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Ford launches software update for SYNC-equipped cars, Apple Siri Eyes-Free now available

Ford has released a software update for SYNC-equipped vehicles going as far back as the 2011 models. This software update will allow at least 5 million cars with the Apple iPhone to use it with the Siri Eyes-Free capability. Sherif Marakby shares that SYNC was originally designed not just to be flexible but also to be open to updates.

This will allow customers to get the most of their smartphones even while driving. Marakby is currently the director of Ford’s Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. By adding the Siri Eyes-Free feature, it provides additional convenience and even enables the customers to keep their eyes on the road while driving, Marakby concludes.

To activate Siri and the Siri Eyes-Free feature, all the driver needs to do is press the voice recognition button located on the steering wheel. This is the same process that one does when activating Siri on their iPhone. Once activated, the driver can ask Siri to look up phone numbers of places of interest or even make calls from the contacts listed on the address book.

Read the entire article Ford launches software update for SYNC-equipped cars, Apple Siri Eyes-Free now available

Ford Sync 3 to be launched in 2016 Edge, other upcoming models

Beginning this summer, Ford Motor Co. will roll out Sync 3 to replace the MyFord Touch infotainment system. This means that the 2015 Ford Edge, which just went on sale last month, will already be outdated. Recently, Ford distributed a product guide to fleet customers, showing that the Sync 3 will be installed on the 2016 model year of the Edge as well as numerous other nameplates.

The other models in the lineup will get Sync 3 by the end of next year. Meanwhile, Ford dealerships would have to sell models with the out-of-date system, which can’t be changed at a later time. Those who would hold off on purchasing an Edge, Mustang or Escape and wait for the 2016 model units to arrive will get Sync 3. It’s likely that the unit will cost the same amount.

Tom Mutchler, a senior automotive engineer with Consumer Reports, has been a long-time critic of MyFord Touch. He said that this major change will make the car “considerably less frustrating." He suggests that consumers would probably wait a few months if they knew the improvements offered by sync 3.

Read the entire article Ford Sync 3 to be launched in 2016 Edge, other upcoming models

Ford overhauls and renames MyFord Touch to Sync 3

Ford Motor Co.’s touch-screen infotainment system has been one of the reasons why the carmaker’s quality ratings have been on the decline. To mark its seriousness in overhauling the system, Ford is dropping the “MyFord Touch” name and will dub its newest version as the “Sync 3.” It is not the name that will only change, but also the entire system.

In fact, Ford is dropping the OS provided for by Microsoft and will use BlackBerry's in-car operating system, QNX. According to the carmaker’s product development chief and chief technical officer, Raj Nair, they incorporated more survey data and feedback into Sync 3 than it has when introducing any new vehicle.

He remarked that the Sync 3 is designed to be more intuitive and quicker than the current system that was rolled out in 2010. Nair disclosed that Sync 3 is designed to be “device agnostic,” which means it is compatible with any type of smartphone. Sync 3 also includes Siri Eyes Free capability for more seamless integration with iPhones.

Read the entire article Ford overhauls and renames MyFord Touch to Sync 3

Ford junks Microsoft’s Windows for BlackBerry’s QNX for its SYNC system

Ford Motor Co., will base the next-generation SYNC system on BlackBerry's QNX, no longer employing Microsoft Windows, people briefed on the matter told Bloomberg. They remarked that using QNX will be less costly than licensing Microsoft technology, and the move will enhance the flexibility and speed of the next SYNC system.

Ford has over 7 million vehicles on the road with SYNC using Microsoft voice-activated software that allows phone calling and music playing. Ford chief executive Alan Mulally has seen the carmaker dip in quality surveys by J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports, with customers citing tech systems and touchscreen issues.

According to Ford, the quality of its vehicles have been "mixed" each of the past three years. The carmaker admitted falling short of its plan to improve those results last year. Ford sees the improvement in SYNC as crucial attracting customers who are increasingly looking to be connected at all times.

