTC, Droid, RIM, Samsung and LG phone users the new update allows for voice-to-text messaging. 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.
For the iPhone OS 5 users, you can still stream music, Pandora, Stitcher or iHeartRadio via Bluetooth, but you won’t have the ability to call out Artists or Song Title by name. Stay tuned for more updates on iPhone compatibility with Ford’s Sync.
As a note, some of you may have to delete your iPhone from the Sync system, and delete Sync from your Bluetooth profile and “Re-pair” your phone to the Sync system to get the best functionality. See the website www.syncmyride.com for more details on doing a “clean pairing.”