Read the entire article Ford junks Microsoft’s Windows for BlackBerry’s QNX for its SYNC system

Ford and online listening hub Radioplayer have partnered to allow radio streaming in the carmaker’s cars and vans. This will be done through the Radioplayer app, which is integrated with Ford’s SYNC with AppLink in-car connectivity system. SYNC with AppLink connects apps on smart phones with Ford vehicles, allowing them to be voice controlled by the driver.

The Radioplayer app enabled for Ford’s SYNC with AppLink allows drivers to select from the best radio stations in the United Kingdom without having to take their eyes off the road. Radioplayer could be downloaded free-of-charge, and is available on tablet and desktop. It allows users to choose over 300 stations including all BBC national and local services, commercial stations as well as a number of community and student radio stations.

Ford pioneered the launch of digital stations into its model range as an option over 10 years ago. Just within five years, Ford models were already offering digital audio broadcasting (DAB) as standard on the Mondeo and Kuga. DAB was already standard across the C-MAX range in 2010, in the B-MAX in 2012, and Kuga this year.

Read the entire article Radioplayer app now playable on Ford SYNC with Applink

The Ford brand is stopping the release of the technology allowance given to dealers to teach customers to use Sync and MyFord Touch, the notorious communication systems that have resulted to extensive owner complaints and damaged quality ratings. This allowance, which was intended to be temporary, will be phased out in two phases.

The $50 that Ford gives for each dealer that uses the Sync voice recognition system will be phased out at the end of this year. And then those who buy the 2015 models will not anymore receive the $75 that Ford gives dealers for each vehicle fitted with the MyFord Touch touchscreen interface that complements Sync.

It’s not yet known if Ford will replace this allowance. The automaker said that Ford will inform dealers about their future plans. This plan doesn’t affect the Lincoln brand. Even with the rising number of complaints, several dealers still think that it’s premature to stop the allowance. Several technology experts have been hired by numerous dealers to tutor customers after sales.

Read the entire article Ford phasing out technology allowance given to dealers to teach customers to use Sync, MyFord Touch

Ford Motor Co. has entered a tie-up with Rhapsody International Inc. whose internet music service will now be offered in over a million Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The service is set to be presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Those driving Ford’s Sync-enabled cars and trucks can take advantage of the voice commands and buttons on the steering wheel to control functions on their smartphones.

Since many U.S. consumers listen to music while driving, it makes sense that cars will be able to offer Web music services such as Pandora Media Inc. Rhapsody, the Seattle-based online company, said that about 40% of its subscribers use the service while they’re behind the wheel. Voice commands and steering wheel buttons are considered a safer way for the service to run on Bluetooth-linked smartphones.

Jon Irwin, president of Rhapsody, said that customers recognize the limitations of terrestrial radio and Sirius XM satellite radio. He said that customers want to have total access to their music while driving. He also said that Rhapsody is in talks with other automakers about integrating the service. Last December, Pandora said that 75 models already offer this service.

Read the entire article Rhapsody now available with Ford SYNC AppLink

Ford and Lincoln have had total sales of five million vehicles equipped with the Sync in-dash infotainment system since the system had first made its debut on Ford vehicles five years ago. Microsoft and Ford came together seven years ago to jointly offer in-dash infotainment and in-pocket devices such as phones and digital media players.

Their product is Sync, which debuted on the stage in January 2007 at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Back then, to show off how flexible the system is, CEO Alan Mulally used a Palm Treo smartphone, Apple iPod, Motorola Razr flip-phone, and Microsoft Zune digital media player. Since then, many changes took place.

Instead of the iPod, the system now uses the iPhone. The Zune and Treo aren’t around anymore while the Razr has become an Android smartphone. Ford’s Sync system functions with the two major schools of smartphone thought, permitting drivers to voice activate things features such as climate, audio, and navigation destinations and detours.

Read the entire article Ford delivered more than 5 million vehicles with the SYNC connectivity system

Honda may not have made significant advances yet when it comes to in-car technology but it has been confirmed that it will launch a new HondaLink system in July. Other automakers such as Ford have been updating infotainment systems while Honda hasn’t been able to keep up. But now, Honda is moving away from using satellite data for its connected services.

According to the Autopia blog on Wired magazine, Honda’s reps are not aware if the newer system will use a built-in modem or if it will be connected to a driver’s smartphone. Honda first displayed its connectivity at the recently held Consumer Electronics Show where it revealed that it has partnered with Aha Radio. With this Aha radio app, users are able to stream thousands of audio feeds.

2013 Honda Accord is the first model in the range to have this app. It’s not clear at this point which vehicles will get Apple’s Siri Eyes Free function but it’s likely to be the 2013 Accord. The Honda Fit EV is where the revamped HondaLink system will officially debut. But then, the Fit will only be available in a few markets. It will be widely seen only on the new 2013 Accord, which starts selling this fall.

Read the entire article HondaLink coming this month, will take on Ford’s SYNC

Instead of at a motor show, Ford has introduced its all-new B-MAX to the public at a key technology event – the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It’s actually the first-ever vehicle to make its debut at this event. The new B-MAX is an advanced small family car that offers a high level of technology and fuel economy.

It also has a unique door design that provides unparalleled access to the car. The B-MAX is the first vehicle in Europe to get SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system that uses Microsoft Windows. This represents a good fit for Ford’s all-new compact multi-activity vehicle that marks the launch of SYNC in Europe.

This is a voice-activated in-car connectivity system that brings the integration of mobile devices, voice control and convenience to a new level with a broad device compatibility and voice command. Ford worked with Microsoft to develop SYNC, which is already being used by four million cars in the US.

Read the entire article 2013 Ford B-MAX is the first vehicle in Europe to get SYNC

Ford vehicle owners could now easily send destinations to their vehicle with the use of their smartphone via the newly launched next-version SYNC Destinations. Ford offers this free mobile app for SYNC Services subscribers. When used together with the Ford SYNC AppLink support, the app can use simple voice commands so that it could achieve the on-the-go traffic reports to any of their favorite destination points.

Traffic incidents may be posted through this app, which provides updated incident reports. The smartphone's data network is also leveraged to download turn-by-turn directions and destinations right to their vehicle.

When Ford owners used the first version of SYNC Destinations, consumers got the chance to acquire on-the-go access to their cloud-based SYNC Services account. Drivers may add, manage, and save their designations, similar to what could be done on The locations that were added with the use of SYNC Destinations could be easily accessed through SYNC Services.

Read the entire article 2012 CES: Ford updates the SYNC Destinations

Ford Motor Co. intends to improve its Sync infotainment system by adding a text-message-reading application named Message Access Profile or MAP. This application can work with several smartphones and drivers can access it from the steering wheel just like plenty of other Sync applications. According to Ford technology spokesman Alan Hall, Sync will inform the driver that a text message has come in.

The driver would only have to press a button on the steering wheel so that the message will be read out loud.

If the driver wants to reply, MAP has prepared 15 common responses, including: "Where are you?"; "Be there in 10 minutes"; "Too funny"; "I need more directions”; and "I'm stuck in traffic." Hall said that this demonstrates how Sync is able to move together with innovations in mobile phone technology.

Read the entire article Ford to offer Message Access Profile (MAP) text-message-reading app for SYNC

The Ford Motor Co. is reducing the price of its in-car communications system, which allows drivers to make hands-free calls, in order to boost sales of this device as many states are banning the use of mobile phones while driving a car. Specifically, the price of the Sync system will drop to $295 on 2012 Ford models, which is $100 lower than the option's cost on current model year vehicles, according to the company’s statement.

The company further stated that the 2012 Explorer and the 2012 Edge crossover will be first to offer Sync at the lower price. According to Ford, the Sync system is an essential consideration in 50 percent of purchases. The system is also available on almost all vehicle models.

Ford has sold more than 3 million cars with the Sync system, which features an automated emergency calling service, voice-activated control of the vehicle’s music player, and the capability to make hands-free calls.

Read the entire article Ford reduces the price of its SYNC in-car communications system

Ford Motor Co. is examining ways to connect medical devices to its voice-activated Sync system so that the driver can avoid symptoms that are dangerous while driving.

Ford is studying how to add health monitoring features to its in-car communication system so that crashes related to asthma attacks, allergies, or diabetes complications may be prevented. Ford said that via this technology, diabetics will be able to monitor glucose levels on a dashboard screen or even on the audio system.

Ford said that the Sync system, which is available on almost all the models, is a vital factor in 50 percent of purchases.

Read the entire article Ford researching ways to add medical monitoring features to its SYNC in-car system

Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch technology is set to make its debut in the United Kingdom next year, turning the all-new Ford Focus into a moving WiFi hot spot. Owners of the Ford Focus will be the first to experience the advantages of SYNC’s class-leading connectivity. The system will be rolled out to several other Ford units after its debut on the global C-segment model.

With an existing Smartphone or USB modem, a secure wireless connectivity is made possible throughout the vehicle, allowing passengers with WiFi-enabled gadgets to access the Internet. Up to five devices can utilize the WiFi connectivity easily and conveniently.

The SYNC’s wide range potential will allow Ford to offer everyone a level of Internet access that was recently only available to owners of expensive luxury vehicles.

Read the entire article Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch featuring WiFi connectivity to debut on 2012 Focus

Ford Motor Company recently launched the SYNC Destinations mobile app for Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and Android-based devices. BlackBerry smartphones will follow soon.

Owners of 2010 and 2011 Ford SYNC-equipped vehicles that are Traffic, Directions and Information (TDI)-capable can now download the SYNC Destinations app, which can help get them where they need to go with less hassle.

The free app gives users of TDI services mobile access to navigation and traffic information specifically designed to make any trip easier.

Read the entire article Ford announces new SYNC Destinations mobile app that offers on the go navigation

Ford announced today that its SYNC in-car connectivity system can now be found in over 3 million vehicles in North America. For those who don’t know, Ford’s SYNC was launched back in 2007, when it made its debut on the 2008 Ford Focus with an option price of $395.

Today, the SYNC is available on all Ford and Lincoln products (excepting those that are largely commercial or fleet use). Moreover, the manufacturer said that the option price will remain at $395 for most vehicles, but now the system includes new features offered as standard such as 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report, and SYNC Services.

According to Ford, the SYNC system is now considered a must-have technology. 

Read the entire article Ford’s SYNC is now present in more than 3 million vehicles in North America

Due next year is the next generation of Ford Motor Co.'s Sync infotainment system that will turn vehicles into Wi-Fi hot spots. All that the occupants have to do is insert a mobile broadband modem (also known as an air card) into a USB port in the vehicle.

Once a connection is established, they can use their existing service plans and their own portable devices (laptops or smart phones) to go onto the Internet.

However, those who have the current version of Sync won't be able to upgrade to the next generation. General Motors Co., Chrysler Group and Volkswagen AG have actually beaten Ford in providing Wi-Fi services in some of their US vehicles.

Read the entire article Ford’s Sync will turn vehicles in Wi-Fi hot spots

Ford is on track to become the first automaker to provide hands-free voice control of smartphone apps by integrating the new SYNC AppLink software into the 2011 Ford Fiesta.

The downloadable software upgrade will be featured on the respective model later this year, but will be seen on a majority of SYNC-equipped vehicles next year.

The Android Market and BlackBerry App World are included in the leading growth markets for mobile apps. The new SYNC AppLink enables drivers to have hands-free control of apps on their Android or BlackBerry smartphones through voice commands and vehicle controls, including buttons on the steering wheel.

Read the entire article 2011 Ford Fiesta, first car to offer SYNC AppLink software

Just a few days after Ford updated its 911 Assist services, the carmaker now announces that it has added a new Send to Sync feature that links Google Maps with Sync's Traffic, Directions, and Information service.

The new Send to Sync feature functions a lot like most of Sync's cloud computing features, which use a mobile phone's data services through a Bluetooth connection.

There is a new feature within Google Maps online interface that enables users to click send to Sync, which sends destination and routing information to their mobile device.

Read the entire article Official: Ford adds Google Maps to its ‘Send to SYNC’ feature